CBB: Shockers’ rally spoils Tate’s solid start

WICHITA, Kan. – UC Santa Barbara junior right-hander Dillon Tate turned in another spectacular start in Friday’s series opener against Wichita State, but a rally off the Gauchos bullpen in the bottom of the ninth helped the Shockers eventually swipe a come-from-behind 3-2 win at Eck Stadium.

Tate was remarkably efficient on Friday, as the flamethrowing right-hander needed just 98 pitches to complete a career-long eight innings. In those eight frames, he allowed just four hits while walking none – a first for him this season – and striking out six.

The Shockers mustered just a single run off Tate the entire day on an RBI groundout after the UCSB (11-5) starter had hit a pair of batters to open the third inning. The Gauchos’ ace recovered to limit the damage however, getting Chase Rader to hit into an inning-ending groundout.

Besides that minor blip, Tate was dominant against the Shockers (6-10).

After allowing a leadoff single, the Claremont, Calif. native did not allow another hit until the fourth inning, another single.

That base hit seemed to galvanize Tate however, as he rolled up an inning-ending 1-6-3 double-play ball before retiring the next nine batters he faced in order, going 1-2-3 in each inning five through seven.

He ended his outing by striking out Mikel Mucha with a runner on second to close the eighth inning.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the last of the ninth, the Shockers manufactured a small rally to push across the pair of runs they needed to steal the decision.

After a foulout to open the inning, Ryan Tinkham worked a walk against UCSB reliever Joe Record to get a runner on base for Wichita State before making way for speedy pinch runner Tanner Dearman.

That substitution paid dividends immediately for WSU head coach Todd Butler, as Dearman was able to reach third on Sam Hilliard’s ensuing base hit to right field, putting the tying run 90 feet from home plate and the winning run on base.

WSU left fielder Daniel Kihle followed up with a solid base hit to center field, plating the tying run and moving Hilliard into scoring position.

The Shockers then finished the walk-off as second baseman Jordan Farris pulled a base hit into left field off Connor Baits, plating Hilliard.

UCSB scored both of their runs during a fifth inning rally off Shockers starter Willie Schwanke.

Redshirt sophomore center fielder Andrew Calica opened the inning with an infield single, then stole second to get into scoring position with no outs. Redshirt senior second baseman Woody Woodward followed with an RBI single into left field, then stole second himself to end up swapping places with his center fielder.

Senior right fielder Luke Swenson continued his hot-hitting ways by yanking a double into right field, scoring Woodward and putting the Gauchos up 2-1.

Record received the loss on the day, falling to 1-1 on the season. WSU reliever Taylor Goshen (2-2) earned the win by virtue of 2 2/3 hitless, shutout innings.

UCSB and WSU will resume their series tomorrow afternoon, with sophomore righty Shane Bieber (2-2, 3.00) taking the ball for the Gauchos. He will be opposed by right-hander Isaac Anderson (2-2, 2.62). First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. PDT.

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