Gauchos Stumble in Stony Brook Finale, Fall 7-0

AJ Woodall (photo by Eric Isaacs)
AJ Woodall (photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After scoring 20 runs in a pair of victories to open its series with Stony Brook, UC Santa Barbara's offensive well dried up in Sunday's series finale at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, as the Gauchos were blanked 7-0 to miss out on the team's second sweep of the season. 

Freshman Brian Herrmann tossed five standout innings for the Seawolves (5-12) before handing off to southpaw Teddy Rodliff, who confounded the Gauchos (7-11) for three innings to the tune of just one hit against. Righty Aaron Pinto completed the shutout with a scoreless ninth. 

UCSB meanwhile had a performance to forget as a team, totaling just five hits and committing four errors in the field.

Colton Burns reached three times at the top of the lineup and first baseman Austin Bush had a pair of singles, but they were the sole Gauchos with standout days offensively. 

"We're still struggling with some of the basic things you need to do to win ballgames," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "We're not playing team baseball right now, and until we get that fixed, our hitting, pitching, and defense won't be squared away."

Making his first NCAA start, freshman southpaw Ben Brecht was solid early on before giving up a pair of big hits later in his outing. 

SBU got a runner into scoring position in each of the first two innings, but the UCSB lefty bounced back to get out of both jams unscathed. 

He wasn't as fortunate in the third and fourth, with David Real clubbing an RBI double into the left-center gap before Toby Handley sent a hanging slider over the left-center field fence for a two-run homer to make it 3-0. 

Still, it was a positive outing for Brecht overall, as he struck out four in as many innings pitched. 

"Ben came out and threw some strikes for us early," said Checketts. "He's got a chance to be really good."

The Seawolves put the game away with a three-run ninth, headlined by a two-run roundtripper from DH Michael Wilson. 

UCSB continues its 11-game homestand next weekend with a three-game set against New Mexico State starting on Friday at 3:00 p.m.