Irvine slaps Gauchos with series sweep

IRVINE – The good news for the UCSB baseball team was that it snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak against UC Irvine on Sunday at Anteater Ballpark. The bad news is that UCSB’s output was not enough in a 5-4 loss that allowed the Anteaters to sweep the weekend series.

UCSB falls to 23-22 overall and 9-9 in the Big West while UCI improves to 27-17, 11-7. It was the second straight season the Anteaters swept the Gauchos.

Santa Barbara, though, had some chances to capture the game, even late in the afternoon.

Ryan Palermo laced a double to left for his third hit of the day in the eighth inning. Pinch hitter Joey Wallace flew out to center and Mark Trentacosta intentionally walked Brett Vertigan, putting the go-ahead run at first. The lefty handed the ball off to closer Race Parmenter, who induced a roller to short to end the inning. The junior right-hander gave up a leadoff single to Brandon Trinkwon in the ninth. However, following a sacrifice bunt, Luke Swenson and Bryce Tafelski both grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

The save was the seventh for Parmenter on the season and his second of the weekend.

UCSB scored its first runs of the series against Phillip Ferragamo in the fourth. Tafelski hit a one-out single and Palermo’s hot grounder to third was too much for third baseman Dillon Moyer and skipped into left field. Jeff Stephens’ throw to third, in an effort to get Tafelski, was well off the mark and allowed the Gauchos’ catcher to score with Palermo taking third on the play. The errors continued for UCI as Peter Maris’ grounder to Jordan Fox was cleanly fielded but Ferragamo failed to step on the bag as the Gauchos took a 2-0 lead with Palermo scoring.

However, UCI battled back in its half of the fourth. With two out and no one on base, Jeff Stephens beat out an infield single to the hole at shortstop as Brandon Trinkwon’s diving stop and strong throw was just an eyelash too late. Connor Spencer and Chris Rabago both drew walks to load the bases. Scott Gottschling jumped on an 0-1 pitch for a double to left to clear the bases, giving UCI a 3-2 lead. Christian Ramirez followed with a single up the middle to drive in Gottschling.

The Gauchos trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the fifth. Marc Venning’s double down the left field line drove in Trinkwon, who reached first on a single off the glove of Ferragamo.

Jimmy Litchfield, who struck out the final batter of the fifth inning in relief of Ferragamo, led off the sixth with a walk to Mahle and a single to Palermo. However, the lefty rebounded by retiring the next three batters with Mahle scoring on Vertigan’s ground ball out to second.

Zak Edgington dropped to 2-4 after giving up five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings.