Ford drives UCSB past Washington, 8-2

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Preseason All-American Mike Ford pitched 7.2 solid innings and four Gauchos recorded multi-hit games as part of a 14-hit attack in UC Santa Barbara’s 8-2 win over Washington on Sunday at the Metrodome in Minnesota.

For the weekend the No. 28 Gauchos went 2-1 at the Dairy Queen Classic and head home after a thorough win over the Huskies.

Ford allowed just two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and improved to 2-0 on the season. The junior right-hander defeated No. 9 UCLA earlier last week. UCSB is now 5-2 on the season.

Ryan Cavan went 4-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI to lead the offensive onslaught. A day after recording three hits Matt Valaika again went 3-for-5, scoring three runs and knocking in another. Robby Cummings went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI.

UCSB scored a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Cummings doubled to the gap in right-center, scoring Valaika all the way from first base.

The Gauchos added another in the third when a single from Ryan Cavan plated Brian Gump from second, making it 2-0. In the fourth, John DeAlba doubled and scored on a single from Cummings, increasing the UCSB advantage to 3-0.

UCSB broke through for three more in the fifth when Cavan singled and eventually scored on a single from Valaika. Cummings then followed with a single that, coupled with an error in left, allowed two more to score, increasing the lead to 6-0. 

In the seventh, UCSB catcher Marty Mullins connected for his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left, to make it 8-0.

Just as he did in Ford’s last start, David Meals came in and closed out the victory for the Gauchos. The junior pitched 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts.

UCSB returns home for a four-game series beginning Friday, March 6 against LMU.