UCSB Defeats CSU Bakersfield 5-3, Falls to Seattle 2-0 in First Day of Gaucho Classic II

Kristen Clark (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Kristen Clark (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB (15-15) split the first day of the Gaucho Classic II after downing CSU Bakersfield 5-3 and falling to Seattle 2-0.

Kristen Clark had a phenomenal day with five combined hits and two RBIs, while Melanie Menor was behind her with a pair of base knocks. With those hits, Clark moves past Mandy Edwards (97-00) for the third most career hits in UCSB history with 209. The junior is now three hits away from taking sole possession of second place.

The Gauchos will continue their weekend with Day Two of the tournament tomorrow when they will host Santa Clara at 11:45 a.m. and will play their rematch with Seattle starting at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, online, and at the main entrance to Campus Diamond.

CSU BAKERSFIELD

The second inning was the deciding factor of the game as UCSB started off this weekend's Gaucho Classic with a 5-3 win over CSU Bakersfield.

The Roadrunners struck first in the second inning after three singles and an error left the score 2-0.

UCSB answered back in the same inning with four runs of their own. Emily Brucelas began the inning with a single up the middle, and was moved over to second from a bunt single by Jacqueline Hinojosa who beat out the throw. CSUB pitcher Alyssa Stockton loaded the bases with two outs after hitting Stacy Cavazos with a pitch. Junior Kristen Clark took advantage of the situation and singled into center field scoring both Brucelas and Hinojosa. After another hit by pitch left bases loaded again for the Gauchos, Jessica Johnston followed Clark's example hitting a 2 run single into left field.

Two walks and Roadrunner Selena Gonzales set the stage for Jo Larios to hit a sacrifice fly into right field for CSUB in the top of the third. Starting Gaucho pitcher Ashley Ludlow's third walk of the inning prompted a change in the circle with sophomore Lena Mayer coming in for relief. Mayer's first batter faced flew out to center field for the third out of the inning leaving the Roadrunners down one run, 4-3.

The Gauchos had at least one runner in scoring position after the second inning but could not push another run across until the bottom of the sixth. Stacy Cavazos started the inning with a bunt single to the pitcher, with Kristen Clark followed with her third hit of the game on a single to shortstop. Both Cavazos and Clark advanced one base after a wild pitch. Arianna Palomares scored Cavazos off a fly ball into center field.

With one more chance at the plate Lena Mayer shut down the Roadrunners 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh picking up the 5-3 win for the Gauchos.

Offensively, Kristen Clark led the Gauchos going 3-4 at the plate. So far this season Clark is batting .471 and ranked second in the Big West for batting average. Though Senior Ashley Ludlow only pitched 2.2 innings against the CSUB she picked up 6 strikeouts totaling 78 on the year. She is ranked fourth overall in Big West standing for strikeouts.

SEATTLE

The Gauchos were unable to pull off the day one sweep, as they were shutout in their matinee matchup with Seattle 2-0. Redhawk pitcher Alyssa Reuble (3-5) tossed the complete game shutout, as she limited UCSB to four hits.

Kristen Clark and Melanie Menor provided all of the Gauchos' four hits with two apiece, while Clark also reached base on a walk. Menor delivered the team's biggest shot during its seventh inning comeback effort with a double blasted to right center with two outs.

The freshman kept the Gauchos alive in the last inning after the team was led off by back-to-back groundouts. Following Menor's two-base knock, Stacy Cavazos got on with a hit by pitch, while Clark later loaded the bases with an infield single hit to second base. This set the stage for Arianna Palomares who battled her way to a full count and fouled off potential game-ending strikes before she ultimately swung a missed on the final pitch. It was Reuble's third strikeout of the game.

Pitching for the Gauchos were Veronika Gulvin (4-8), who pitched the first six innings, and Lena Mayer. Gulvin was credited with the loss after allowing both of Seattle's runs, one earned, off seven hits. The underclassman pitching duo did give up a combined 10 hits, however, they were great in limiting runs as the Redhawks left 11 runners stranded.

Through the first five innings, Gulvin and Reuble dueled to a scoreless draw, as Gulvin did not see any Redhawk reach beyond second base up to that point.

Seattle didn't get on the board until the sixth inning with one run, but the team was left wanting more. With Gulvin still in the circle, the Redhawks had runners on the corners with one out and were able to bring their lead runner across homeplate on a sac fly. Now with a runner on second, Gulvin limited the damage and ended the inning by striking out Seattle's top hitter Paige Bouska.

Mayer came into the game for the start of the seventh inning and saw her first batter slam a double to right center. That at bat was followed with a single up the middle to give the Redhawks runners on the corners again, but this time with no outs. With momentum swinging Seattle's way, Mayer held the Redhawks to just one more run the rest of the way, as she came up with three outs through the final four batters.