AUSTIN, Tex. — UCSB freshman designated hitter Robby Nesovic drove in four runs and sophomore left fielder Luke Swenson added three hits of his own, but the duo's exploits with the bat could not overcome an offensive explosion from Texas, who claimed Sunday's series finale by a score of 11-6 en route to their second weekend sweep of the season.
The Gauchos, who were swept for the first time this season, fell to 8-7 with the loss while Texas improved to 10-5.
The Longhorns offensive surge started right away, as freshman outfielder Ben Johnson led off the bottom of the first with a home run to right field. That would be the only hit that UCSB starter Andrew Vasquez allowed, however control problems from the sophomore lefty allowed Texas to manufacture scoring threats regardless. After the home run, Vasquez sandwiched a walk with two hit by pitches to load the bases. A Jeremy Montalbano sacrifice fly stretched the score to 2-0 before the side was retired.
Vasquez would walk two more batters in the second inning, but was not punished as freshman righty Kenny Chapman came into the game, picked off a runner at first, and then got Taylor Stell to line out to end the inning. Chapman would not escape his outing unscathed however, as he surrendered RBI singles to C.J. Hinojosa and Madison Carter in the third inning to give the Longhorns a 4-0 lead.
The Gauchos scored their first run in the fourth inning by taking advantage of a Texas mistake. Sophomore first baseman Tyler Kuresa was able to reach on an error by Texas first baseman Codey McElroy, advancing to second base before the Longhorns could collect the ball. Kuresa would come around to score after advancing on back-to-back groundouts, with Nesovic picking up the first of his four RBI's and making the score 4-1.
That would be as close as the Gauchos would get however, as Texas broke open the game with a five run fourth, including a three run homerun from Montalbano.
Nesovic would chip in RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings to keep the Gauchos afloat, but Texas's Corey Knebel came in to shut the door at the end of the game, allowing just one baserunner over the final two innings. Nathan Thornhill had a respectable start for the Longhorns, allowing two earned runs and five hits over four innings pitched. Cameron Cox earned the win by throwing 1.2 innings of two-run ball, pushing his record to 1-1.
The Gauchos return to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for a four game homestand this week, hosting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and then facing the Sacramento State Hornets in a three game series from Mar. 15-17. Tickets for all home games this year can be purchased here.