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20/20: Gauchos erupt for 20 runs and extend Big West win streak to 20 games

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UCSB puts up 20 runs in 20th straight Big West victory.

UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jonah Sebring's big night at the plate headlined an all-around dominant performance by the No. 13 UC Santa Barbara Baseball team on Friday. The outfielder drove in nine of the Gauchos' 20 runs as they trounced UC Riverside, 20-4, to run their conference winning streak up to 20 consecutive games.

Sebring flirted with history in his stellar outing; with a grand slam, two doubles and a single, he finished a triple shy of the first Gaucho cycle since 1997; his nine RBI are the most since that same year, and a triple would have brought his total base count on the night up to 12, the program record. On the mound, Mike Gutierrez continued his march toward Gaucho history, pitching six innings and striking out eight to earn his ninth victory of the season, the 22nd of his Santa Barbara career in 25 decisions. He is now tied for the fourth most wins by a Gaucho pitcher and owns the best winning percentage (0.88) of any man to don the Blue and Gold.

"Good effort," Checketts said. "We came out and dropped a four early. Gutierrez was a little in-and-out but settled down after that, and it was a good effort."

"We wanted to get some of those guys tested a little bit," Checketts said of the three relievers who appeared on Friday. "If you end up in a regional loser's bracket, you're going to need more arms, and we haven't been tested in that way, going super deep in the bullpen, in a while besides Tuesdays. We had a chance to get those guys back in, Peter (Storjohann) did a nice job, Peterson got hit around a little bit, and Reed (Moring) looked really good."

"(Sebring) got some good swings off and had good at-bats today, so hopefully we can do it again tomorrow."

The Gauchos were not waiting around on Friday, hanging four runs on the board before making two outs. Ivan Brethowr led off the game with his 14th home run of the season, and Sebring's bases-loaded double later in the first broke the game open. The only out Santa Barbara made in that sequence was Jessada Brown's sacrifice bunt. The 4-0 lead triggered a pitching change from the Highlanders, and they were able to keep the Gauchos off the board for the rest of the first and the second.

Santa Barbara was back at it in the third, with Aaron Parker leading off that frame with one of five Gaucho doubles on the night. He would come home on a LeTrey McCollum double. McCollum took a throw off his back when Justin Trimble grounded to first. The ball ricocheting off of McCollum allowed Nick Oakley to keep on running after touching third base on the play, scoring the sixth run of the game. Jonathan Mendez made that nine with a towering homer down the left field line, plating both McCollum and Trimble.

While Gutierrez had not exactly been perfect on the mound, he held the Highlanders scoreless through the first 3 2/3 innings, with a fourth-inning home run ending up as the only blemish on his ledger for the night. He picked up two of his eight strikeouts in that same frame.

Brown led off the Gauchos' half of the fourth with his double, and after Oakley reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, Sebring drove his second double of the night, both of which traced the left field line down into the corner. That scored both Brown and Oakley to extend the lead to 10, 11-1.

The Gauchos were held off the scoreboard for only the second time in the fifth but roared back with nine runs in the sixth. Trimble started the fireworks show with a two-run home run into the electric substation behind right field, which Mendez followed up with a double. A walk then a single led to Santa Barbara's 14th run of the game, then a bases-loaded walk gave Nick Putnam an RBI as a pinch hitter for Parker. Oakley worked a second consecutive four-pitch, bases-loaded walk to force home the 16th run for the Gauchos. Sebring put the cherry on top of his night with a grand slam to left center to make the score 20-1.

Reed Moring relieved Gutierrez for the seventh and struck out the side to strand a one-out double. Nic Peterson took over for Moring in the eighth and picked up a pair of K's himself, though three singles and a double turned into three runs in the inning. Peter Storjohann took over for the ninth and worked a one-two-three inning to close it out.

Jonah Sebring's nine RBI from Friday night are the second most in a single game by any Gaucho ever; the only man to record more was Danny Lane on March 24, 1991. Sebring is the first Santa Barbara batter to record eight or more RBI in a single game since Eric Oliver had eight against Saint Mary's on March 15, 2009.
For the second consecutive evening, Aaron Parker logged just two at-bats and recorded hits in both of them; he went 2-for-2 on the day with a double and two walks. On Thursday, he went 2-for-2 with a double, a home run and three walks. The Highlanders are yet to get him out.
Nic Peterson and Peter Storjohann's appearances were both their second ever as Gauchos; Storjohann took just nine pitches to get his three outs in the ninth.

Santa Barbara is guaranteed one more game at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. After that regular season finale, the Gauchos will hope to host an NCAA Regional at their home ballpark for the first time ever next weekend. With the 11-0 Tyler Bremner taking the mound for Santa Barbara, the Gauchos will also look to complete the first unbeaten home season in program history on Saturday. The game will be live on ESPN+ with live stats and an audio broadcast available through

(Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics)

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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