Gauchos Tame Lions with 13-4 Rout

Eric Yang went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs in a 13-4 rout over LMU on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Eric Yang went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs in a 13-4 rout over LMU on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Behind a pair of six-run innings, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team cruised to a 13-4 non-conference victory over Loyola Marymount on Tuesday afternoon at Ceasar Uyesaka Stadium.

With the win, UCSB (15-13-1) has now won six of its last seven games, including a season-best four straight.

The Gauchos wasted little time getting on the scoreboard after sophomore southpaw Ben Brecht retired the side in the top of the first on just 10 pitches and two strikeouts.

With one out in the bottom half of the frame, Michael McAdoo drew a walk and proceeded to score from first on a Tommy Jew double that nearly rolled to the wall in left center.

After a great jump led to Jew stealing third and a Sam Cohen walk, Eric Yang roped a ball down the left field line for an RBI single to score Jew. The hitting proved to be contagious for the Gauchos as Jason Willow promptly followed with an RBI single before Marcos Castanon stroked an RBI double down the right field line. An Armani Smith RBI groundout capped the consecutive batters to reach base at six, but put UCSB ahead 5-0.

As the top of the lineup rolled around again, Clay Fisher got in on the action with an RBI single to center to bring home Castanon and give the Gauchos a 6-0 lead after one.

LMU managed to break through for a run in the top of the third after capitalizing on a UCSB error, but the Gauchos answered right back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the third. Castanon hit a deep sac fly to the warning track in left center, allowing Willow to score from second after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and stole second.

The fourth inning saw UCSB bring another 11 batters to the plate and score six more runs to break the game wide open, 13-1. Just like the first inning, McAdoo got things started with a walk and this time around advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a Cohen single put runners on the corners, Yang lined a ball into left center to bring home McAdoo. Back-to-back RBI singles from McClain O'Connor and Castanon gave the Gauchos their second and third runs in the inning before Tevin Mitchell walked with the bases loaded later in the inning to bring home another run. With the bases still loaded, Fisher added to the damage with a two-RBI single through the left side.

The Lions tacked on two runs in the fifth, highlighted by an opposite field homerun off the bat of Niko Decolati, and another in the sixth after a UCSB error, but the Gauchos bullpen, and defense, kept the LMU hitters at bay for the remainder of the game.

Shortly after entering the game in left field in the top of the eighth inning, sophomore Cole Kleszcz scaled the wall to take a homerun away from LMU and proceeded to make a running catch in foul territory on the very next play.

Brecht (2-2) picked up the win after tossing five strong innings, scattering seven hits and allowing two earned runs while striking out three and walking none. Luke Andrews, Joshua Candau, Chris Clements and Liam Steigerwald all made appearances in relief.  

Yang led the Gauchos at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance to go with two runs and two RBIs. Castanon finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs while Fisher went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. O'Connor and Mitchell also collected two hits apiece in a game that saw nine Gauchos record a hit and eight different players score.

UCSB returns to Big West play this weekend with a series at UC Irvine beginning on Friday, Apr. 13 at 6:30 p.m.