The 19th-ranked UCLA Baseball team was defeated by UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday night, falling, 6-4, to the Gauchos to close an eight-game homestand at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Domenic Mazza picked up the win for the Gauchos, pitching 5.2 innings while surrendering two runs on four hits. Freshman Grant Dyer suffered the loss for the Bruins, dropping to 1-1 after allowing five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings pitched. Dyer struck out three in his 4.1 innings of work as well. Dillon Tate earned the save for UC Santa Barbara with a clean ninth inning.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Gauchos went ahead in the top of the third with three runs off of Dyer. Jackson Morrow and Joey Epperson reached base with back-to-back singles, bringing up Peter Maris. On a 3-2 count, Maris hit a three-run home run to right, giving UC Santa Barbara a 3-0 lead.
UCLA battled back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs off of Mazza to cut into the Gaucho lead. With one out, sophomore Christoph Bono singled to right to bring up senior Brian Carroll. Carroll drew a hit by pitch and eventually the runners moved up to second and third on a balk. Then with a 2-1 count to freshman Brett Stephens, Mazza threw a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Bono to come home from third. On the next pitch, Stephens hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Carroll and make it 3-2 Gauchos.
In the top of the fifth, UC Santa Barbara scored three more runs to give themselves a four-run advantage. Dyer allowed back-to-back singles to Epperson and Maris and with one out both runners attempted a double steal. Junior Shane Zeile attempted to get the runner at second but his throw went into the outfield, allowing Epperson to score. Then with one out and junior Max Schuh on the mound, Tyler Kuresa hit a two-run home run to make the score 6-2 in favor of UC Santa Barbara.
Zeile got a run back for the Bruins in the bottom of the seventh, singling home Carroll from third with a shot through the right side to cut UC Santa Barbara’s lead to 6-3. The Bruins then added another run in the bottom of the eighth to climb within two. With freshman Luke Persico on second and nobody out, pinch-hitter Dominic Miroglio hit a sharp grounder to second that got by Woody Woodward and allowed Persico to score to make it 6-4 Gauchos. However, UC Santa Barbara pitcher Greg Mahle recovered to get the next three batters to end the rally.
Tate was able to hold the Bruins scoreless in the ninth and the Gauchos went on to claim the 6-4 win.
Zeile led the Bruin offense, going 3-4 with a RBI. Persico followed that up with his second multi-hit game of the season, posting a 2-3 night with a run scored. Carroll added two runs for the Bruins as well.
UCLA (4-4) will make its first road trip of the season this weekend as the Bruins head to Cary, N.C. to take part in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic. UCLA will take on Notre Dame (3-4) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. PT before facing No. 6 North Carolina State (7-1) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. PT. The Bruins will conclude the tournament against Michigan (1-5-1) on Sunday at 9 a.m. PT. All games will be played at the USA Baseball Complex.
Game Notes: Shane Zeile logged his team-leading third multi-hit game of the season tonight...Zeile also raised his average to a team-high .370 with his three-hit game…the Bruins had three batters get hit by a pitch tonight, extending their streak of consecutive games with a hit batter to eight…Brian Carroll has now drawn five hit by pitches this season to lead the Bruins…Carroll has also now reached base safely in four consecutive games…UCLA’s bullpen of Max Schuh, Scott Burke, Nick Kern and David Berg combined to allow just one run in 5.2 innings of work tonight.