We hear a lot about the winning team after a big win, or in this case four big wins, but not so much about the losing team.
Last weekend, the Oregon Ducks travelled to Santa Barbara, CA to face UC Santa Barbara in a four game series. The series consisted of one game on Friday afternoon, a double-header on Saturday, and a game to conclude the series on Sunday.
Prior to facing the Ducks, the Gauchos were ranked 7th in the country by D1 Baseball and had a record of 6-1 with their only loss to Santa Clara during their first game of the season. The Ducks, unranked, went into the series with a record of just 2-2 against Seattle University.
The Ducks, however, did not waste time establishing an early lead in both the first game and the series. The leadoff hitter for the Ducks, Tanner Smith, began game one of the series with a home run over the right field wall off the first pitch of the game to bring the score to 1-0. The rest of the series went similarly for the Ducks. Oregon beat UCSB 7-6 in game one, 5-4 in game two, 17-2 in game three, the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday, and 9-4 in the final game of the series.
Clearly, this was a glowing defeat for UCSB, especially to an unranked team. Following the sweep, UCSB’s ranking dropped to 22nd on the D1 Baseball Top 25 with a 6-5 record. And despite their four road wins to a ranked team and now 6-2 record, Oregon did not earn a spot on the top 25.
Although it was a tough weekend for UCSB, the team showed a lot of resilience and came close to winning more than one of the games in the series. Pitchers Zach Torra, Michael McGreevy, and Cory Lewis all had great starts for the Gauchos and Cole Cummings was dominant at the plate.
“Even though they lost the four games, I think we’re still gonna be in a good position to win a lot of games and there shouldn’t be a whole lot to hang your head about when you try and pick out the good things that happened this weekend,” said Kevin Cannon, host of the Gaucho9 Podcast, the official podcast of UCSB Baseball.
After not playing all week, tonight UCSB will begin their next series against the University of San Francisco at home in Santa Barbara, CA. USF is unranked with a 4-8 record and coming off being swept by Stanford University last weekend.
“The Gauchos are going to have to dig deep moving forward, it’s early in the season though, they will get right,” said Cannon.
It will be interesting to see which of these two teams, both fighting for redemption after disappointing weekends last week, will come out on top.
Despite being swept by Oregon, UCSB still has a solid lineup of both pitchers and batters, and the potential to perform much better than they did last weekend. Don’t count out the Gauchos just yet, I believe they will be back in the top 10 soon enough.