TUCSON, Ariz. – Junior first baseman Tyler Kuresa clubbed a pair of home runs, including a first inning grand slam, to power UC Santa Barbara to a 10-2 win over Arizona on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Hi Corbett Classic.
The victory gave the Gauchos a 3-1 record in the tournament and a 10-2 overall mark. It was the first time since 2011 that a UCSB batter had multiple home runs in one game and the first time since 2010 that a Gaucho hit a grand slam. Arizona dropped to 8-8 after the loss.
Sophomore righty Robby Nesovic received the win in his first start of the year by pitching six shutout innings.
Kuresa's first roundtripper came as part of a five-run UCSB first inning. Nesovic started the day's scoring with an RBI single that plated leadoff man Joey Epperson. Cameron Newell walked the very next at bat to load the bases, and then Kuresa promptly unloaded the bags with a blast to right field. Following the slam, UCSB's next two batters would reach as well, ending Arizona starter Tyler Crawford's day after just one third of an inning pitched.
UCSB would plate a single run in three consecutive innings starting in the third to push the lead to 8-0.
Junior right fielder Scott Quinlan, who finished the day 3-5, smashed a triple into left field to score Kuresa in the third. Second baseman Woody Woodward, who entered the week third in the country in sac flies, picked up another with a long fly ball to score Dempsey Grover in the fourth. In the next frame, center fielder Andrew Calica lined a double into the right center gap to plate Quinlan.
While the UCSB offense was running like a well-oiled machine, Nesovic did a fine job in limiting the Wildcats in his six-inning outing. He retired all but one leadoff batter he faced – Cody Ramer reached on an error in the third – and worked ahead in the count all day.
Arizona threated with three straight two-out singles in the second, but Nesovic got Scott Kingery to pop out to Kuresa in foul territory and end the inning. He ended the day with a line of four strikeouts, one walk, and five hits allowed.
Sophomore righty Connor Baits had a strong relief outing, allowing just one hit in two innings of work.
Arizona's Kevin Newman was responsible for his team's only runs of the day with a two-run single in the ninth inning. Bobby Dalbec went 2-4, the only Wildcat with multiple hits.
The Gauchos will be back in action Tuesday afternoon when they host Pepperdine in a midweek showdown. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.