Gauchos Tripped Up By Cal Poly on Senior Day

Photo by Tony Mastres
Photo by Tony Mastres

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – DH Elijah Skipps hit a pair of home runs and drove in six to lead Cal Poly to a 9-2 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. 

The victory gave the Mustangs (26-27, 14-7 Big West) a sweep over the Gauchos (22-30, 7-14), who dropped a series to Cal Poly at home for the first time in the Andrew Checketts era. 

Shortstop Kyle Marinconz was also a key figure in the victory for the Mustangs, going 4-5 with a two-run homer and three RBIs. 

Cal Poly starter Trent Shelton and right-hander Slater Lee combined to hold UCSB to just three hits on Sunday, all off the bat of freshman center fielder Tommy Jew.

The San Ramon native reached base in all four of his plate appearances, working the team's sole base on balls for the day in the first, singling in the fourth and ninth, and driving in both of UCSB's home runs with a solid home run to left-center field in the sixth, his third roundtripper of the year. 

Cal Poly jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first off UCSB starter Liam Steigerwald, who was making his first collegiate start. With an RBI double and three run homer, respectively, Marinconz and Skipps both got to Steigerwald in the inning. 

UCSB's freshman righty bounced back after that rough first inning, holding the visitors off the board for the remainder of his five-inning outing and retiring the final eight batters he faced. Steigerwald entered the game having sent down 21 of the 22 batters he'd faced in his freshman season. 

Cal Poly went on to add insurance runs on a pair of home runs, a three-run shot from Skipps in the sixth and a two-run blast from Marinconz in the seventh. 

Before the game, UCSB honored eight senior members of its program who were taking part in their final weekend game at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Senior left fielder Billy Fredrick, the only true senior on the team, was joined in the pregame festivities by redshirt juniors JJ Muno, Josh Adams, Dempsey Grover, and Joe Record. Also honored were student manager Paulo Donati and undergrad assisant coaches Ryan Cumberland and Kenny Chapman, both who were on the team for the 2016 run to Omaha.

The Gauchos wil play their final home game on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. against USC. UCSB closes its season with a three-game set at Hawai'i starting on Thursday night.