May 31, 2013


UCSB holds off A&M


By Patrick Meyers

Special to


CORVALLIS, Ore. – UC Santa Barbara came out swinging, leaving Texas A&M giving too little, too late, as the Gauchos earned a 6-4 win in the opening game of the Corvallis Regional.


The Gauchos built an early 5-1 lead – thanks in part to two hits and two runs from right fielder Luke Swenson – by the fourth and were in command until a late Aggies rally. Two costly errors by Texas A&M helped get Gauchos take control of the game.


“It was a great start by Austin Pettibone,” Gauchos coach Andrew Checketts said. “I thought we were really efficient offensively and put some pressure on them.”


UCSB’s Dylan Hecht came in to close and staved off a momentous Aggies rally in the ninth.


“Dylan kind of gave us all a heart attack a bit,” Checketts said.


Texas A&M’s Krey Bratsen singled to bring in Troy Stein, and Jace Statum added an RBI single to trim the deficit to 6-4. But Hecht was able to get Mikey Reynolds to foul out to third and ended the ill-fated comeback by striking out Blake Allemand.


“I thought it was a hard-fought game,” Aggies coach Rob Childress said. “I thought Coach Checketts and his team played extremely well, played with a lot of confidence, were well-coached and executed early.”


Pettibone (10-3) worked 7.2 innings with seven hits, two runs (one earned) and six strikeouts.


“We did a good job of staying on it and not backing down,” Pettibone said. “We played, our offense hit in the beginning, I was throwing strikes.”


The Gauchos (35-23) were happy with the win, but are not looking to end their trip in Corvallis.


“It has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and definitely unforgettable,” Swenson said. “I have been trying to soak it all in, but we are still not satisfied with just one win. We want to win this thing and not just be here to be here.”


UCSB will take on Oregon State in the winners’ bracket at 5 p.m. local time; Texas A&M will play the Texas-San Antonio in an elimination game at 12 p.m.