SANTA BARBARA, Calif – Andrew Vasquez delivered seven shutout innings and the UCSB offense came through with a pair of three-run rallies to claim a 7-3 victory over the visiting Pacific Tigers on Senior Day at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Coupled with Friday's victory, Sunday's win gave the Gauchos the series victory, their fifth in a row. It is the most consecutive series won by UCSB since 2001.
It is the first time in program history that the Gauchos have gone an entire season without losing a series at home. They went 6-0-1 in home series on the year.
Before first pitch, UCSB seniors Marc Venning and Jared Wilson were honored in a pregame ceremony. Those warm feelings spilled over into the first inning for the Gauchos as Robby Nesovic, Cameron Newell, and Luke Swenson lined consecutive RBI singles to go up 3-0 early.
Starting pitchers Andrew Vasquez and Mike Hager traded zeroes for the next four innings, but UCSB was able to score an insurance run in the sixth when Tyler Kuresa led off the frame with a double, later coming around on a Venning sacrifice fly.
Pacific dipped into the bullpen to start the bottom half of the seventh, and the Gauchos promptly rallied to put the game out of the reach. Left fielder Joey Epperson and shortstop Brandon Trinkwon got the ball rolling with a hit by pitch and single, respectively, before Woody Woodward drove in the Gauchos' fifth run with an RBI single. Trinkwon would later score on a Kuresa sacrifice fly, and then Cameron Newell got UCSB's last run across with an infield single that plated Woodward.
While the UCSB offense was producing runs, Vasquez gave his best performance of the season on the mound. The sophomore lefty threw 7 1/3 innings while allowing no runs and just three hits. He issued three passes against five strikeouts.
Vasquez showed impressive resiliency in the second inning, when he was faced with a two-on, nobody out situation following a pair of singles to open the inning. He got a little bit of help when catcher Jackson Morrow gunned down Tyger Pederson trying to steal second, but then induced a pair of groundouts to keep Pacific off the board.
The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native was lights-out from there on out, surrendering just one hit the rest of the way before making way for Greg Mahle in the eighth inning after tossing 90 pitches.
Pacific was able to mount a three-run rally in the ninth, but UCSB's seven run lead proved to be too much for the Tigers, who were retired following Dustin Torchio's fly-out to right field.
With the win, UCSB improved to 30-22, 13-10 on the season. They finish the year with a 20-9 home record. Pacific ended their last Big West road trip with a record of 14-35, 6-17.
Trinkwon, Kuresa, and Newell led the way with the bat for the Gauchos, collecting two hits apiece.
Venning went 1-3 on the day with an RBI and a double.
The Gauchos will be back in action next week, when they head south to take on No. 8 UCLA on Tuesday evening. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m., with Justin Jacome taking the ball for UCSB.