J.D. Callahan scattered eight hits over seven innings and No. 27 UC Santa Barbara scored six times in the first inning and never looked back in a 12-3 victory over Cal Poly on Sunday inside Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The win gave the Gauchos the Big West series, three games to one, and improved the Gauchos' overall record to 29-13 and their Big West mark to 20-8, tied for first place with UC Irvine. The Anteaters (18-6) fell to Long Beach State on Sunday.
A three-run triple by Bryce Willits in the first inning set the tone for the rest of the day and UC Santa Barbara added three unearned runs in the frame for a 6-0 lead.
Cal Poly cut the deficit in half with three runs in the fourth. Matt Lopez doubled to drive in two and Nick DiCarlo's grounder to shortstop pushed across the third run of the inning.
But the Gauchos answered quickly with two-run home runs in the fourth (Broc Mortensen) and fifth (Jason WIllits) and tallied two more in the sixth on a two-run single by Christian Kirtley to pull away.
For the first time in 11 games, Cal Poly outhit the opposition. The 11-8 Mustang advantage included two singles each by Connor Gurnik, Cole Cabrera and Tate Samuelson. Lopez and Reagan Doss added doubles.
Callahan (3-2) struck out six without a walk for the win, throwing 109 pitches. The loss went to Kaden Sheedy (0-2).
Cal Poly hit just .153 for the series, Samuelson going 5-for-13 with a home run.
In Saturday's games, Cal Poly won the opener 5-1 before the Gauchos took the nightcap 2-1 in innings.
In Saturday's opener, right fielder Nick DiCarlo smashed a three-run home run in the fourth inning and Cal Poly added two more in the fifth.
DiCarlo's third homer of the season and fifth of his Mustang career erased a 1-0 deficit. A leadoff walk to Matt Lopez and a single by Nick Marinconz preceded the two-out home run by DiCarlo in the fourth.
In the fifth, the Mustangs chased Gaucho starter Rodney Boone (8-2) and scored twice on a bases-loaded walk to Marinconz and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to Joe Yorke.
That was more than enough for Travis Weston (4-5) and Kyle Scott.
Weston earned the win after striking out five and allowing one run and five hits over 5 1/3 innings. Scott earned his fifth save by securing the final 11 outs, seven via strikeout.
Boone allowed five runs over 4 2/3 innings with five walks and nine strikeouts.
Cal Poly was held to four hits, including a double by catcher Myles Emmerson. UC Santa Barbara's seven hits included two each by Jordan Sprinkle and Cole Cummings.
The Mustangs' offensive woes continued in the nightcap, held to just three hits. One of the hits was a solo home run by Marinconz with two outs in the fifth inning, giving Cal Poly a 1-0 lead.
It was Marinconz's second home run of the year and third of his Mustang career.
UC Santa Barbara tied the game in the sixth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by second baseman Jason Willow.
Cal Poly left two runners on base in the eighth and one more in both the ninth and 10th. UC Santa Barbara won it in the 11th as Bryce Willits drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single to center field by true freshman third-string catcher John Newman, who was 0-for-2 for the season before collecting his first collegiate hit.
Mustang starter Andrew Alvarez pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run and scattering eight hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Bryce Warrecker (1-3) suffered the loss. The freshman right-hander allowed just two hits and one walk over 3 1/3 innings with four strikeouts.
Carter Benbrook (4-1), who collected his third save of the year Friday, pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for the win, giving up one hit and two walks with three strikeouts.
In addition to the home run by Marinconz, Cal Poly's only other hits were a fourth-inning single y Matt Lopez and an eighth-inning single by Brooks Lee.
The Mustangs remain on the road next weekend, visiting CSU Bakersfield for four Big West games Friday through Sunday.