HONOLULU – UC Santa Barbara baseball suffered a 9-6 loss to Hawaii on Saturday night in the final game of the 2017 season for both teams.
The Gauchos led 6-2 after three innings at Les Murakami Stadium, but the Rainbow Warriors responded with seven unanswered runs over the remainder of the contest to pull out the win.
With the rubber match loss, UCSB finishes the season with a 24-32 overall record and an 8-16 mark in Big West play.
Senior left fielder Billy Fredrick was far and away UCSB's top performer on Saturday, going 4-5 with a double and three runs driven in.
Junior first baseman Austin Bush, who became UCSB's single-season home run champion on Friday night, got his team on the board in the top of the first by smashing an opposite field double off the left field wall, plating Fredrick who had reached on an infield single to open the game.
Fredrick helped UCSB put up crooked numbers in each of the next two frames, plating JJ Muno with an RBI groundout in the second and then driving in a pair with a bases-loaded single up the middle in the third. Muno and Dempsey Grover also contributed run-scoring singles in those rallies.
After scoring a pair in the bottom of the first, Hawaii stormed back to tie the game with a four-run fourth, stringing together four hits coupled with two walks. Marcus Doi, who led off the first with a home run for Hawaii, also had the biggest hit of the game-tying rally, stroking a bases-loaded double into the gap to bring in two.
A strong throw from right fielder Armani Smith and a nice relay from second baseman Colton Burns was able to get Jacob Sniffin out at the plate trying to score on Doi's double, temporarily keeping the Rainbow Warriors from taking the lead.
UH would score the decisive run in the bottom of the sixth, with Sniffin bringing in two with a double. He was once again thrown out on the play trying to take an extra base, with center fielder Tommy Jew, Muno, and third baseman Tevin Mitchell teaming up for the 8-6-5 out.
After a rough start from UH right-hander Jackson Rees, the Rainbow Warriors bullpen combined to shut out the Gauchos for the final 6 1/3 innings.