UCSB baseball (8-3) got a third straight quality start on the mound and runs from up and down their lineup Tuesday night, cruising to an 11-1 win over Pepperdine (4-6) at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Tyler Bremner went six scoreless innings and struck out nine for his first collegiate win, with plenty of run support behind him — seven different Gauchos batted in at least one run in the game. LeTrey McCollum drove in four by himself to lead the team in RBI, while Jonah Sebring’s three hits led UCSB in that category.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Bremner set the tone early, striking out three of the first four batters he faced. He gave up a one-out double in the second, but worked around it deftly, notching his fourth strikeout of the night before inducing a grounder to short to end the inning. In the third, he stranded a pair of runners with his fifth K of the night. They were the last Waves to reach base against the freshman righty. He sat down the side in order in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, ending his evening with a strikeout to end the sixth
While Bremner was flummoxing opposing hitters, UCSB figured out Pepperdine’s pitchers immediately. Ivan Brethowr led off the game with a line-drive double to the left-center gap, then stole third. Christian Kirtley’s fly ball to left center was deep enough for the sophomore from Kansas to stride home, and it was 1-0 Gauchos. The classic, “get them on, get them over, get them in,” approach worked to a T for UCSB in the second, as Sebring singled up the middle, advanced to second on a grounder, took third on a wild pitch, then came home on a McCollum sacrifice fly to double the lead.
A two-run advantage would have been enough Tuesday night, but the Gauchos broke the game wide open in the fifth inning, scoring five runs in the frame, all with two outs. Jared Sundstrom drove in one with a double to the right-center gap, then Sebring drove in two more with a single up the middle. A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases for McCollum, who drove in his second and third runs of the night with a single through the left side of the infield.
Alex Schrier relieved Bremner in the seventh and gave up a run, but the offense picked up their pitcher in a big way in the bottom half of the inning. Broc Mortensen — who had entered the game in the top of the inning — drew a lead-off walk and took second on a wild pitch, then Sebring, Zander Darby, and John Newman, Jr. hit consecutive singles, making it a 9-1 lead. McCollum reached and drove in his fourth run of the night on a fielder’s choice, then Corey Nunez brought him home with another single for the 11th and final Gaucho run.
Jed Decooman pitched the eighth inning, and Michael Rice took the ninth. Neither allowed a hit, and Rice struck out the final two Waves to end the game.
ON THE STAT SHEET
– Tyler Bremner’s final line from Tuesday reads: six innings pitched, zero runs, two hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts; he has now gone nine straight innings without allowing a run.
– UCSB was clutch at the plate all night Tuesday, going 7-12 with runners in scoring position and 5-5 with runners on third and less than two outs, their best marks this season in both situations.
– The Gauchos, who lead The Big West in home runs this season with 15, scored their 11 runs Tuesday night without the help of a single long ball, and only two extra-base hits.
It will be The Big West versus The Big East for the second straight weekend at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, as the Gauchos are set to host Seton Hall for a three-game set, today, Friday and Saturday. With rain in the forecast, today’s start time has been moved to 2:35 p.m., while Friday and Saturday remain tentatively scheduled at their original start times — 5:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. respectively.
Eric Boose is assistant director of athletic communications at UCSB.