CBB: Jacome gives another stellar effort; Gauchos beat Davis 4-1

Justin Jacome improved to 7-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.24.

Justin Jacome improved to 7-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.24.

Junior lefty Justin Jacome went eight full innings without allowing an earned run to steer sixth-ranked UC Santa Barbara to a 4-1 win over UC Davis on Saturday, giving the Gauchos their eighth consecutive series victory.

UCSB improved to 33-10-1 (10-4 Big West) on the season with the win, and they are now just a half game behind idle UC Irvine for first place in the conference. Having clinched the series, they remain the only Big West squad to have won all of their league series this year.

UC Davis dropped to 26-18-1, 5-9. The Aggies have now lost nine consecutive games to the Gauchos.

Just a day after Dillon Tate was solid, allowing two earned runs over eight strong innings, Jacome one-upped his rotation-mate with a virtuoso performance on Saturday, giving up just three hits while punching out seven. The masterpiece improved his record to 7-2 while lowering his ERA to 2.24.

He faced the minimum over the first three innings of the contest, including a first inning that saw him blow away a pair of Aggies batters with high fastballs for strikeouts.

The Redlands, Calif. native punched back all three times he surrendered a hit; a double play wiped out a single in the third, he picked off a runner after he singled in the fifth, and he struck out the side in the seventh after allowing a leadoff double.

The three hits allowed tied a career-low for Jacome, who also gave up three knocks to UC Riverside on Apr. 25, 2014, though that figure came in just 6 2/3 innings.

The one run he did allow, which went down as unearned, was fairly fortuitous for the Aggies. After walking in the fourth, Tino Lipson was able to take third on a steal attempt when nobody covered second base to receive Campbell Wear’s throw. He then came around to score on a sac fly despite left fielder Cameron Newell’s on-the-money throw arriving in time, as he danced around Wear to put a hand to the plate before he could be tagged.

After Billy Fredrick leveled the score at 1-1 with a fourth inning RBI base hit, Peter Maris led a decisive three-run offensive charge for UCSB in the sixth.

The senior third baseman worked the count full against UCD starter Raul Jacobsen to lead off the frame, eventually clanging a 3-2 offering off the tree behind the right field fence for his first home run of the season, putting the Gauchos up for good at 2-1. Maris also extended his team-best hitting streak to 19 games with the blast.

Senior right fielder Luke Swenson and freshman first baseman Austin Bush capped the scoring, the former banging a run-scoring base hit up the middle and the latter bouncing into an RBI groundout.

Usual midweek starter Domenic Mazza induced groundouts from all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn the 1-2-3 save, the first of his career.

UCSB will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon behind righty Shane Bieber (6-3, 1.88), who is coming off a complete game shutout in his last start and who has allowed one walk in his last 53 1/3 innings. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.