Gauchos Hold Off Aggies' Rally in 9th for 6-5 Victory

Austin Pettibone (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Austin Pettibone (Photo by Tony Mastres)

DAVIS, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara scored five times in the second inning of Friday's contest at UC Davis, and those runs turned out be crucial as the Aggies came close to erasing a four-run deficit in the ninth inning before falling 6-5 at Dobbins Stadium.

Austin Pettibone continued his strong run on the mound, leading UCSB (33-17-1, 11-12) to their fourth win in their last five games. Pettibone ended his regular season by recording his third straight victory, improving to 5-1. UC Davis dropped to 23-30, 7-16 with the loss.

Before the Aggies were able to score two runs with two outs in the fourth inning, Pettibone had a thrown 21.2 straight scoreless innings, thanks to his previous two starts being complete game shutouts against CSU Northridge and San Francisco. The last time a UCSB pitcher had a 20-inning scoreless streak was Mike Tresemer in 1985 with 32.1 straight shutout innings.

Campbell Wear led UCSB's offensive attack with a 3 for 4 performance from the ninth spot in the lineup. Eight of the nine UCSB starters at at least one hit in the contest.

The Gauchos took a big lead early by posting a five-run second inning off of Aggies starter Harry Stanwyck and knocking him out of the game. Scott Quinlan started the rally with a one-out double, followed up with RBI hits in succession from Cameron Newell, Woody Woodward, and Ryan Clark. UCSB would score two more runs off of a wild pitch and Joey Epperson's RBI groundout. 

UCSB would extend their lead to 6-0 through an unorthodox play in the fourth inning. With Peter Maris and Wear on first and third and two outs, the Gauchos looked like they needed a hit to score. Interestingly enough, Peter Maris intentionally got himself into a rundown while attempting to steal second, allowing Wear to score before UCSB's shortstop was tagged out.

UC Davis finally broke Pettibone's scoreless streak, scoring two runs in their half of the fourth off of RBI singles from Adam Young and Nick Lynch, cutting the deficit to 6-2.

The game would breeze along with shutout innings until Dillon Tate came on in the ninth inning to close the game out. However, Tate immediately got into trouble, loading the bases by allowing two singles and hitting a batter. The Aggies would continue to rally, following up with a walk, sacrifice fly, and a single to cut the lead to 6-5 with runners on second and first and one out. Despite nothing appearing to go right for him, Tate would bear down, getting Tino Lipson to ground into a fielder's choice and striking out Tanner Bily to stop UC Davis's mighty comeback.

In addition to Pettibone's solid start, Greg Mahle continued his dominant season out of the bullpen with scoreless seventh and eighth innings.

Justin Mullins pitched extremely well for the Aggies, relieving Stanwyck in the second inning and pitched the rest of the game. Mullins finished with 7.1 innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts.

UC Davis had their ten hits even split between five players with Seth Batty, Tino Lipson, Tanner Bily, Adam Young, and Nick Lynch each having two hits apiece.

UCSB and UC Davis will face off tomorrow in the final game of the regular season for both teams. First pitch begins at 1:00 p.m.