The No. 30 UCSB baseball team picked up its fifth-straight win Saturday night, edging out UC San Diego at Lake Elsinore Diamond 3-2. All five runs were scored in the first inning and a half.
Michael Gutierrez (2-1) took the hill, picking up his second win of the season, tossing 5.1 innings and allowing just two runs while striking out six. He scattered eight hits and three walks but continued to get out of jams as the Gauchos stranded nine Triton runners on the day.
Ryan Gallagher got his chance, tossing 2.2 innings, and Ryan Harvey once again came in for the save, hanging a zero in the ninth. It is the fifth save of the season for him, as he has collected one in each of the last four games.
John Newman Jr. got the start behind the dish and went for 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Six other Gauchos collected hits, including Bryce Willits, who had a solo home run, and Jordan Sprinkle who had an RBI double.
As they have so many times already this season, the Gauchos scored in the top of the first as Zander Darby drew a lead-off walk and came around to score on an RBI double from Sprinkle.
The Tritons wasted no time tying the game and taking the lead in the bottom half of the inning to go up 2-1.
The Gauchos’ two-spot came just a few outs later in the top of the 2nd as Willits led off the inning with a homer that sailed over the right center wall to tie the game.
The next batter was Kirtley, who tripled down the left field line, and Newman Jr. brought him home on an RBI single that would go down as the game-winning scoring play.
UCSB stranded runners on the bases in the next five straight innings and left two on in the bottom of the ninth as Harvey collected a pair of K’s with the game-tying run in scoring position.
UCSB now returns home to Caesar Uyesaka to host Cal State Fullerton in its Big West Conference opener.
Daniel Moebus-Bowles writes about sports for UCSB.