UCSB Baseball, Coming Off Sweep, Heads North to Face USF

UCSB Baseball, Coming Off Sweep, Heads North to Face USF

• The Schedule
Saturday March 24, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday March 24, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday March 25, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. USF (10-12)
at USF's Benedetti Diamond
Overall record vs. the Dons – 12-6
Last series win – 2010 (3/26 - 3/28 @ UCSB; 2-1)
Last series loss – 1967 (@ UCSB; 0-2)
Last time out vs. the Dons – L, 3-2 @ USF (3/11/11)
Streak – Lost 1

• On the Radio
All 24 of UCSB's Big West Conference games will be broadcast live on AM 1290 in Santa Barbara and live online by clicking here. Included in the broadcast schedule is a majority of the rest of the Gauchos' schedule, which will be broadcast exclusively live online. To see a full schedule of Gaucho baseball on the air, click here.


• Gauchos Dominate, Obviously
UCSB leads all Big West teams in team batting average at .307 and there are several other offensive categories in which the Gauchos have at least one player on top of the heap. Bryce Tafelski leads the conference in hitting (.436); Brandon Trinkwon is tops in slugging percentage (.612), on-base percentage (.539) and walks (20); Brett Vertigan leads all players in hits (37), runs scored (24), triples (4) and total bases (52); Lance Roenicke leads all conference players in doubles (9).

• Vasquez Vanquishes Villains
Six-foot-six freshman left-hander Andrew Vasquez eclipsed his previous career-high of eight strikeouts by K-ing 12 Rhode Island hitters in seven dominating innings last week. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native leads the Big West with a 1.14 ERA and 41 strikeouts. His .167 batting average against is second-best in the league. Vasquez has gone at least 6.0 innings in four of his five starts and has struck out at least six batters in every outing.

• Doing It All
Freshman Greg Mahle has been a huge part of the Gauchos this year as he has 16 RBI (third in the Big West) and his .411 batting average is third in the conference. Mahle, who hails from Westminster, Calif., is also a pretty good pitcher. The southpaw struck out 10 Fresno State hitters in 6.0 innings on March 13.

• Outfield of Dreams
Outfielders Lance Roenicke (LF), Brett Vertigan (CF) and Joey Wallace (RF) have been three of the Gauchos' best hitters this season. Vertigan's .425 batting average is second on the team and the leadoff batter's 14 RBI are fourth on the squad. He's also tied for the team lead with 10 multi-hit and four multi-RBI games. Roenicke has reached base in all 19 of the team's games this season and leads the team with seven stolen bases while his 15 RBI are third. Wallace who has hits in 10 of his last 11 games, is batting .308 and boasts a .392 on-base percentage.

UCSB Quick Fact
With two three-game sweeps already this season, it marks the first time since the 2010 season the Gauchos have pulled that off. The last UCSB team to have more than two three-game sweeps in a season came in 2008 when the Gauchos had five.

By the Numbers
32 – Points between UCSB's Big West-leading .307 team batting average and that of the next-closest teams, Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge which each have a .275 team clip.

• At the Polls
In the annual Big West preseason poll, UCSB was tabbed to finish sixth in the conference while Cal State Fullerton was picked to win the league crown.

• Gauchos Again
UCSB has a pair of pitchers on its staff who were drafted but decided to wear the blue and gold again. Right-hander Matt Vedo was selected in last June's amateur draft in the 49th round by the Los Angeles Angels while left-hander Kevin Gelinas has been drafted twice in the past three seasons but each time returned to UCSB.

• Pitching In
UCSB's team ERA in 2011 was 3.65, which served as the Gauchos' lowest since posting a 3.24 clip all the way back in 1984. In fact, no Gaucho team between those two seasons has had an ERA lower than 4.00.