No. 19 UCSB Ties With UCLA 5-5 in Final Home Midweek Game of 2014

Dillon Tate (Photo by J.D. Dickstein)
Dillon Tate (Photo by J.D. Dickstein)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - 19th-ranked UC Santa Barbara and visiting UCLA combined to shut each other out for seven consecutive innings on Tuesday night, resulting in a 5-5 tie after the game was called due to darkness at the conclusion of the 12th inning.

At four hours and 32 minutes, it was the longest game for UCSB (26-11-1) this season. It was also the first time the Gauchos tied an opponent since the 1998 season.

All 10 runs in the game were scored fairly early. UCLA (22-19-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning on a rally capped off by a Shane Zeile RBI triple, but UCSB would come back to tie the game by the bottom of the third.

The Gauchos plated their first run of the day in the bottom of the second, as junior first baseman Tyler Kuresa scored when UCLA shortstop Trent Chatterton misplayed a Dalton Kelly grounder. Kuresa evened the tally in the next inning by blasting an offering from Bruins starter Grant Dyer over the right field fence for a three-run home run, his team-leading ninth of the year.

UCLA and UCSB then traded RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to leave the score knotted at 5-5. The teams' bullpens would go on to shut the door the rest of the way, with neither teaming putting a run across despite a handful of chances for each side.

Sophomore lefty Domenic Mazza was the first one out of the pen for UCSB, and the Concord, Calif. native delivered with a one-run outing in 4.1 innings pitched. Mazza rescued himself from his biggest jam of the day, picking off Ty Moore for the second out of the fourth inning and turning a two-on, one-out situation into a harmless inning after retiring Zeile in the next at bat.

Junior Greg Mahle came on to toss a pair of scoreless frames, extending his unscored upon streak to five appearances. Sophomore closer Dillon Tate kept the score tied by striking out four in 4.0 scoreless innings of work.

Similarly, seven UCLA relievers combined to allow no runs and just five hits in eight innings to keep the score level. The Bruins relief corps was no doubt aided by double plays in both the eighth and ninth innings that prevented go-ahead opportunities for UCSB.

Sophomore Dalton Kelly led the Gauchos offense in his first start of the year, going 2-4 with one of the team's two doubles. Junior shortstop Peter Maris and senior left fielder Joey Epperson each added a pair of base hits as well.

Moore went 4-5 on the day for UCLA, accounting for almost half of his team's 10 hits.

This weekend, UCSB travels to UC Irvine for a pivotal Big West series. Friday night's series opener, scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start, will be nationally televised on ESPN3.