No. 14 UCSB Secures Series Sweep Over No. 15 UC Irvine

Chris Lincoln (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Chris Lincoln (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 14 UC Santa Barbara baseball team broke up Trenton Denholm's no-hit bid in the fifth inning and rallied for all three of its runs on the afternoon to finish off the sweep of the Anteaters with a 3-2 victory on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Freshman Rodney Boone (4-0) earned his fourth win of the year after striking out six and allowing just two runs on five hits through 5.2 innings to lead the Gauchos (27-5, 5-1 Big West) to their ninth consecutive win, and first series sweep over UCI (21-9, 5-4 Big West) since 2015.

Boone and Denholm went toe-to-toe in the second pitcher's duel of the series, with Denholm going perfect through three and carrying a no-hitter into the fifth.

Armani Smith snapped the no-hitter and opened the flood gates for UCSB with a two-strike double down the left field line to begin the fifth inning. McClain O'Connor followed with a one-out triple to dead center to score Smith and tie the game at 1-1. Kyle Johnson promptly drove home O'Connor with a single to right and Jason Willow tripled off the left center wall to bring Johnson around and make it a 3-1 game.

The Anteaters got one back in the sixth after a walk and a base hit to end Boone's day on the mound, but Michael McGreevy induced a groundout to escape the inning.

McGreevy continued to hold the UCI offense at bay, and in the ninth inning, Chris Lincoln came on for his eighth save of the year. After an intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs, Lincoln struck out Mikia Filia on three straight pitches to end the game and send the crowd into a frenzy.

Johnson finished 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead UCSB at the plate as seven different Gauchos recorded at least one hit in the game. O'Connor and Willow also finished 1-for-3 with an RBI while McGreevy and Lincoln both added a pair of strikeouts in relief.

UCSB continues Big West Conference action next week at home against UC Davis, with the first game beginning on Thursday, Apr. 18 at 3:00 p.m.