FRESNO, Calif. –In their first game of the Fresno State Kick-Off Classic, UC Santa Barbara (3-2) defeated CSU Bakersfield (2-5) by a score of 5-3. The win was their second straight over the Roadrunners this season going back to last week's matchup at the Gaucho Classic I.
Gauchos' starting pitcher Alex Pingree battled through a few defensive miscues to finish with a complete game victory. On the day, Pingree allowed just 1 earned run while striking out 2 and giving up 6 hits, bringing her record to 2-0 for the young season.
Santa Barbara bats heated up quickly in the crisp Fresno morning, as the Gauchos put up 3 runs in the top of the first inning. After singles by Kristen Clark and MeShalon Moore put runners at first and third, the duo executed a double steal with Moore taking second and Clark making the rare steal of home. Lauren Boser then smacked the exclamation mark of the inning with a two out 2 run homer, her first of the year.
Bakersfield threatened in the fourth, plating two unearned runs as a result of a pair of UCSB errors. However, with one out and the typing run at second, Pingree was able to work out of danger with a line out and a strikeout to maintain the slim lead.
The Gauchos batters were able to provide insurance in each of the next two innings, as Shelby Wisdom's double batted in Arianna Palomares in the fifth and Clark's two out triple scored Jessica Reichner in the sixth, making the score 5-2.
Tension rose again in the bottom of the seventh, as a walk and a Gaucho error allowed the Roadrunners to bring tying run to the plate. After a fly out, Karissa Veiga singled to plate one run but Kayli Shaw was caught rounding third too far, and UCSB executed the 7-4-5 put out to effectively end the game.
Along with Pingree's stellar performance, the Gauchos had a balanced offensive attack led by Clark, Wisdom, and Reichner, who collected 2 hits apiece. Clark added 2 steals as well.
Since the 2010 season, UCSB has won seven straight games over Bakersfield.
With Arianna Palomares's walk-off sacrifice fly, UC Santa Barbara concluded its first day at the Fresno State Kick-Off with a 3-2 eight-inning win over Sacramento State.
UCSB moves to 4-2 on the season with the win, while the Hornets fall to 0-2.
The game featured a pitchers' duel between aces Shelby Wisdom and Caitlin Brooks who both stayed in the circle for the entire game.
Wisdom also batted clean up for Santa Barbara and brought in the first run of the game.
In the bottom of the first, the junior made her first plate appearance with two outs and Palomares at first. After working Brooks to a full count, Wisdom drove her hit deep to right center for a triple, driving in Palomares for the 1-0 lead.
The Hornets tied the game with a single to left field, which sent in a runner home from first. The Gauchos would get out of the inning soon after, though, with three consecutive fly outs.
Sacramento State would officially take the lead just one inning later after a pair of doubles brought two runners into scoring position. The Hornets' Paige Matin then hit a single to right field would get the tie-breaking run across home plate and put runners on the corners with only one out.
After loading the bases by beaning the next batter, Wisdom kept her composure and got the Gauchos out of the pinch by forcing the next two batters into a fielder's choice and a pop up, respectively.
Still down by one entering the bottom of the fifth, UCSB would tie the game during the most unlikely of plays.
With one out, Kristen Clark bunted her way to a single, but a throwing error by the third baseman allowed the freshman to race over to third.
But the play keeps going.
After picking up the misfired ball, the right fielder commits the second throwing error of the play, which gave the green light for the speedy Clark flying to cross home plate for the tie.
The teams found themselves in a gridlock through the next two innings and found themselves in the eighth.
Per tournament rules, each team starts every extra inning with a runner on second. The Hornets were able to advance their runner to third on a leadoff sacrifice bunt down the first baseline.
The Gauchos, though, made sure the tie-breaking run would remain on third for Sacramento State, as Wisdom forced the next two batters into a lineout to the shortstop followed by a groundout to third.
Santa Barbara made quick work in the bottom of the eighth with Palomares's sacrifice fly and came away with the 3-2 win.
UCSB will continue tournament play tomorrow with another game against CSU Bakersfield at 11:45 a.m. and Southern Utah at 4:15 p.m.