Gauchos Drop Rubber Match, Fall in 12 Innings To CSUN

Armani Smith hit a three-run homerun on Tuesday to help the Gauchos rally past Cal State Bakersfield 9-5 on the road. (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Armani Smith hit a three-run homerun on Tuesday to help the Gauchos rally past Cal State Bakersfield 9-5 on the road. (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara baseball team dropped the final match between them and CSUN on Sunday as the Matadors outlasted the Gauchos in 12 innings to beat them 6-3 and take the series win.

Coming into the evening, UCSB (22-20-1, 7-8 Big West) had a chance to jump into a tie for second place in the Big West standings. For CSUN (21-25, 9-9 Big West), this marks its second straight series victory as it took two out of three from Hawai'i last weekend.

Like the first two games of this series, the Gauchos were the ones to jump out to an early lead as they scored two in the bottom of the third. In that frame, freshman first baseman Andrew Martinez worked a two-out base knock setting up shortstop Clay Fisher to hit his third home run of the year and put the home team ahead 2-0.

Sophomore Tommy Jew would also work a single but UCSB was unable to bring him around to score. The top third of the lineup, Martinez, Fisher, and Jew combined to go 6-15 on the day with each earning two hits. No other Gaucho managed to put together a multiple-hit outing.

The early advantage did not last long for the Gauchos as CSUN put together a three-run top of the fourth to go out in front. The Matadors were able to earn two singles from the top and then an error by third baseman Jason Willow loaded up the bases with no outs getting junior starter Chris Clements in some trouble.

Cal State Northridge scored its first run off a sac fly and then a two-run double by designated hitter Riley Conlan brought the road team its first lead of the evening.

UCSB would go on to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth as sophomore Armani Smith worked a no-outs double and would come around to score thanks to an RBI single from Jew. For Jew, this was his fourth multiple-hit outing in his last seven games.

From this point on it really became a pitcher's duel as Clements pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth and got a fly out in the seventh before he was pulled. The junior finished the day pitching 6.1 innings, allowing six hits, three runs, two of them earned, and four strikeouts. Junior Alex Patterson came in relief of Clements and did a great job over the next three innings, including a bit of the 10th, allowing just two hits and striking out three.

While UCSB's pitching was going well so too was CSUN's as after starting pitcher Matt Acosta was relieved after four innings of work allowing eight hits and three earned runs, a trio of Matador relievers tossed a two-hitter over the final eight frames of work, including extras.

The Gauchos best chance to win the match came in the bottom of the 11th as Fisher got a one-out base knock, advanced to second on a balk by CSUN's pitcher, and then stole third. Jew was at the plate with a chance to drive the running run home but failed to do so, striking out.

CSUN walked junior Thomas Rowan setting up runners on the corners for the 'Chos but pinch-hitter Eric Yang was unable to convert as he flew out to deep center to end the inning.

Then in the top of the 12th, CSUN's power hitter Albee Weiss showed up and put the game out of reach. With runners on first and second, Weiss bombed a three-run homer to deep left past the scoreboard and put his team up three with just one out in the inning.

The home run was credited to junior Kevin Chandler, however, it was freshman Chris Troye who picked up the loss since he put the winning run on first after hitting him with a pitch.

UCSB was sat down in order in the bottom of the 12th and the game ended 6-3 in favor of visiting CSUN.

This was just the fourth time this season that the Gauchos were able to get at least 10 hits on the day but still ended up losing.

UCSB is back in action against Pepperdine on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos and Waves will first finish their game that was called in the 11th inning due to darkness at 1:30 p.m. then play their scheduled game at 3 p.m.