Back-to-Back Homeruns in the Ninth Inning Secure UCSB Win at Pepperdine

Tommy Jew (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Tommy Jew (Photo by Tony Mastres)

MALIBU, Calif. – Tommy Jew and Andrew Martinez hit back-to-back home runs as part of a three-run ninth inning to secure a 5-3 victory for the UC Santa Barbara baseball team over Pepperdine on Monday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

In what was a makeup of Saturday afternoon's originally scheduled game in Malibu that was postponed due to rain, the Gauchos (8-2) took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning before the top of the order did its damage.

Jew led off with a blast to left center, his fourth of the season, while Martinez followed with a shot to left, his second of the year, to give UCSB much-needed insurance runs. Eric Yang followed Martinez's home run with a double to the right-center gap, and came around to score later in the inning on a Christian Kirtley RBI single, putting the Gauchos ahead 5-1.

The Waves added two in the ninth, but Chris Lincoln, who came on in the eighth for the four-out save opportunity, closed the door for his fourth save of the season.

The game started as another pitcher's duel for UCSB, as freshman left-hander Rodney Boone got the start and held the Waves scoreless through the first four innings. His counterpart, Jonathan Pendergast, meanwhile, faced the minimum through three innings in a fast-paced game.

Jew broke the trend with a leadoff double to start the fourth, and after Martinez moved him to third with a deep fly ball to right, came around to score the first run of the game on a Yang groundout.

Pepperdine tied the game with one swing of the bat from Billy Cook, a solo home run to left in the fifth, but the Gauchos regained the lead in seventh after Yang drove home Martinez with an RBI single to left.

Boone finished 4.2 innings after running into some trouble in the fifth, but allowed just one run on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Freshman Michael McGreevy (3-0) picked up the win after another strong relief outing, and along with Lincoln who came into close, Chris Troye also saw action out of the pen, throwing 1.1 innings with two strikeouts.

Pepperdine's starter Pendergast went 6.0 innings of three-hit ball, allowing two runs and one walk while striking out four. Reliever Easton Lucas (0-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up three runs in the ninth.

The Gauchos will take their six-game winning streak to New Orleans this weekend as they take on Tulane in a three-game series beginning on Friday, Mar. 8 at 4:30 p.m. PST.