MORAGA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara stuck close with St. Mary's through seven and a half innings in Tuesday's midweek contest at Louis Guisto Field, but the home team broke away with a nine-run eighth inning to claim a 15-5 win.
The two teams went back and forth over the first two-thirds of the game, with UCSB (20-25) even leading briefly on a pair of occasions, with a Tevin Mitchell triple off the left-center field wall giving the Gauchos their final advantage at 5-4.
The Gaels pushed across the game winning-run in the seventh on a double and two singles before putting it away an inning later on a rally consisting off five hits – three of them going for extra bases – aided by four UCSB walks.
The Gauchos received a number of solid performances from players who either were in new positions or aren't lineup regulars.
Sophomore right fielder and Bay Area native Michael McAdoo led the way with a 2-4 line, including a double and a solo homer to right-center, his first collegiate homer. Sophomore Sam Cohen went 1-3 in his debut as an outfielder, even making a nice diving catch in shallow left in the second inning. Finally, freshman outfielder Landon Silver had a pinch-hit double off the left field wall in the ninth.
UCSB's power-hitting first baseman, Austin Bush, put his stamp on the game with a solo homer in the fifth inning that put the Gauchos up 4-3 at the time. It was his 11th roundtripper of the season, matching his career-high set last year.
After a wobbly start from lefty Ty Madrigal, SMC's bullpen went on to limit UCSB to just a single run over the final four innings of the contest. Conversely, the Gaels got to the Gaucho pen for 12 runs over five frames.
UCSB starter Ben Brecht gave up three earned in his three innings of work, but didn't walk a batter.
The St. Mary's offense was led by left fielder Brett Rasso (4-5, two doubles) and second baseman Edward Haus (2-4, four RBIs). Connor Loeprich picked up the win for the home squad with 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief. He retired four of the five batters he faced, with the other reaching on an error.
UCSB returns to Big West action this weekend with a three-game set at Cal State Fullerton starting on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. That contest will be televised on ESPNU while Saturday's 7:00 p.m. game will appear on FOX Sports Prime Ticket. UCSBGauchos.com will carry live audio broadcasts of all three games from Goodwin Field.