SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — For the second time this weekend, spotless relief pitching from sophomore lefty Greg Mahle and clutch hitting from the UCSB lineup gave the Gauchos a walk-off win over the visiting San Jose State Spartans, as Brandon Trinkwon's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the home team a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon.
UCSB — winners of three straight and four of their last five — moves to a season best three games over .500 with a 7-4 record, while San Jose State continues to struggle, falling to a 2-9 overall record. It was the first series sweep for the Gauchos since they took three straight from Pacific while visiting Stockton from Apr. 20-22, 2012.
For the second straight game, Trinkwon had three hits against the Spartans pitching staff, bringing his average up to .326 after entering the weekend with a .242 average. Of course, no hit was as vital as hit shot through the left side to win the game.
With the score tied 1-1 in the tenth inning, center fielder Cameron Newell got a rally started with two outs and nobody on by singling through to the right side. San Jose reliever Kalei Contrades then hit Woody Woodward with a 1-1 fastball to put Newell in scoring position with Trinkwon coming up.
The junior shortstop would work the count to 2-2, and then spoil a pair of tough pitches from Contrades. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Trinkwon went with a fastball on the outside edge of the plate, sending it into left field. The line drive was fielded cleanly by San Jose left fielder Michael Gerlach, but his throw was just late as the speedy Newell slid his way to a Gauchos victory.
Trinkwon also had a sparkling day with the glove, highlighted by a backhanded pick of a one-hop line drive off the bat of San Jose State's Tim Quiery with runners on first and second in third inning. After making the grab while ranging to his right, Trinkwon had the wherewithal to record the putout at second base, where Woody Woodward caught Spartan leadoff hitter Andre Mercurio in a rundown to get an inning ending and rare 6-4-5 double play.
The Gauchos would have not been in a position to walk-off in the first place were it not for the strong pitching from sophomore lefties Mahle and Andrew Vasquez.
Mahle sealed down the win with five impeccable innings of relief, allowing no runs and just two singles while striking out four. He also retired the last eight batters he faced. The Westminster, Calif. native was also the pitcher of record in Friday's walk-off win, giving him two wins and six scoreless innings for the weekend.
Starter Andrew Vasquez also threw five innings in his second solid start in a row. He cruised through the first five innings, allowing just four hits and walking one batter, but ran into trouble in the sixth when he started off the inning by walking Quiery and allowing a single to cleanup hitter Nick Schulz, the last batter he would face. Mahle would come in to stop the rally, and did a fine job, allowing a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 1-1 but otherwise shutting the door. Vasquez's final line included four strikeouts, one run and five hits allowed with a pair of walks. After his outing, his ERA dropped to 2.57.
Sophomore third baseman Peter Maris continued his strong run producing, going 1-4 with a sacrifice fly that put the Gauchos up 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Maris is third on the team with seven RBIs so far this season after driving in just three runs in all of 2012. Woodward had a pair of singles to give him six multihit games in the young season.
The Gauchos will face off tomorrow against the St. Mary's Gaels in their midweek game. UCSBgauchos.com will be carrying a live broadcast of the game. Tickets for that matchup, and all games this season, can be found here.