No. 26 UCSB Baseball evened its series with Oregon Sunday afternoon taking game four by a score of 7-5. The right amount of offense mixed with timely defense saw the Gauchos strand nine Duck baserunners as they held Oregon to a .231 batting average with runners in scoring position in the contest.
Seven different batters collected UCSB’s 10 hits including Jordan Sprinkle, Christian Kirtley, and Leo Mosby who all have multi-hit efforts. Kirtley and Mosby led the way with two RBI apiece and both Sprinkle and Kirtley homered.
Ryan Gallagher earned the start, tossing four full innings with three earned runs. Five different Gauchos came on in relief to secure the win. Michael Rice (2-0) would be credited with the win tossing 1.2 innings of one-run ball, and Ryan Harvey picked up his second save of the season, getting four huge outs.
Broc Mortensen, who last year landed fourth in the record books with 19 hit-by-pitches, got on three times by way of the HBP on Sunday.
Once again, the Gauchos struck first in what would turn out to be the only game of the series not decided by one run. Two batters got hit by pitches and a third walked to load the bases with one out, bringing Kyle Johnson to the plate. Johnson walked on five pitches to plate the first run of the day. With two outs came Leo Mosby, who in a full count poked a double into right field to score two and give his team the early 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third is when the host Ducks got through scoring a pair to cut the lead to 3-2.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Sprinkle stepped to the plate and collected his first home run of the season, clearing the wall in right center, but the Ducks wasted no time evening the game in the bottom half with another pair of runs.
All tied at 4-4, the Gauchos picked up the bats in the top of the sixth, collecting four hits in the inning. Johnson doubled to right center and was driven home on an RBI single from Kirtley. John Newman Jr. then provided what would be the game winning run, doubling down the left line to score Kirtley and make it a 6-4 ballgame.
The bottom of the seventh saw Oregon get its first two batters aboard with a run scored, but in came Rice who retired all three batters he faced to get out of the inning with the lead.
Kirtley’s eighth inning homer, his second of the year, went over the left center wall to give his team a little breathing room.
The bottom of the eighth is where the game was won by the defense as Oregon managed to load the bases with two outs, but in came Harvey who used his heat to get one of the top batters in the Ducks’ lineup in Drew Cowley to fly out to left field and strand three runners.
Harvey would go one-two-three in the bottom of the ninth to earn the four-out save.
UCSB returns to Caesar Uyesaka Tuesday night to host LMU and will play two games down in Lake Elsinore next weekend with UC San Diego.
Daniel Moebus-Bowles writes about sports for UCSB.