SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara was defeated in both ends of its doubleheader against UC Davis on Saturday afternoon, dropping the series against the Aggies in the process. The Gauchos were edged 3-2 in the opener before being blanked 2-0 in the nightcap.
UCSB's pitching staff did a fine job in the twinbill, allowing runs in just two of 18 innings, but the Gaucho offense struggled to get anything going against UCD starters Justin Mullins and Robert Garcia, who combined to allow one earned run over 15 2/3 innings. UCSB's offensive opportunities were also hindered by extremly high winds at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The Gaucho bullpen was a particular bright spot on Saturday, combining to allow just two hits over seven shutout innings.
"It looked like it was not going to be an easy day to hit from the get-go with the wind howling in," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "Our pitchers did a nice job of keeping us in there."
The doubleheader was scheduled due to impending rain in the Santa Barbara area on Sunday.
UCSB is next in action on Tuesday afternoon, as they travel north to St. Mary's for a 3:00 pm. contest.
Game One Recap
A three-run sixth inning by UC Davis sunk the Gauchos in a 3-2 loss in the opening game of the doubleheader.
The Aggies got to UCSB starter Chris Clements for six hits in that decisive inning, with the most damage coming on a two-run double from Ryan Anderson to right field. Ignacio Diaz drove in the go-ahead and game-winning run moments later, ripping a base hit through the left side to plate Anderson.
Except for the sixth-inning hiccup, Clements was solid on the hill for UCSB. Over his first five frames, the redshirt sophomore surrendered just two singles while striking out four. He was at his best early, going six-up, six-down to start the game.
The Gauchos held a slim lead in the first half of the contest thanks to a two-run second. Sophomore DH Sam Cohen opened the scoring with a solo shot to right, his seventh of the year.
Senior left fielder Billy Fredrick brought in another run that inning by taking advantage of a trio of Aggie miscues, reaching first on a walk, moving to second on a JJ Muno groundout, advancing to third when UCD pitcher Justin Mullins threw a backpick into center field, then scoring when Mullins uncorked a wild pitch.
UCSB struggled to get anything going offensively after the second though, getting a runner into scoring position on just two occasions.
Righty reliever Zach Stone closed the game out for Davis, facing one over the minimum while striking out three in just two innings to earn his first save of the season.
Every Aggie starter had a hit in the contest. Cohen, who went 2-2 and reached base in all four of his plate appearances, was UCSB's top offensive performer. Freshman catcher Eric Yang lined a solid single into left-center in the fifth inning for his first career hit and impressed behind the dish by gunning down a pair of would-be basestealers.
Game Two Recap
UC Davis starter Robert Garcia turned in a career start in the nightcap to give the Aggies a 2-0 victory. The southpaw struck out 11 and faced two over the minimum in his first career complete game.
The Gauchos mustered just three hits on the day against Garcia, and didn't get a runner into scoring position after the third inning.
UCSB's best chance to land a blow against the Aggies came early on, with Dempsey Grover lofting a one-out double to right in the second and JJ Muno reaching third on a bunt single, sac bunt, and stolen base, but Garcia managed to strand the runner both times.
UCD's standout lefty settled into a groove in the middle innings, going 1-2-3 in each frame from the fourth through the seventh. The Gauchos stood a chance in the final two innings, getting a runner on via a one-out Kyle Plantier single in the eighth and a leadoff Austin Bush hit-by-pitch in the ninth, but Garcia rolled up double play balls to snuff out both rallies.
The offensive struggles spoiled what was a standout collective pitching performance by the UCSB staff, led by freshman starter Chris Lincoln.
Making his second career start, the freshman righty allowed just a pair of earned runs while striking out six in five innings of work. Steven Ledesma (three innings, one hit) and Shea Barry (one inning, two strikeouts) combined to shut out the Aggies over the final four frames of the contest.