Marc Flores had a career-high four hits, Kaeo Aliviado delivered a seventh inning three-run triple but it wasn't enough as the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior baseball team's rally fell short in an 8-7 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The 'Bows trailed by eight runs before Aliviado's bases-clearing hit spearheaded a five-run seventh inning to cut the Gaucho lead to 8-6. Hawai'i nearly completed the comeback in the ninth when Matt Miller's two-out infield hit scored Aliviado (1 H, 2 R, 3 RBI) from third to make it a one-run game. The rally fell short on the next at bat when Steven Pollakov grounded out to Gaucho reliever Dillon Tate to end the game.
Scott Squier (2-2) had his shortest outing of the season for the 'Bows who fell to 13-13 overall and 1-1 in the Big West Conference. He allowed six runs on six hits before being lifted for Andrew Jones to start the fifth inning. Eric Gleese tossed a scoreless final three innings for the 'Bows.
Austin Pettibone (2-0) earned the win in five scoreless innings of work. Joey Epperson had a monster day for UCSB batting 4-4 with two runs and two RBI and Tyler Kuresa added two hits, one run and two RBI.
The Gauchos (19-4, 1-1 BWC) plated a run in the first inning then exploded for five more in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. UCSB ripped four straight extra-base hits highlighted by a Robby Nesovic (1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI) two-run double. Back-to-back triples by Kuresa and Woody Woodyard (1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI) led to another pair of runs to cap the big inning.
UCSB tacked on another pair of runs before the 'Bows finally got on the board with a run in the sixth inning. After Gaucho reliever Andrew Vasquez retired the first two UH hitters, Jordan Richartz (2 H, 1 R, 1 RBI) singled then stole second. Flores then got his third hit of the day, an RBI-single to score Richartz and give Hawai'i its first run.
The 'Bows and Gauchos will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. PT (10:00 a.m. HT).