CBB: Sac State bags Gauchos

SACRAMENTO – Senior second baseman Woody Woodward provided a vintage 3-4 performance and No. 18 UC Santa Barbara struck out just one time all day as a team, but they couldn’t create enough offensively in a 5-4 loss to Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon at John Smith Field.


It was the first road loss this season in three tries for UCSB, who dropped to 10-4 overall with the loss. Sacramento State snapped a four-game losing skid to improve to 7-5.

UCSB right-handed starter Shane Bieber took the loss on the day to move to 2-2 after allowing five runs (four earned), nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts in six innings pitched.

After being shutout on Friday, the Hornets had a much more effective day with the bat on Saturday, particularly at the top of lineup. Each of the top three hitters in the lineup finished with multiple hits and an RBI, and while cleanup hitter Chris Lewis went 0-2, he also recorded two RBIs, the only player on either team with multiple runs driven in.

Sac. St left-handed starter Sam Long, received his third win in as many decisions after turning in a quality start with three earned runs and five hits allowed in six full innings.

The Hornets were the first to strike on Saturday, as the home team was able to plate a single run in each of the first two innings. Lewis flew out to left in the first, scoring Scotty Burcham, to notch the first run, then PJ Floyd landed an RBI single into right field in the second, bringing in an unearned run.

Using a pair of singles to lead off the frame, UCSB would even the tally in the third inning. Following a sac bunt that moved both runners into scoring position, sophomore centerfielder Andrew Calica brought in one run with an RBI groundout before left fielder Cameron Newell cashed in the other with a solid single into right field.

The Gauchos would then go on to briefly take the lead in the top of the fourth as Dempsey Grover, making his first start of the 2015 season as he recovers from shoulder surgery, drove in Woodward with an RBI groundout.

That UCSB lead would permanently be extinguished in the fifth, when Sac St. followed a leadoff double up with a single, triple, and sacrifice fly for a three-run inning and a 5-3 lead.

The Gauchos threatened to tie the game again in the eighth, when Woodward drove in Calica with an RBI single, but they couldn not maintain a rally after Woodward’s opposite-field knock.

Hornets reliever Justin Dhillon went 1-2-3 in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

UCSB will play its first rubber match of the year tomorrow, with junior lefty Justin Jacome (2-1, 2.41) taking the mound against righty Ty Nichols (0-0, 2.03 ERA). Jacome is coming off his best start of the young season, racking up a career-best 10 strikeouts and allowing just five hits over eight scoreless innings against Oregon a weekend ago. First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.