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.
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.