NORTHRIDGE, Calif.- In a late-game thriller, UC Santa Barbara Baseball outplayed Cal State Northridge in a 5-3 win to complete the sweep over CSUN and win its fifth straight.
Armani Smith drove in a pair of RBI in the top of the ninth to ultimately put UCSB ahead and close out the series sweep.
The Gauchos are now tied for first in the Big West with a 12-3 conference record while going 36-7 overall this season.
In a late-game thriller, Coach @mfonteno4 made a pair of crucial decisions down the stretch to defeat CSUN 5-3! @alldaykelt hung around with Matt, who has been an integral part of UCSB's historic season in his first year with the 'Chos! #CHOmaha@UCSB_Baseball @BigWestBaseball pic.twitter.com/TcrcwJ3GWY— KCSB Sports Radio (@KCSBSports) May 6, 2019
Tying it up in the bottom half of the second, the Matadors scored an unearned run following an error and a double to make it a 1-1 game.
After CSUN took a 2-1 lead with a sac fly in the second, Tommy Jew blasted a solo homer to left which evened out the score at 2-2 in the top of the fourth.
Rodney Boone Jr. saw his day come to an end after 5 innings pitched, allowing no earned runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts and three walks.
In the bottom of the sixth, a throwing error by the Gauchos advanced runners to the corners, but Shea Barry locked in to get two consecutive key outs on a strikeout and a groundout which got Santa Barbara out of a jam and left a Matador pair stranded.
A bit of a momentum shift gave Eric Yang a chance at the dish in the following half inning. Yang took advantage with a solo shot down the left field line which scraped the wall and inched its way out of the park to command a 3-2 advantage.
Yang posted a 2-for-3 day at the dish including his sixth big fly of the year, plus a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
Answering right back, CSUN hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to tie things up at 3-3 heading into the eighth.
To lead off the top of the ninth, Tevin Mitchell reached on a single to left field to start a late-inning rally.
Mitchell had an outstanding weekend in Northridge with a 2-for-4 day at the plate to improve his series batting clip to 7-for-12 with three multi-hit games.
For his first hit of the day, McClain O'Connor showed bunt, but slashed a single in the gap between short and third base while Mitchell got on his horse and went first to third and O'Connor took advantage of the throw to third to snag an extra base at second.
With two runners in scoring position, Yang was intentionally walked to load the bases. Just a couple batters later Armani Smith smashed a ground ball past the diving Matador third baseman to plate a pair and put UCSB on top 5-3 heading into the final frame.
Did somebody say clutch? It was spring cleaning for @maniBo888 and the 'Chos who pulled off the thrilling win and swept CSUN for their fifth straight! @alldaykelt heard what Armani had to say about his late-inning heroics. #CHOmaha @UCSB_Baseball @BigWestBaseball pic.twitter.com/plPfIVQESD— KCSB Sports Radio (@KCSBSports) May 6, 2019
Chris Lincoln came in for a 1.2-inning relief appearance which earned him his third win of the season. Lincoln fooled Matador bats in two appearances over the weekend.
To earn the one-out save with the final out of the game, Michael McGreevy induced a fly ball to right with the bases loaded for his sixth save of the year.
Time to give thanks, and time to feast on these potatoes and Greevy! Michael McGreevy shut the door as the Gauchos brought at the brooms and @alldaykelt found out what its like in those adrenaline pumping moments late in the ballgame! #CHOmaha @UCSB_Baseball @BigWestBaseball pic.twitter.com/tYVsp5MMWl— KCSB Sports Radio (@KCSBSports) May 6, 2019
Smith, Johnson, Yang and Mitchell recorded multi-hit performances in addition to Castanon, O'Connor, and Jew who each recorded hits as well.
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara Baseball is back in action on Tuesday, May 7 at 3 p.m. when Saint Mary's comes to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for the second of two meetings between the two teams this season.