SANTA BARBARA, Calif. –New Mexico State’s batters had a tough time against UC Santa Barbara’s lefty starter Kyle Nelson Saturday afternoon and managed just three hits in its 8-0 baseball loss to the Gauchos at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
How It Happened
The home team struck first in the bottom of the first once again on Saturday, this time being limited to just one run. After opening the bottom frame with a strike out, Renteria hit Billy Fredrick after a nine-pitch at-bat. Fredrick found his way to home plate after a single, passed ball and grounder to first.
The Gauchos put another straight number on the board in the second inning when three-straight singles plated the lead-off batter. With no outs and runners on the corner, Dempsey Grover roped a stand-up double down the left-field line and tacked on two more runs to make it 4-0 in favor of the bad guys. The fourth run of the frame crossed the plate for UCSB when Dan Hetzel misplayed a single to right that allowed the runner to take the extra 90 feet. Renteria ended the inning with his third strikeout of the frame, but not before the Gauchos pushed five runs across the plate for the early 6-0 lead.
Renteria settled in nicely in the bottom of the third, retiring the Gauchos in order. The 5-11 righty for NM State had an easy fourth inning as well, sitting UCSB batters down one-by-one after walking the lead-off batter and kept the Aggies within 6-0 of the Gauchos through four.
UCSB’s starter, Nelson, continued to deal in the top-half of the fifth and sent all three Aggie batters down via the strikeout and finished with eight.
Renteria worked his way out of a jam in the fifth, battling the final UCSB batter for the third out with his seventh strikeout – all swinging.
After a great 2.2 innings of work from Dalton Shalberg, Joseph Standley replaced the 6-5 right-hander for the final out of the eighth. The Gauchos added two run before taking game two of the three-game series 8-0.
Odds & Ends
Shalberg pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning for NM State in relief of Renteria, needing just 11 pitches in the sixth and 13 in the seventh…Saturday’s 8-0 loss was the first time NM State has been shut out this season…Last time NM State was shut out on the road was at Sacramento State on March 29, 2015…Aggie batters No. 4-9 combined to go 0-for-19 at the plate on Saturday while the top three batters each had one for NM State.
The rubber match between the Aggies and Gauchos is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. NM State will throw lefty Johnathan Groff (2-3, 3.23 ERA) while UCSB counters with right-handed pitcher Chris Clements (0-3, 8.10 ERA).