No. 22 Gauchos Finish Off Sweep of Missouri State

Rodney Boone (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Rodney Boone (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 22 UC Santa Barbara baseball team capitalized on seven errors from Missouri State, and got its third straight dominant pitching effort of the series to finish off the sweep over Missouri State with an 11-1 win on Sunday afternoon in seven innings.

Freshman starter Rodney Boone picked up his second win on the year after striking out 10 in six strong innings of work, allowing just one run on three hits with one walk. After Brecht and Dashwood each struck out 10 in their starts on Friday and Saturday, respectively, Boone made it three in-a-row against the Bears.

It was a tough fielding day for Missouri State (5-16), who made seven errors that consisted of five miscues in the outfield and a pair of errant throws from the catcher. UCSB (17-3) made the Bears pay by putting 11 runs up on the board, with just two of them earned.

Tevin Mitchell led off the first for the Gauchos with a double to the right center gap, and scored the first run after Eric Yang singled down the left field line. Yang proceeded to steal second and raced to third as the ball skipped away from the Bears. A ground ball to short off the bat of Thomas Rowan brought home Yang and made it an early 2-0 UCSB lead.

MSU got one back in the top of the second on an RBI double, but the Gauchos were able to tack on three more in the third after a pair of errors from the Bears, putting UCSB ahead 5-1.

Both sides went quiet offensively from the fourth to the sixth inning until Santa Barbara broke the game open with six runs in the seventh to end the game 11-1. A pair of walks and two more errors allowed Tommy Jew to score after the MSU centerfielder dropped a fly ball off the bat of Armani Smith. Rowan, who walked earlier in the inning, came home to score on a Cole Mueller sac fly and McClain O'Connor drove in Smith with a single to left. Another dropped ball in the outfield allowed O'Connor to score before Mitchell launched a deep triple to the wall in left center. It was a fitting end to the game as a wild pitch allowed Mitchell to score and seal the victory.

Rowan (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI), O'Connor (2-for-4, R, RBI) and Mitchell (2-for-5, 2 R, RBI) all finished with multi-hit games while six different Gauchos recorded at least one hit and one RBI. UCSB outhit the Bears 9-3 in the game. Shea Barry struck out two in his one scoreless inning of relief.

UCSB heads north to take on Saint Mary's this Tuesday, Mar. 26 at 3:00 p.m. at Louis Guisto Field.