Gauchos Defeat SJSU 11-1 to Secure First Sweep of 2018

Michael McAdoo (photo by Carl Wolford)
Michael McAdoo (photo by Carl Wolford)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara baseball team completed its first sweep of the 2018 season on Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, out-executing visiting San Jose State to the tune of an 11-1 victory.

With the win, the Gauchos improved to 9-11-1 on the season. UCSB had clinched the series on Saturday with a 4-3, come-from-behind walk-off win over the Spartans (9-13) after opening the series with a comfortable 9-2 triumph on Friday.

UCSB crafted the game's decisive rally in the third, putting up a five-spot against SJSU starter Nick Morales. The Gauchos created the dangerous situation by sandwiching an Andrew Martinez hit-by-pitch with base hits from Michael McAdoo and Tommy Jew, loading the bases with just one out.

That threat paid for UCSB as redshirt junior DH Clay Fisher and junior left fielder Sam Cohen on consecutive plays rolled grounders up the middle for two-run singles to make it 4-0. UCSB capped the scoring a few moments later as SJSU first baseman Shane Timmons mishandled an Eric Yang grounder allowing Cohen to score from second.

The Gauchos put the game out of reach with a three-run sixth, as McAdoo provided the key hit of that rally with an RBI triple to deep left-center off the glove of Brett Bautista. McAdoo would later score on a botched first-and-third defensive play from SJSU and then Jew capped off an impressive multi-hit day with an RBI single into center field.

A week after receiving no run support in a scoreless six-inning start last week, Sunday's output proved to be plenty enough for UCSB senior right-hander Stevie Ledesma, who gave up just one earned on three hits in five innings en route to his first win of 2018.

Ledesma was especially sharp early on, allowing just one hit over the first three innings. He struggled a bit with his command in the top of the fourth after UCSB's long offensive half-inning, as he walked the bases loaded, but he bounced back to escape that inning unscathed before the Spartans parlayed a pair of no-out singles into a run off Ledesma in the fifth.

"Stevie came out and threw strikes, and I thought that first inning where we had a pair of good plays from our outfielders really set the tone for the day," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "We had some help from them, a lot of free baserunners, but I thought the guys did a good job not chasing and taking what they were given."

Junior right-hander Luke Andrews provided solid shutdown relief after the Gauchos already built up their big lead, scattering four hits over three shutout frames. Freshman left-hander Reece Weinberg tossed a 1-2-3 ninth in his NCAA debut.

Freshman outfielder Blake Mann recorded his first career hit in the eighth, punishing SJSU for walking the bases full by lining a grounder back through the middle for two RBIs as part of a three-run inning.

UCSB travels south to Pepperdine on Tuesday for a 3:00 p.m. midweek tune-up, the team's sole road contest this month. The Gauchos then host Cal State Fullerton for a three-game series starting on Thursday to open Big West Conference play.