DAVIS, Calif. – For the second straight day, UC Santa Barbara jumped out to a lead but couldn't hold on a fell at UC Davis, 5-3.
The Gauchos (17-17-1 overall, 3-5 Big West) scored a pair of runs in the top of the second. Thomas Rowan jumped on a 1-0 pitch from Jared Sasaki, sending it over the fence in left center field for his second home run of the season. Marcos Castanon, Jason Willow and Michael McAdoo followed with back-to-back-to back singles to put runners to score another run and make it a 2-0 game.
The Aggies (12-21, 5-6) halved the lead in the fourth inning. UCSB starter Jack Dashwood induced leadoff hitter Tanner Murray to strike out, but the third strike was also a wild pitch and Murray beat the throw to first. He advanced to second on a balk by Dashwood, moved to third on a sacrifice by Brad Pluschkell and scored on a ground out by Ryan Anderson.
Davis took the lead for good when it hung a three-spot in the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Dashwood hit Logan Denholm with a pitch. A single by Joseph Myers put runners on first and second, but not for long as Denholm stole third. Cameron Briggs bounced a single through the left side to tie the score with Myers stopping at second. Dashwood hurt his own cause again, hitting Garrett Kelly with a pitch to load the bases. Murray took full advantage with a two-run single to center field, giving his tem a 4-2 lead.
UCSB got one back in the sixth when Rowan drilled the first pitch from Sasaki into off the wall in left center field for a double. Ground outs by Castanon and Willow chased Rowan home and made the score 4-3.
The Aggies pushed the lead to 5-3 with a single run in the seventh. Myers opened the inning with a grounder deep in the hole at short off of Gauchos reliever Chris Clements. Myers beat Castanon's throw and then moved to second on a wild pickoff attempt by Clements. After a sacrifice bunt by Briggs put the runner on third, Shea Barry relieved Clements and immediately gave up a run scoring double to Kelly.
The Gauchos threatened in the top of the eighth when Rowan belted a one-out double to left center off of Conor Loar, who opened the inning in relief of Sasaki. He got to third on a Castanon ground out, but was stranded there when Willow struck out swinging to end the inning.
In its half of the ninth, Santa Barbara put runners on first and third with two outs, but pinch hitter Cole Mueller ground out to short, ending the game.
Dashwood (2-6) was tagged with his second straight loss as he went 4.1 innings and allowed 4 runs, all earned, on four hits. Offensively, UCSB was led by Rowan who went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, a home run, two doubles and one RBI. Tevin Mitchell also had a pair of singles and was 2-for-3 on the day.
Sasaki got the win over Davis while Loar picked up the save, recording the last six outs.
The teams will play the final game of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.