UCSB Sweeps San Diego Twin Bill with Back-to-Back Walk-Off Wins

Emily Brucelas (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Emily Brucelas (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Behind back-to-back walk off finishes, UCSB swept its doubleheader with San Diego at Campus Diamond on Tuesday afternoon.

Stacy Cavazos was the hero in Game One with an RBI single put up the middle, while Emily Brucelas capped off UCSB's Game Two comeback with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.
 
Not to be overlooked, MeShalon Moore and Shelby Wisdom also put on a show in the bottom of the sixth of the second game with back-to-back home runs to spark UCSB's comeback.
 
Ashley Ludlow (4-14) was the winner in both contests, as she finished the twin bill with 9 1/3 innings of work, four strikeouts, five hits, and just one earned run. 

In finishing their non-conference regular slate with the two victories, the Gauchos will jump back into Big West competition with a visit to Cal Poly for a three-game series starting on Friday at 2 p.m.

GAME ONE

The Gauchos took the first game 6-5 thanks to a clutch two-out single from Stacy Cavazos in the bottom of the seventh. On the game-clinching play, Cavazos sent home freshman Jessica Johnston who initially reached base with on a fielder's choice. She was moved into scoring position thanks to Brucelas who delivered a single to left field. From there, Cavazos took care of the rest with the walk off single, ending what was a close battle from the word go.

After the Gauchos picked two quick outs to start the first inning, but following a walk and an error, the Toreros had two runners on base for Mary Grabowski. The catcher did not waste her opportunity and skied a home run over the left field wall, putting her team on top 3-0. Starting pitcher Alex Pingree got UCSB out of the inning herself in striking out Tatum Schultz.

While an error helped San Diego get on the board, the Toreros returned the favor in the bottom of the inning. After Kristen Clark led off with a walk, USD third baseman Chloe Kaneko rushed her throw in trying to get the speedy Jacqueline Hinojosa out on what was intended to be a sacrifice bunt. But as Kaneko errantly threw the ball into right field, Clark hurried around the bases to score. 

Arianna Palomares followed up that eventful play with an RBI single poked through the right side to send Hinojosa home from second.

The Gauchos later loaded the bases for Brucelas who brought two runners home with a blooper hit to shallow right field in capping off UCSB's four-run inning.

Following quiet second and third innings, San Diego tied the game with a sacrifice fly from Danielle Mavridis.

UCSB was able to retake the lead in the bottom half thanks again to another Torero error. With Clark and Hinojosa on second and first, respectively, Wisdom reached first after second baseman Tatum Schultz was off target on her routine throw to first. With the ball being sent into foul territory, Clark came home for her second run, while Hinojosa was tagged out in trying to make a two-run play for the Gauchos. The out ended the inning, but UCSB had already went back ahead 5-4.

San Diego again put up the tying run in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for Cavazos' heroics, which ended UCSB's two-game skid. 

GAME TWO

UCSB completed the sweep after grinding out the 4-3 comeback win through 10 innings of play. 

San Diego scored first with Grabowksi's RBI single through the right side. The Toreros continued to hold odd UCSB, while tallying two more runs, including a solo shot from Olivia Sandusky.

The dinger cued Ashley Ludlow for her first appearance of he game. The Toreros could not figure her out, as the junior blanked them the rest of the way and held them to just two singles. Pitching for San Diego was Megan Sabbatini who never left the circle, and she held UCSB hitless through the first three innings. She ended the long game with five hits and four runs (three earned).

After five and half innings, UCSB was down 3-0 and only recorded two hits. That all changed in bottom of the sixth during a two-out rally. After Clark led off with a single, Wisdom hit her team-leading sixth home run of the season sailing over the center field fence, ending the team's scoring drought. MeShalon Moore then followed her in blasting a homer of her own to left field. The back-to-back jacks tied the game at 3-3.

Only one runner reached scoring position from the seventh to the ninth inning, as Ludlow and Sabbatini found themselves locked in a pitcher's duel.

As the game entered the 10th inning, a runner was automatically placed on second to start each half inning. While, USD was able to move its runner to third base off a sacrifice bunt, Ludlow did not allow them to score as their try for a sacrifice fly was not hit far enough, as Kristen Clark caught a fly ball in shallow left field for the inning's second out. DeJanee Moore picked up the third out in snagging a soft line out hit to third.

UCSB finally ended the marathon of a game with a walk-off sacrifice fly from Brucelas. First, DeJanee Moore hit a sacrifice bunt to send Stark to third base, who was then replaced on the bags by pinch runner Jessica Johnston. The freshman did not wait long to score, as Brucelas skied a deep sacrifice fly to left field to clinch the game.