Gauchos Sweep Doubleheader at Cal Poly

Alex Pingree

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara won its first Big West series of the season by sweeping their doubleheader at Cal Poly on Wednesday. Not only did the Gauchos clinch the series, they also tied up the Blue-Green Rivalry at 12 wins apiece across all sports. You can look up updates on the rivalry here.

Game 1

Arianna Palomares drove in two runs and starting pitcher Shelby Wisdom allowed only one to cross the plate as the Gauchos were victorious in the opening game of a Wednesday doubleheader against rival Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at Bob Janssen Field, 3-1.

Catcher Sammie Stark started things off for UCSB in the top of the third inning with a double to right center. Palomares—who leads the team with a .355 batting average—continued her hot hitting by slapping a single to left to score the run following a fielding error by the Mustangs. 

Blue-Green rival Cal Poly scored their only run on the Gauchos' Shelby Wisdom in the fifth inning to tie the game when Kim Westlund doubled home a run from second base. It was one of nine hits that Wisdom scattered in the game, but she walked zero en route to eventually secure the Gaucho victory.

Lauren Boser provided the tiebreaker for UCSB in the next inning by retaliating with an RBI single that scored Kathryn Pilpil from second. Pilpil went 1-for-3 with a walk and was one of five Gauchos to collect a hit in the first matchup of the day.

Palomares stole the spotlight on offense, however, when she provided another insurance run for the Gauchos with her second single in the seventh. She plated senior speedster Jessica Soria, who came home from second following a single and her 18th stolen bag of the season.

Game 2

Alex Pingree outlasted Cal Poly's Jordan Yates in the pitcher's duel propelling UC Santa Barbara to a 1-0 victory over Cal Poly on Wednesday night at Bob Janssen Field. The victory secured the sweep of the double header and improved the Gauchos record to 23-15 while Cal Poly drops to 16-24. 

Pingree (4-2) scattered four hits and struck out four on her way to a complete game shutout. UCSB's offense was held at bay for much of the game until the fifth inning when they compiled three of their five hits in the game. 

With one out in the top of the fifth, Lauren Boser got things going with a base hit through the right side. After a strike out by Samantha Stark to give the Mustangs two outs, Jessica Reichner singled down the left field line. McKenzie Kane would come in to pinch run for Boser, and would come around to score on a clutch line-drive single up the middle by Jessica Soria. With UCSB threatening to extend their lead, Yates got Arianna Palomares to ground out to end the inning. 

Cal Poly led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single, but spoiled their chances with a botched bunt attempt resulting in a pop out. Pingree got the next batter to ground out into a double play to end the inning. 

In the bottom of the seventh, Cal Poly would have one last chance to make something happen but Pingree pitched a 1-2-3 inning including back-to-back strikeouts to end the game. 

Jenessa Jeppesen and Stark added the other hits on the day for UCSB. 

The two victories for the Gauchos even up the score in the Blue-Green Rivalry and UCSB will take on Cal Poly once more next Wednesday, Apr. 17 on the road.