SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — An early lead helped settle down sophomore Ty Madrigal into what became a dominating performance Tuesday at No. 23 UC Santa Barbara, as the Gaels earned another victory over a nationally ranked opponent, 4-1, over the Gauchos at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Madrigal had a rocky first inning in which he loaded the bases with two walks and a single. He would escape the jam unscathed though, getting Thomas Rowan to strike out looking on a 3-2 count. The Gaels (5-2) spotted him a two-run lead in the next half-inning, and that got Madrigal into a rhythm. He threw consecutive 1-2-3 innings in the second and third frames. He retired eight straight and 18 of 20 after the first inning.
Madrigal’s dominating performance included seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts and just two hits against the nationally ranked Gauchos (4-4). UC Santa Barbara made the College World Series in 2016 and hosted an NCAA Regional in 2015. It is the second straight year Saint Mary’s went down to Santa Barbara and beat the Gauchos. SMC scored five runs in the top of the eighth for a comeback win almost exactly one year ago on Feb. 23, 2016. Madrigal also started that game, throwing 2 2/3 innings in a no-decision.
Saint Mary’s scored two runs in the top of the second on back-to-back RBI singles by Edward Haus and Joe Vranesh. Jackson Thoreson started the inning with a leadoff double and moved to third on Kevin Milam’s comebacker single to the pitcher.
The Gaels increased their lead to 4-0 in an error-filled inning for UC Santa Barbara. Joey Fiske made it all the way to third base on a one-out single after a fielding error by the UCSB left fielder. He scored on the very next at-bat when Brett Rasso reached on an error, this one by the UCSB second baseman. Zach Kirtley recorded his fifth RBI of the year by doubling home Rasso.
Saint Mary's tallied 10 hits for the sixth time in seven games this season. Vranesh went 3 for 4 with an RBI to lead all players. UC Santa Barbara's lone run came in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by cleanup batter Austin Bush.
Saint Mary’s returns home Friday to begin a five-game home stand. The stretch starts with a three-game series versus Grand Canyon. First pitch of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday. Tickets are available for purchase on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
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