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Gauchos power their way to seventh straight win

Gauchos baseball runs win streak to 7

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - There were plenty of folks out and about for Davis' annual Picnic Day on Saturday, but the UC Santa Barbara Baseball team was having a different kind of yard party at Dobbins Stadium. The Gauchos launched four home runs on the afternoon while Mike Gutierrez and Matt Ager combined to hold the Aggies to just a single run en route to a 6-1 Santa Barbara victory. Aaron Parker, Ivan Brethowr, Brendan Durfee and Jessada Brown provided the long balls.

After being held hitless for seven innings on Friday, the Gaucho offense wasted no time getting on the board on Saturday, with each of the first three men reaching base safely. Parker led off by being hit by a pitch, then Durfee and Brethowr knocked back-to-back singles, with Brethowr's plating Parker to make it 1-0 Santa Barbara.

On the mound, Gutierrez more or less picked up where Ryan Gallagher had left off, shutting out the Aggies over the first five innings. The veteran lefty did have to work around much more traffic than Gallagher, issuing a total of four walks and surrendering four hits, but he left seven of those baserunners stranded. He did his best Houdini impression in the bottom of the second, working around a single and two walks to strand the bases loaded.

After Gutierrez's escape, the Gauchos broke out their big bats in the next half-inning, driving a pair of homers in the top of the third. Parker sent one well over the left field wall for the first dinger of the day, and two batters later Brethowr followed his lead, hitting one to nearly the exact same spot. Gutierrez followed that up with a shutdown inning, setting the Aggies down in order to keep it 3-0 Gauchos.

Durfee was next to leave the yard, becoming the first man to hit one out to right field this weekend in the top of the fifth. When Davis finally got to Gutierrez, it was on a homer of their own in the bottom of the sixth, and they chased the Gauchos' starter later in the frame. Fortunately for Santa Barbara, Ager was ready and waiting in the bullpen, and the Gaucho defense was on their toes.

With one out and a runner on second, Ager induced a line drive to Zander Darby at first. He snagged it for the first out, then threw behind the runner at second in a bid for the double play. Darby's throw sailed wide, but third baseman Justin Trimble was backing the play up and was able to recover and make his own throw behind the runner for the final out of the inning. Ager then finished his perfect save by setting the Aggies down in order in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Along the way, his offense tacked on some insurance runs in their final turn at the plate.

Darby led off the Gaucho ninth with a single, then Trimble bunted him over to second and a balk sent him to third. Jonah Sebring's fly ball to left field just stayed in Davis's spacious park, but it was more than deep enough to score Darby. Jessada Brown then came in as a pinch hitter and, after watching the Aggies change pitchers, drilled a homer of his own to make it 6-1 Santa Barbara.

Ivan Brethowr homered for the second straight day on Saturday to continue his hot stretch at the plate. The big right fielder now has four home runs in his last seven games and is tied for the team lead with seven on the season.
Saturday's win was the Gauchos' 16th consecutive over the Aggies, now tied for Santa Barbara's longest active win streak against a conference foe. The Gauchos have also won each of their last 16 against Cal State Bakersfield, who they will travel to face in May.
Both Mike Gutierrez and Matt Ager had the chance to enter the 200-strikeout club on Saturday but both will have to wait to reach the milestone. Gutierrez now has 196 K's in Blue and Gold, while Ager has 197.
Gutierrez is now tied for the 10th-most strikeouts in a Gaucho uniform with Justin Jacome; Ager is just ahead of them in ninth.

The Gauchos will look to complete the sweep on Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m. from Dobbins Stadium in Davis. Tyler Bremner started on the mound for Santa Barbara last Sunday and is set to do the same this weekend, having stayed comfortably in the bullpen for each of the first two games. Fans can catch all the action on ESPN+ or follow along with an audio broadcast and live stats available through

(Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics)

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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Mike Klan

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