A late-inning rally in the opener and a stellar pitching performance helped the UCSB baseball team take both games against Pepperdine on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The Gauchos (5-1), who haven’t lost since their season opener against Santa Clara, was able to rally from down 5-0 in Game 1.
Pepperdine’s Billy Cook hit a grand slam in the top half of the third, but the Gauchos came roaring back to tie the game at 5 just an inning later. Marcos Castanon hit an RBI single to open the scoring, followed by a two-run single by Cole Cummings. Jason Willow followed with an RBI single before scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Pepperdine (1-5) took the lead again in the seventh on a run-scoring groundout, but the Gauchos scored four times in the bottom of the eighth, capped off by a two-run single by Steele Ledford, to secure the win.
In Game 2, Rodney Boone was spectacular, tossing six innings of no-hit baseball, allowing three walks and striking out six. Ryan Harvey worked the final three innings to pick up his first save of the season.
Christian Kirtley went 3-4 in Game 2 and drove in two, including an RBI single in the fourth and a run-scoring double in the sixth.
The two teams will wrap up their series at 1 p.m. today at Pepperdine.
WESTMONT 10, Azusa Pacific 9 (14 innings)
Parker O’Neil’s run-scoring bunt single in the top of the 14th proved to be the difference maker on Saturday, as the Warriors outlasted Azusa Pacific to take Game 1 of the doubleheader.
After allowing Azusa Pacific to overcome a four-run deficit late, O’Neil was able to get the eventual winning run home on a ball that didn’t even leave the infield.
In the 14th, Daniel Netz reached on a bunt single, Alex Stufft reached on a throwing error by the Cougars’ pitcher before O’Neil’s RBI bunt.
Westmont (10-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Thomas Rudinsky went yard.
Azusa Pacific (1-1) tied the game in the third courtesy of a throwing error by the Warriors.
Andrew Bayard’s two-run homer in the fourth made it 4-2, and the lead grew to 6-2 following a sacrifice fly by John Jensen.
Westmont took a 9-5 lead in the seventh courtesy of a two-run single by Netz followed by an RBI double by Stufft.
The Cougars scored twice in the seventh to draw closer, and Aaron Roose’s two-out, two-run single tied the game until the 14th.
Game 2 action was ongoing as of deadline on Saturday.
WESTMONT 114, HOPE INTERNATIONAL 74
The Warriors pulled into a first place tie with Vanguard in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings with Saturday’s win over the Royals.
With the victory, Westmont and Vanguard are Co-GSAC West Regular Season Champions, though Vanguard holds the tiebreaker courtesy of a 2-1 head-to-head record and gets the automatic berth into the NAIA National Championships.
The Warriors will now seek an at-large tournament bid, with the brackets set to be announced on Thursday.
On Saturday, Ajay Singh tallied 23 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Warriors in both categories. He also notched six blocks, which ties for second in Westmont history, two fewer than Evan Haines’ eight blocks in 2010. Cade Roth produced 21 points, eight assists, four rebounds and two blocks while Jared Brown tallied 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
UCSB 83, RIVERSIDE 76
The Gauchos (6-12, 6-8 Big West Conference) celebrated Senior Night at the Thunderdome in style on Saturday, as they earned their fourth win in a row.
Doris Jones, who scored 22 in the Gauchos win over Riverside on Friday night, was magnificent on Saturday. She scored a game-high 35 points, sinking 12 of her 17 shot attempts. She added 10 rebounds, including five offensive and five defensive boards. Danae Miller added 17 points and three assists in the win.
UCSB shot 52% from the field in the win, and held Riverside to just 39% shooting in the contest. The Gauchos led by as many as 17 points on Saturday.
UCSB 7, SAN DIEGO 3 (8 innings)
The Gauchos earned their first victory of the 2021 season, scoring four runs in the top of the eighth to defeat the Toreros on Saturday.
Junior Emily Schuttish pitched all eight innings, including seven shutout innings, earning her first win of the year. She allowed eight hits and struck out three.
Madelyn McNally, Rayna Cohen and Ashley Donaldson all finished 3-5 at the plate. Donaldson had three RBIs on the day.
The Gauchos head up north next weekend to take on Cal, BYU, and Stanford at the Stanford Classic. The team will play a pair of games on Friday and Saturday before a single game against the Cardinal on March 7. Live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.
UCSB 5, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 2
UCSB claimed five of six singles matches on Saturday to earn its first win of the season.
In singles play, Joseph Guillin swept past Diego Nava, 6-3, 6-2, while Victor Krustev won his second match of the season with a 6-3, 6-0 win over John Bryan Otico. Joey Rotheram defeated Emin Torlic, 6-4, 6-4, before Alejandro Verdi clinched singles with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Thien Nguyen.
The Gauchos (1-1) will return to action Friday when they host the University of Arizona.