Single inning foils Gauchos

Freshman Greg Mahle gave the Gauchos six strong innings of work on Tuesday afternoon, picking up 10 strikeouts and limiting the visiting Fresno St. Bulldogs to four hits, but was still hung with the loss after a three-run outburst in the fifth inning. UCSB fell 3-2 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Mahle’s ten strikeouts tied Matt Vedo for the most by a Gaucho this season. Vedo fanned 10 batters in seven innings on Feb. 28, also against Fresno St.

UCSB was able to get on the board first in the bottom of the second inning, when second baseman Joe Woodward singled with runners on the corners to plate designated hitter Bryce Tafelski.

Mahle’s repetoire of pitches caused problems for the Bulldogs all day, but was especially on display in the fourth inning when he struck out the side, each batter on a different pitch.

The decisive fifth inning got off to a poor start for Mahle and the Gauchos when the southpaw issued a leadoff walk to Fresno St. catcher Austin Wynns. The next two batters would single up the middle and strike out, respectively.

On the ensuing play, a possible inning ending double play ball snuck past third baseman Ryan Palermo‘s glove and Fresno St. would score their first run on the Jake Alvarez base hit. Following a sacrifice bunt, a Chris Mariscal single cashed in both the go-ahead and eventual game-winning runs.

The UCSB bullpen was able to shut down the Bulldogs for the rest of the game, as Jeremy Peterson and Matt Vedo combined to allow just one hit over three innings.

Similarly, UCSB was barely able to make a dent in the Fresno St. bullpen.

Center fielder Brett Vertigan did the most damage, stroking a two-out double off the right field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning-the only extra base-hit of the game. Vertigan would eventually score on a Brandon Trinkwon single, but Fresno St.’s Justin Haley was able to extinguish the rally by coaxing a soft comebacker from Bryce Tafelski.

Trinkwon reached base three of four times on Tuesday, going 2-3 with a pair of singles.

Taylor Garrison would retire the Gauchos in order in the ninth to record his third save of the season.

Looking ahead, the Gauchos will host Rhode Island this weekend in their last non-conference series at home before conference play begins on Mar. 30 against UC Riverside.