Gauchos Answer Back with 8-5 Win at USC

Thomas Rowan (Photo by Carl Wolford)
Thomas Rowan (Photo by Carl Wolford)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Two weeks after dropping a 9-3 contest to USC at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team bounced back with an 8-5 victory at Dedeaux Field on Tuesday night to split the home-and-home series with the Trojans.

After USC took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, UCSB starter Ben Brecht settled in for three straight scoreless innings while the Gaucho bats came alive in the fourth.

Back-to-back singles from Thomas Rowan and Michael McAdoo, followed by a Cole Muller walk, loaded the bases with just one out. Another walk to McClain O'Connor brought home the tying run before a wild pitch brought around another. UCSB took full advantage of USC's control issues as a third walk in the inning to Clay Fisher put the Gauchos ahead 3-1.

Two more walks in the fifth set up O'Connor for a two-RBI single up the middle to give UCSB a 5-1 lead.

The Trojans managed a run in the fifth on a sac fly and two more in the sixth to make it a 5-4 game, but a three run seventh, highlighted by a two-RBI triple off the bat of Fisher helped the Gauchos pull away for good.

Alex Patterson pitched a perfect eighth inning in relief followed by another one-two-three inning in the ninth from Shea Berry, who picked up his third save of the year.

Brecht (3-2) picked up the win after tossing 5.1 innings and allowing four runs on four hits while striking out two and walking three. Chris Clements and Chris Troye also pitched in relief for UCSB.

At the plate, Rowan went 3-for-5 with two runs to lead the Gauchos while McAdoo, Mueller and O'Connor all finished with two hits apiece. O'Connor knocked in a game-high four RBIs and Fisher added three.

UCSB (17-15-1) returns to Big West action with a series this weekend at UC Davis beginning on Friday, Apr. 20 at 2:30 p.m.