OAKLAND, Calif. - A six-run sixth inning opened the floodgates for a UC Santa Barbara baseball team that had been shutout in its past two games, allowing the Gauchos to salvage the final game of a three-game series vs. USF, 9-5.
The Gauchos opened the game up in the sixth inning scoring six times, highlighted by Ryan Palermo's two-run single with the bases loaded. After a strikeout to lead off the inning, UCSB reached base eight straight times and sent 12 hitters to the plate. Five singles, a double, a walk, and a run-scoring fielder's choice gave the Gauchos a 8-0 lead after five and a half innings of play.
Austin Pettibone improved to 4-1 on the season after allowing four runs in 5.2 innings. Greg Mahle recorded his first career save with three stellar innings of relief work as the freshman lefty did not allow a run.
In the sixth inning, Mahle's single drove in the first run and Wallace's groundout brought in another. After Palermo's two-run hit, Vertigan had a bases-loaded double to bring in two more and that was all the Gauchos needed to finish off the series.
Although the Dons (13-13 overall) scored the final five runs of the game, the Gauchos (11-11) put the outcome out of hand with their 13-hit attack. It came on the heels of the team not scoring at all during Saturday's doubleheader.
UC Santa Barbara scored once in the second on Joey Wallace's 4-6-3 double play. It was the Gauchos' first run of the series after they were shutout in both games of Saturday's doubleheader. USF starter Abe Bobb pitched through a no-out, runners on first and third situation, allowing the one run in the top of the second.
The Gauchos lengthened their lead to 9-5 in the eighth, scoring a single run on Lance Roenicke's RBI base hit.