UCSB Hosts CSUN in Three-Game Series Starting on Thursday

By Michael Moriatis
By Michael Moriatis

• The Schedule
Thursday,  April 5, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
Friday,  April 6, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
Saturday,  April 7, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Northridge (12-16, 1-2)
at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)
Overall record vs. the Matadors – 70-54-3
Last series win – 2008 (3/28 - 3/30 @ UCSB – 3-0)
Last series loss – 2011 (5/6 - 5/8 @ CSUN – 1-2)
Last time out vs. the Matadors – W, 5-1 @ CSUN (5/8/11)
Streak – Won 1

• On the Radio
All 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.

• Vasquez Vanquishes Villains
Six-foot-six freshman left-hander Andrew Vasquez leads all Big West pitchers with a 1.26 ERA and 55 strikeouts, doing all that through seven starts and 43.0 innings pitched. Vasquez has pitched into the sixth inning in all but one of his starts and has struck out at least six hitters in every one of his outings. His .177 batting average against is fourth among conference pitchers.

• Doing It All
Freshman Greg Mahle has been a huge part of the Gauchos this year as he has a team-high 20 RBI and a .407 batting average – each of which ranks him second in the Big West. Mahle, who hails from Westminster, Calif., is also a pretty good pitcher.  The southpaw has become the Gauchos' closer with three saves and four games finished. In one of his two starts, Mahle struck out 10 Fresno State hitters in 6.0 innings on March 13.

• V is for Vertigan
Despite going just 3 for his last 15 and seeing his 23-game hitting streak end, junior Brett Vertigan has still reached base in all 27 UCSB games and is batting .387, which is third in the Big West. The centerfielder also ranks among the Big West's best in several categories – slugging percentage (4th, .546); on-base percentage (6th, .444); runs (2nd, 27); hits (1st, 46); doubles (2nd, 9); triples (1st, 5); total bases (1st, 65); and stolen bases (2nd, 8).

• Well Oiled Machine
As a team, the Gauchos have one of the best offenses in the Big West. UCSB's .288 batting average is second while the team has scored the most runs (158, 5.9 per game), the second-most RBI (144, 5.3 per), the second-most stolen bases (28, 1.03 per), the second-highest slugging percentage (.386) and the second-best on-base percentage (.375).

• 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). UCSB is attempting to post sub-4.00 ERA's in consecutive seasons as the Gauchos boast a 3.98 team ERA.

UCSB Quick Fact
Freshman Greg Mahle has struck out just three times in his 86 at-bats this season, proving to be one of the toughest players in the country to strike out. Mahle is tied for 9th in the country as he K's just once every 27.7 at bats.

By the Numbers
228 – Strikeouts by Gaucho pitchers this season, easily the most in the Big West. The next closest team, UC Irvine, has struck out 195 batters.