Gauchos Win Back-and-Forth Battle with the Green Wave

Christian Kirtley (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Christian Kirtley (Photo by Tony Mastres)

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Tommy Jew hit a go-ahead, two-RBI double in the seventh inning and Michael McGreevy quieted the Tulane offense for the final three innings as the UC Santa Barbara baseball team rallied for an 8-7 win over the Green Wave on Saturday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.

The victory marks the eighth straight for the Gauchos (10-2), who clinched the series win in a game that saw four different lead changes.  Tulane, meanwhile, falls to 10-5 and drops consecutive games for the first time this season.

Jew collected three more hits for the second straight game to lead the UCSB offense, and is now 6-for-11 with five RBIs and a pair of runs in the series.  The junior centerfielder also had a career day on the base paths, swiping a career-high three bases.

After Tulane took advantage of a Gaucho error to score the first run of the game in the second, UCSB responded with a four-spot in the fourth. Christian Kirtley led off the inning with a double to right center, and after a Jason Willow sac bunt, Cole Mueller laced a double of his own to tie the game, 1-1. Jew came through with an RBI single and Andrew Martinez drove in two runs with another single later in the inning to make it 4-1.

Tulane tacked on two runs on back-to-back doubles in the bottom half of the fourth, cutting the deficit to one, 4-3, but an RBI triple from Willow in the fifth gave the Gauchos some breathing room.

Reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week Jack Dashwood started on the mound for UCSB and was solid, scattering seven hits while allowing three runs and striking out five through five. The Green Wave managed to get to reliever Chris Lincoln, however, in the sixth with a two-RBI single followed by a two-run home run to regain the lead, 7-5.

With one out in the seventh, a Tevin Mitchell sac fly made it a 7-6 ball game, setting the stage for Jew's game-winning two-RBI double to left.

Tulane loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but freshman McGreevy was able to get a fly ball to centerfield to get out of the jam and notch his second save in as many nights. McGreevy tossed the final three innings, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out two. Lincoln (2-0) ended up with the win, and now has a win or save in all six of his appearances this season.

Along with Jew's three hits, Kirtley finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Thomas Rowan, Willow and Mueller all had multi-hit games.

The Gauchos round out the series at Tulane, tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m. PDT.