Gauchos Face Cal Poly in Non-Conference Series

Connor Baits (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Connor Baits (Photo by Vince Agapito)

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• The Schedule
Friday, Mar. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at No. 20 Cal Poly (15-4)
Saturday, Mar 23 at 2:00 p.m. vs. Cal Poly
Sunday, Mar 24 at 1:00 p.m. at Cal Poly
All-Time record vs. the Mustangs: 87-61-1
Saturday's game is at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Friday and Sunday's games in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

• Off To A Good Start
Through the first five weeks of the season, the Gauchos have just one series loss, a feat they haven't accomplished since 2009, when they went 3-1-1 over their first five sets. With an identical 3-1-1 series record in 2013, a single win over Cal Poly will ensure that UCSB enters conference play with a winning overall record for the sixth straight year.

• Rank and File
The Gauchos' mid-week win over No. 17 Notre Dame on Tuesday gave them their first victory over a ranked opponent this season, after having lost to No. 12 UCLA on Feb. 26. UCSB went 2-5 against ranked opponents in 2012, taking a game each from No. 8 Cal State Fullerton and No. 23 Oregon State. The Gauchos face their first series against a ranked opponent this weekend with No. 20 Cal Poly.

• Keep Your Head Up
Entering the week, the Gauchos ranked first in the Big West Conference in both hit by pitches (38) and hit batters (24). UCSB ranks ninth in the nation in HBPs, 16 behind national leaders Delaware St., who have been plunked a staggering 54 times. Woody Woodward's conference-leading nine hit by pitches places him ninth nationally, while Andrew Vasquez has kept opposing lineups on alert with a team-high five hit batters.

• Conference Commendables
A pair of Gauchos recorded stellar performances last week, earning nominations Big West Player of the Week nominee honors. Austin Pettibone was nominated for Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete game, four-hit shutout with just 79 pitches against Sacramento State. It was the sophomore's first career complete game, and he set career bests in strikeouts (6) and hits allowed (4). Freshman DH Robby Nesovic was nominated as Field Player of the week after hitting .615 on the week with multi-hit games in each of the Sacramento State matchups. Nesovic scored Saturday's game winning run and brought his overall average up to .500, which would be the highest on the team if it qualified.

• Making Contact
The Gauchos are having little difficulty making contact with the ball so far in 2013, whiffing just 85 times – the fewest among all Big West teams. Peter Maris (27.5 AB's per K), Andrew Calica (23 AB/K), Brandon Trinkwon (13 AB/K), and Robby Nesovic (10 AB/K) have all been much tougher to send down than the league average of 5.59 AB's per strikeout.

• Preseason Publicity
Following their stellar 2012 seasons, a pair of Gauchos were selected as Preseason All-Americans. In December, sophomore LHP Andrew Vasquez was named to the Second Team by the NCBWA, while junior SS Brandon Trinkwon was named to the Baseball America Second-Team. Brandon was also noted as the top defensive infielder in college baseball. In addition, the current UCSB freshman class was ranked as the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation by Baseball America, tops among all Big West schools and the first time the Gauchos had appeared on the list in school history.

• Gauchos Over the Air
UCSB Athletics and the Santa Barbara News Press radio will broadcast a vast majority of UCSB Baseball's games this season, with 30 games being carried over the air by AM 1290 and online through and another 17 games airing exclusively online.