Six Bombs from No. 8 UCSB Propel 16-Run Victory

Ben Brecht
Ben Brecht

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.- With a season high six home runs, the UC Santa Barbara Baseball team overwhelmed Cal State Northridge in a 16-7 win during the first meeting of a three-game series.

The Gauchos fed off a quality start from Ben Brecht who pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Brecht becomes the wins leader in the Big West with an 8-1 record this season for his first win since April 12 which was a 4-1 Gaucho victory over UC Irvine.

Thomas Rowan went 2-for-4 with a pair of homeruns plus three RBI and three runs scored while Tevin Mitchell jolted his fourth homer of the year in a 3-for-4 performance with a walk and three runs scored as well.

CSUN got on the board in the bottom of the first with a single over a leaping McClain O'Connor at shortstop to give the Matadors a 1-0 lead.

O'Connor took matters into his own hands in the top of the third frame when he belted a two-run blast over the left field wall to for his second home run in three games to give Santa Barbara the 2-1 advantage.

Having caught fire as of late, O'Connor went 3-for-6 at the dish today driving in a couple RBI as well.

Just two batters later, Rowan sat on the payoff pitch of his at bat and guessed correctly on a full-count changeup to ring a two-run rocket out of the park for the second homer of the inning.

Armani Smith and Andrew Martinez followed it up with back-to-back doubles for RBI number 36 driven in by Martinez, the most on the Gaucho lineup, to put UCSB up 5-1.

For his sixth RBI of the season, Cole Mueller brought Martinez across the plate with a two-out double off the glove of the diving Matador left fielder which ultimately gave the Gauchos a comfortable 6-1 lead in the third.

With two outs in the sixth, Mitchell and O'Connor beat out consecutive infield singles and then pulled off a double steal to advance a pair into scoring position with Eric Yang in the box.

A wild pitch scored Mitchell before Yang got a hold of a fastball and smashed a two-out, two-run jack to left-center field.

Two pitches later, Rowan ripped his second home run of the day as the Gauchos went back-to-back to take a 10-2 lead.

Santa Barbara tacked on three more runs after a double from Tommy Jew and a triad of singles in the top half of the seventh capped off by a wild pitch which scored an aggressive Kyle Johnson from third.

Getting in on the action, Smith smoked the Gauchos' fifth home run to drive in Rowan and hand UCSB a nine run, 15-6 lead.

Mitchell capped off the win with a solo blast in the top of the ninth to make give Santa Barbara the upper hand 16-7.

Six Gauchos had multi-hit games at the plate while all 11 Gauchos with an at bat recorded at least one hit, including Michael McAdoo.

The Matadors got the most production from Denzel Clarke who had a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two home runs of his own.

UC Santa Barbara Baseball hits the field again on Saturday afternoon in game two of the three-game series against CSUN at Matador Stadium in Northridge, Calif. with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.