BASEBALL BLASTS UCSB IN 13-7 VICTORY
The Hornets (11-8) avoided a sweep after scoring 13 runs on 17 hits while making one error as the Gauchos (11-8) tallied seven runs on 12 hits with four errors, three coming in the Hornets' eight-run first inning.
After third baseman Will Soto led off the first with a double down the left field line, the Gauchos made back-to-back fielding errors which scored Soto and put center fielder David Del Grande and first baseman Rhys Hoskins on base. Second baseman Andrew Ayers was hit by a pitch to load the bases which were promptly cleared, as designated hitter Chris Lewis smoked a three-RBI double down the left field line. Left fielder Justin Higley singled through the left side to score Lewis and right fielder Nathan Lukes followed with another single.
Shortstop Scotty Burcham pushed Higley across with a fielder's choice grounder that caught Lukes at second, for the first out of the inning. Catcher Dane Fujinaka moved Burcham to third with a single to left center before Soto, who led off the inning with a double, singled in Burcham. UC Santa Barbara pulled starting pitcher Greg Mahle, but the inning continued. Del Grande reached on another error, his second time in the inning, to load the bases before Hoskins drove in Fujinaka with a sacrifice fly to left. Ayers struck out swinging for the final out of the inning. All said and done, the Hornets scored eight runs in the first inning on six hits and three errors.
Sacramento State tacked on singles runs in the third and fourth before posting another crooked number in the fifth inning. The Hornets scored three runs on four hits in the fifth. After Del Grande rolled out to third, Hoskins crushed a double down the left field line and advanced to third on Ayers' ground out. With two outs in the fifth and a runner on third, Lewis recorded his fourth RBI of the game with a single to center. Higley followed with a triple to right and scored on Lukes' RBI double to right.
Sacramento State reliever Hunter Greenwood (2-0) earned the win after allowing just one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings. UCSB starter Mahle took the loss after giving up eight runs (three earned) on six hits in just one third of an inning.
Lewis finished the game by going 3-for-6 with a career-high four RBIs. Higley also had three hits.
Sacramento State lost the first two games of the series at UCSB but avoided the sweep with a win on Sunday. The Hornets will visit Saint Mary's on Tuesday before opening Western Athletic Conference play this weekend at home with a three-game series against CSU Bakersfield.