UCSB Edged By Pepperdine in Tuesday Tuneup

Connor Baits (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Connor Baits (Photo by Vince Agapito)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Freshman righty Hector Lujan gave up just two earned runs in his first collegiate start and the UCSB bullpen threw a combined five innings of scoreless ball, but the Gauchos' offense was only able to scratch one run across in a 3-1 loss to the Pepperdine Waves on Tuesday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The Gauchos fell to 14-13 after the non-conference matchup, while Pepperdine improved to 16-11.

For the first time in their last five games, the Gauchos were not the first team to score, as the Waves plated a run in the very first inning. Hutton Moyer led off the game with a double to right-center field, and would then score on a UCSB fielding error during the very next at-bat.

Pepperdine's Chris Amezquita led off the second inning with a home run to stretch their lead to 2-0.

Center fielder Cameron Newell manufactured the Gauchos' only run in the bottom of the third inning. The speedy lefty hit a tailing fly ball into the left-center field gap that got down for a one-out double. He would then get an excellent read on Waves starter Matt Maurer, stealing third base with relative ease. Newell would come around to score on an RBI groundout from Ryan Clark that made the score 2-1.

While Pepperdine's early game offense was not exactly overwhelming, it lost all of its teeth in the latter half of the contest, as the UCSB bullpen allowed just three hits and no runs over the final five innings.

Cameron Cuneo (1 1/3 IP, two strikeouts), Connor Baits (1 2/3 IP, one hit allowed), Greg Mahle (pitched a perfect eighth inning), and Dylan Hecht (perfect ninth) all had productive outings on the mound for the Gauchos. Starter Hector Lujan finished with a line of four innings pitched, two earned runs and three hits allowed, with one walk and one strikeout. He suffered the loss in his first career decision.

As well as the Gauchos pitched, the Pepperdine pitching staff was equally up to task, allowing just three hits and no runs after the third inning. Maurer improved to 1-1 on the year after allowing just one run and five hits over seven innings pitched. Eric Karch and Michael Swanner went 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, with Swanner picking up his seventh save of the season.

Second baseman Woody Woodward led the offense for UCSB, going 2-4 with a pair of singles. First baseman Tyler Kuresa and right fielder Luke Swenson both chipped in base hits as well.

Later this week, the Gauchos will welcome back Cal Poly to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for a three-game Big West Conference series. First pitch on Friday is set for 3:00 p.m. Tickets for the entire series can be purchased here.