Slaught, Anteaters put down Gauchos

Crosby SlaughtThe No. 1 team in the country wanted a win and there was nothing the Gaucho baseball team could do about it.

UC Irvine put the finishing touches on a 22-2 Big West Conference season with a 15-3 pounding of UCSB on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, making sure to move into the postseason on a winning note. It was the regular season finale for both teams, with UCSB having won on Saturday and still clinging to some playoff hopes.

“I don’t think it would have been a good feeling to go into playoffs having lost two in a row,” admitted UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie, having not lost consecutive conference games all season.

“After today, we’re firing on all cylinders. Our pitching was good, our hitting was great, so we’re ready for it,” said former Santa Barbara Don Crosby Slaught, who improved to 7-0 on the season as the Anteaters’ conference Sunday starter.


The righty only threw three innings, held to a pitch count by Gillespie so that the Anteaters have their options open when Regionals start Friday.

“Until we see how this Regional thing plays out, we just don’t know who’s going to pitch and in what order. So we just couldn’t afford to burn him up,” reasoned Gillespie.

The Gauchos, on the other hand, wrap up their season with an 11-13 mark in conference and 29-22 overall. After Saturday’s impressive 8-2 win against the nation’s top-ranked squad, UCSB had a chance to close out the season as the only conference team to win a series against Irvine this season.

“Today we weren’t sharp and you have to be sharp when you play a team like this,” said UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema.

The Anteaters feasted on Gaucho pitching, collecting 18 hits on four different pitchers. Clayton Edwards was the only hurler to have any success for UCSB, which was without ace Joe Gardner over the weekend, keeping Irvine scoreless in three innings of relief.

Unfortunately, starter Zach Samuels had a tough time getting guys out and allowed eight earned runs in four innings. Reliever David Meals was hit harder, not even getting out of the eighth inning before being tagged for six runs.

Irvine leadoff man Ben Orloff did the most damage, going 3-for-6 with 4 RBIs. Jordan Fox and Dillon Bell both tallied three hits and scored three times.

Ryan Cavan was the only Gaucho with any real bite at the plate. The third baseman was 2-for-3 with a third-inning two-run home run. Robby Cummings came through with an RBI single in the sixth to score senior Shane Carlson from second base.