Gauchos take down Highlanders 3-2

Joe Gardner, Mario Hollands, and David Meals combined on a four-hitter as 22nd-ranked UC Santa Barbara defeated visiting No. 25 UC Riverside 3-2 in a non-conference baseball game on Sunday.

Gardner, who got the start and tossed a predetermined three innings, improved to 3-0 on the season. He allowed just one hit and one unearned run. Hollands threw four innings, allowing three hits and one run, and Meals went the final two without allowing a hit. He received credit for his third save of the season.

The Gauchos got all of their runs in the second inning. Designated hitter Shane Carlson and second baseman Matt Valaika opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Third baseman Robby Cummings, the Big West leader in RBI, doubled down the left field line, scoring both runners and giving him 31 RBI in just 17 games this season.

After Mark Haddow grounded out, moving Cummings to third base, catcher Marty Mullins doubled deep to center field, bring Cummings home with the third run of the game and giving the Gauchos a 3-1 lead.

The Highlanders cut the lead in half with a run in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Brian McConkey was picked off first base, but Ryan Goetz, who singled to open the inning and was on third base, scored before McConkey could be tagged out. 


The score remained 3-2 the rest of the way.


With the win, UCSB improves to 13-4, equaling its best start since 1991. UCR drops to 14-4.