SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A bevy of mistakes from Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara's ability to capitalize on them turned Thursday's game into a laugher.
The Matadors committed six errors while also allowing runs to score on a balk and wild pitch as the Gauchos took the opener of the three-game Big West Conference series 11-1 on Thursday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
While the Gauchos banged out a dozen hits, it was overshadowed by CSUN's willingness to give UCSB runs in several innings.
Luke Swenson's two-run double opened the scoring in the third after Bryce Tafelski reached on an error and Greg Mahle moved to second on a wild pitch. After CSUN starting pitcher Vincent Roberts tried to pick off Swenson at second and sent the ball into centerfield, the Gauchos desginated hitter scored on Ryan Palermo's groundout.
Another throwing error by Roberts – this time on an errant pickoff attempt at first base – allowed Steven Moon to score in the fourth and Brett Vertigan eventually scored on a balk to give UCSB a 5-0 lead.
With the wind swirling at Caesar Uyeska Stadium, Lance Roenicke used it to his advantge to lace a one-out triple to center field in the fifth. A pair of walks loaded the bases for No. 9 hitter Moon, who lined a bases clearing triple to center for a 9-0 lead. Moon scored moments later on a wild pitch.
Mahle, who leads the team with his .407 batting average, had a pair of hits – as did Trinkwon and Roenicke – to help lead the Gauchos offense. Moon finished with a pair of extra-base hits and a career-best three RBI.
Lost in the Gauchos' offensive output was the day that freshman left-hander Andrew Vasquez had on the mound. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native went 6.0 solid innings while allowing just three hits and striking out seven. He lowered his Big West-leading ERA to 1.10. Dalton Douty picked up his first career save with 3.0 very good innings to finish the game.
UCSB continues its series with the Matadors on Friday with a 3 p.m. game. Tickets are available by calling 893-UCSB or clicking here. The game will be broadcast live on AM 1290 or online by clicking here.