CBB: Pettibone’s return sparks UCSB to sweep of Wagner

Fifteenth-ranked UCSB outscored visiting Wagner College 20-4 in sweeping a doubleheader and clinching the series from the Seahawks on Saturday.

The Gauchos smacked 14 hits and capitalized on five Wagner errors to best the Seahawks 13-3 in game one. UCSB’s pitching was dominant in game two, as Austin Pettibone and Andrew Vasquez teamed up to shut down Wagner in a 7-1 win.

The wins improved the Gauchos to 16-3 on the year, extending the team’s best 19-game start to a season since 1984 (18-1). UCSB has now won or split its past 15 series and has won 10 straight series of three games or more.

UCSB’s current 10-1 record at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium is the best 11-game start to a home schedule since 1996 (10-1 as well), and just the third time in program history that the Gauchos have recorded 10 wins in their first 11 home games.

The right-handed Austin Pettibone made his season-debut in game two and was effective on a strict pitch limit, striking out four and surrendering just two hits and one run in three innings of work. He also picked up the decision in the nightcap, earning his first victory of the year after leading the Gauchos in wins in each of the past two seasons.

As good as Pettibone was, Vasquez was downright unhittable in relief, fanning nine batters against one hit in 4.2 innings. Vasquez’s nine strikeouts were the most by a UCSB pitcher in a single game since Matt Vedo had a dozen against Cal Poly on Apr. 10, 2012. With a season-high 14 strikeouts as a staff in game two, UCSB had its most strikeouts as a team since May 25, 2012 against Utah (also 14).

Sophomore center fielder Andrew Calica led UCSB offensively from the leadoff spot, collecting three hits and a pair of RBIs in each game while scoring three times on the day.

Sophomore third baseman Ryan Clark took advantage of some extended playing time on Saturday, going a combined 4-8 with three RBIs and four runs scored.

Joey Epperson’s 24-game hitting streak came to a close with an 0-3 line in the nightcap.

Game One Recap