Gaels Rally to Upend No. 17 UCSB

Tevin Mitchell (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Tevin Mitchell (Photo by Tony Mastres)

MORAGA, Calif. – The No. 17 UC Santa Barbara baseball team jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on Tuesday afternoon, but Saint Mary's rallied with seven unanswered runs to steal the midweek non-conference tilt, 7-6 at Louis Guisto Field.

It was an uncharacteristic game all around for the Gauchos (17-4) who committed three errors, nearly half of its season total (8) entering Tuesday. UCSB also blasted three home runs in the game and were 13-0 this season when hitting at least one round tripper.

As they have done many times this season, the Gauchos jumped out to an early start with a Tommy Jew home run in the top of the first.

The firepower continued in the third as Andrew Martinez and Tevin Mitchell hit back-to-back blasts to lead off the inning. Eric Yang followed with a double and after a Jew walk, Armani Smith knocked a two-RBI double down the left field line. UCSB didn't stop there as Kyle Johnson followed with a triple to the right center gap and put Santa Barbara ahead 6-0.

A Bryce Willits home run in the bottom half of the third got two back for the Gaels, who rallied in a hurry with four runs on four hits in the fourth, and capitalized on a pair of UCSB errors in the frame, to tie the game at 6-6.

Saint Mary's (16-9) scored the game-winning run in the seventh after Willits struck again with a leadoff double and came around to score two batters later after a UCSB throwing error.

Jorge Arellano Jr. (0-1) was tagged with the loss in his 1.2 innings after striking out two, walking two and giving up just one hit and an unearned run. Chris Troye started on the mound for UCSB and went 2.1 innings with three walks, two runs on two hits and one strikeout. Shea Barry, Michael McGreevy and Chris Lincoln also saw action out of the bullpen.

Martinez went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI to lead the Gauchos at the plate and Tevin Mitchell also had a multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 day with a run and an RBI. Jew finished 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

UCSB begins conference play this weekend at Cal State Fullerton, with the three-game series kicking off on Friday, Mar. 29 at Goodwin Field at 7:00 p.m.