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Quartet of Clutch Performers Guide Gauchos Past Gophers

SURPRISE, Arizona (February 17, 2023) — Mike Gutierrez hit eight in five innings, Nick Oakely drove in four runs, Ivan Brethowr hit his first home run as a Gaucho, and freshman Hudson Barrett hit a four-out save to give UC Santa Barbara Baseball a 9-7 win over Minnesota in their 2023 season opener at the Sanderson Ford Classic on Friday night. Brady Huddlestun got the win from the bullpen, the first win against the Golden Gophers in UCSB baseball history. Randon Dauman of Minnesota was credited with the loss.

HOW DID IT HAPPENGaucho starter Mike Gutierrez got off to a shaky start, giving up a run in the first inning, but settled down after that, retiring 10 straight Minnesota hitters, including a lateral throw in the second. On the fourth and fifth, the UCSB offense provided the pitcher with some run support.

The Gaucho’s first three batters reached base in the bottom of the fourth, then Oakley drove them all home with a three-run triple down the right field line. Oakley homered shortly thereafter on a Corey Nunez RBI groundout. In the fifth, Brethowr and Jonah Sebring each recorded their first RBI as Gauchos to give UCSB a 6–1 lead.

Oakley drives a triple down the right field line to clear the bases to give the Chos their first runs of the 2023 season!!! @FloSports

SI4 | Gauchos 3 – Gophers 1#GoChos pic.twitter.com/R4CBc2IPNC

— UCSB Baseball (@UCSB_Baseball) February 18, 2023

Gutierrez’s night ended atop the sixth, as he gave up a double and a single to get out of frame, and one of those runners came to score, putting the Gauchos up 6-2. Things would only get worse at the top of the seventh. Before the Surprise Stadium fans could get up and chant “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” the Gophers scored five points to take a 7-6 lead in the stretch.

After the stretch, Brethowr sent a 1-2 pitch up a line over the left field fence for his first homer in blue and gold, tying the game. Oakley batted in his fourth run of the game later in the inning to put UCSB ahead for good.

THE EQUALIZER Brethowr throws one left to knot us at 7 �� @flosports

SI7 | Gophers 7 – Gauchos 7#GoChos pic.twitter.com/M9jEcaAMkM

— UCSB Baseball (@UCSB_Baseball) February 18, 2023

Broc Mortensen added an insurance run in the eighth on an error that originally ruled a double pinch hit to left fielder’s glove, and after stranding a runner on second to end the eighth, Barrett finished his first collegiate parade in the ninth.

The first of many ������The Gauchos hold off the Gophers to seal opening day W @flosports

T9 | Gauchos 9 – Gopher 7#GoChos pic.twitter.com/pfNKUCS6Le

— UCSB Baseball (@UCSB_Baseball) February 18, 2023

ON THE STATISTICS SHEET• Mike Gutierrez finished his 5.0 innings with eight Ks, allowing a pair of runs (both earned) on five hits and no walks • Nick Oakley finished 2-3 at the plate with five total bases plus a walk to go along with his record by four RBI Friday night • Ivan Brethowr’s homer was one of three hits sophomore out of Olathe, Kansas. He scored on all three hits • LeTrey McCollum was the only player to reach base four times on Friday; his sophomore year he picked up a couple hits and two walks

NEXTThe Gauchos are back in action in Surprise Saturday night when they take on the University of New Mexico Lobos. UCSB is 4-1 all-time against the Albuquerque team, but hasn’t faced the Lobos since 2004. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:00 PM Pacific Saturday.

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