Gauchos eat Hollands’ quality start in loss

NORTHRIDGE – After receiving a quality start from left-hander Mario Hollands, the UCSB baseball team could not deliver a win the rest of the way as Cal State Northridge upended the No. 19 Gauchos, 9-4 at Matador Field on Saturday.

Hollands allowed three runs on six hits in six innings and left with the Gauchos leading 4-3. However, David Meals, who is the team’s leader in saves, allowed six runs on as many hits in the final two innings as the Gauchos succumbed and fell to 14-6 overall and 1-1 in the Big West this season. CSUN improves to 10-14, 1-1.

Entering the game Meals had been nearly untouchable thus far this season, his first at UCSB after transferring from West Valley College. The right-hander had a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings spanning a team-high seven appearances.

Box Score

Yet the Matadors’ Justin DeMarco opened the eighth inning with a double and scored on C.J. Belanger’s single to tie the game. Following a base hit and an out, Meals hit John Parham with a pitch to load the bases.

Ryan Pineda singled to left to drive in two more and after another out, Todd Eskelin belted a three-run homer to put CSUN comfortably ahead.

UCSB, which scored 21 runs on Friday, scored all of its runs in the second inning on Saturday.

A hit batter, a walk and an error allowed the Gauchos to load the bases in the second against CSUN Ryan Juarez. A wild pitch scored a run, and another hit batsman loaded the bases again. Gunnar Terhune’s ground-rule double scored two runs and Brian Gump followed with a sacrifice fly.

That gave UCSB a 4-1 advantage and Hollands allowed just four hits and a run before being lifted.

The Gauchos and Matadors will conclude the three-game series today at Matador Field with All-American Mike Ford (3-1, 5.68 ERA) scheduled to start for UCSB.

UCSB returns home for a game on Tuesday vs. San Diego State and has a three-game series vs. Pacific next weekend at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.