SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- For the first time since 1986, No. 4 UC Santa Barbara Baseball won the Big West title with a 7-0 win against the Cal Poly Mustangs.
Rodney Boone Jr. was magnificent to improve to 8-0 this season with 8.1 innings of work, allowing zero earned runs on five hits while striking out a career-high 12 Mustangs.
A exceptional outing from @Rodboonejr gives the 'Chos the sweet taste of victory. @alldaykelt caught up with the stud starter following a 12 strikeout performance during the biggest game of his life. #CHOmaha@UCSB_Baseball @BigWestBaseball pic.twitter.com/fKl4BQn5am— KCSB Sports Radio (@KCSBSports) May 25, 2019
O'Connor scored on a single by Andrew Martinez in the opening frame as UC Santa Barbara struck first. After three straight singles from the top of the lineup, Armani Smith drove in Martinez on a grounder to second to take a 2-0 lead.
UCSB knocked Poly's starter out of the game after just 1.2 innings as Chase Watkins fell to 0-3 this season.
A gatorade bath for @coachferg culminates the best regular season in UCSB history. @alldaykelt talked to Ferg postgame to get his postseason preview #CHOmaha@UCSB_Baseball @BigWestBaseball pic.twitter.com/ml5E4j36lc— KCSB Sports Radio (@KCSBSports) May 25, 2019
The Gauchos tacked on another pair of runs when Smith singled in a a run in the third, and two batters later, Jew drove in Smith with a single left to put UCSB on top 4-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Tevin Mitchell worked a nine pitch walk and trot to first with just one out. During the following at bat, O'Connor adjusted on a hit and run and roped a triple down the right field line to score Mitchell from first.
The Gauchos have the most sac flies in the nation, and Martinez added to that total and drove in O'Connor with a sac fly to left to make it 6-0 Gauchos.
To cap off UCSB's offensive production, Mitchell blasted a solo jack to left to ultimately give Santa Barbara the 7-0 advantage.
Seven Gauchos recorded at least one hit in the ballgame while Jew, Smith, and O'Connor had multi-hit performances to clinch the title.
The sixteen regional hosts will be announced Sunday evening at 6 p.m. (PDT). The remaining 48 teams will be announced Monday at 9 a.m. (PDT).