The UCSB baseball team’s trip to Arizona did not end how the Gauchos (2-2, 0-0 Big West) would have liked against Oregon State (3-1, 0-0 Pac-12) on Monday afternoon.
UCSB threatened to score early, but played from behind for nearly the entire game and were ultimately doomed by a rough third inning. The Beavers won, 11-0 in eight innings. Tyler Bremner took the loss in his collegiate debut.
The game started well for UCSB, with Ivan Brethowr’s first-inning double down the left field line putting Gauchos on second and third with only one out. Those runners never made it home, and UCSB’s luck turned for the worse in the bottom of the inning.
With a runner on first and one out, Bremner induced a tailor-made double play ball to short, which would have ended the inning, had the runner not been stealing on the play. The Beavers turned that extra life into two runs with three straight singles plus a UCSB throwing error.
Things started to look up for the Gauchos when Nick Oakley ended the inning with a quick throw to home to beat the runner on an attempted double steal.
Then UCSB got another runner to third with only one out in the top of the second. A double play ended that scoring threat, but Bremner had a solid bottom of the second, retiring the Beavers in order, including his first two collegiate strikeouts.
The third inning was a different story. Oregon State hit six straight singles to start their half of the inning, scoring five runs and putting an end to Bremner’s afternoon. The second Gaucho error of the day didn’t help. Hudson Barrett stepped in in relief, but the Beavers added another run before the inning was over. Barrett worked around a pair of walks to keep OSU off the board in the fourth, but gave up a solo homer in the fifth before being relieved by Nick Welch. Welch was one of two UCSB pitchers to keep Oregon State off the board, setting down the side in order in the sixth. In the seventh inning, Sam Whiting gave up a hit but struck out a pair of Beavers to put up a zero in the frame.
Unfortunately, UCSB’s hitters could not pay off their relievers’ strong work. From the third inning on, only two Gauchos reached base, via a walk and an error.
Oregon State’s two-run double in the bottom of the eighth ended the game early on the NCAA’s run rule.
With the first weekend in the books, Ivan Brethowr stands as the Gauchos’ best man at the plate, swinging a red-hot bat through his first four games in blue and gold. The Arizona State transfer went 1-3 with a double on Monday, his third extra-base hit of the year, and boasts a .533 batting average.
Nick Welch’s perfect sixth inning gave him the Gauchos’ prettiest pitching line from Monday’s game: 1.1 innings, zero hits, zero runs, a strikeout and no walks.
Despite going 0-3 at the plate Monday, freshman Corey Nunez has had an impressive start to his collegiate career, slashing .385/.467/.538 through four games.
Sam Whiting bounced back after his shaky start to the season on Monday. After giving up three runs on three hits to Minnesota in the season opener, Whiting held Oregon State to one hit and no runs in his one inning of work, adding in a pair of strikeouts
While the Gauchos won’t see Oregon State again this year (unless they meet in the postseason), their next opponent is the Beavers’ in-state rivals, the Oregon Ducks. UCSB is set to host Oregon for a four-game series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium this weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch times are set for 5:05 p.m. Friday, 1:05 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. Saturday, and 12:05 p.m. Sunday, but are subject to change.
Children ages 12 and under receive free admission to all Saturday and Sunday games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium throughout the 2023 season. For fans who cannot make it to the ballpark, all four games will be live on ESPN+.
Eric Boose is assistant director of athletic communications at UCSB.