Third-seeded UCSB baseball survived its first elimination game of the Stanford Regional on Saturday afternoon, sending fourth-seeded Binghamton home with a 9-4 win.
Mike Gutierrez (9-1) was stellar in his start, tossing seven full innings and allowing four runs, two of which came in the top of the eighth with the Gauchos trying to stretch his start and save the bullpen. The sophomore southpaw scattered six hits, saw no walks, and struck out eight in his ninth win of the season.
Blake Klassen turned in the offensive performance of the day hitting in the lead off spot once again as he went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI.
Kyle Johnson collected two RBI on just one swing hitting a monster home run of his own.
Christian Kirtley collected a hit to extend his on-base streak to 45 games.
UCSB scored its nine runs on just six hits thanks to six free passes to win its first ever matchup with Binghamton, and its first win at Sunken Diamond since the 1983 Stanford Regional.
Michael Rice tossed the final two innings and, despite allowing one walk, faced the minimum thanks to a double play in the ninth. He added two Ks as well.
After a scoreless first inning, UCSB got it going in the top of the 2nd with John Newman, Jr. collecting a lead-off walk followed by a rocket home run by Johnson to put his team up 2-0. Another run scored on a Kirtley single paired with a Bearcat error to make it a 3-0 ball game.
The barrage continued in the third with the Gauchos posting a five-spot to take an early 8-0 lead. The bases were loaded on a pair of HBPs and a walk and Mortensen moved everyone station-to-station with an RBI single. Next was Jason Willow driving in one on a sac-fly to right and finally it was Klassen crushing a monster home run on the first pitch he saw that looked to carry directly over the right field foul pole.
The Bearcats finally got to Gutierrez in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a pair to make it a 8-2 game.
Jason Willow led off the sixth with a hustle double and found his way home on a sac-fly from Christian Kirtley.
Binghamton finished the scoring for the day in the bottom of the eighth with a pair of runs that made the final score 9-4 in the Gauchos’ favor.
Daniel Moebus-Bowles writes about sports for UCSB.