Ranked Gauchos sweep doubleheader, 6-0, 3-1


SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Dominant pitching helped No. 16 UC Santa Barbara to a doubleheader sweep over BYU on Saturday, 6-0 and 3-1.

Most of that pitching was on behalf of the Gauchos (3-0), but the Cougars (0-3) had more of an opportunity in the nightcap. 

Game one began with a backdoor slider striking out Dillon Robinson to end the first inning with Cougars on the corners.

The nightcap ended with freshman Colton Shaver striking out on a check swing of tailing slider with Robison on second base.

In the opener the Cougars were shut down by Dillon Tate, a preseason first-team All-American, who struck out eight in 6.2 innings.

“Hits and runs were hard to come by today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said.” In game one Dillon Tate proved why he's a potential first rounder. He pounded the zone with a 94-96 mph fastball and threw strikes with two other pitches.

“On our side it wasn't Hayden's (Rogers) day. He had a tough time locating his fastball and Santa Barbara hit every mistake he made.  We also didn't help ourselves out by mishandling some balls and not executing a couple defensive plays.”

Cougar sophomore Brennon Lund extended his hitting streak to four games with singles in both games. His lead-off single off Tate in the first inning of game one was one of four hits for the Cougars in that contest.

Relievers Maverik Buffo and Michael Rucker maintained earned-run averages of 0.00 through five innings of work in their first appearances for BYU, but the damage had been done under Tate’s watch.

Gaucho Shane Bieber got nine strikeouts in eight innings of the nightcap.

“Bieber was just as good as Tate,” Littlewood said. “He pounded the bottom half of the zone with three pitches and just didn't give us many pitches to hit. 

“After a shaky start, Jeff (Barker) settled in and gave us five strong innings but against a team like Santa Barbara, or any team for that matter, we can't walk nine guys and expect to win games.”

Robinson’s single in the fourth inning of the nightcap plated Lund to tie the game at 1-1, but Bieber rebounded by striking out consecutive Cougars with runners on the corners to end the threat.

The Gauchos and Cougars play again on Monday afternoon to close the four-game series.