No. 10 Gauchos Open Big West Play by Hosting Hawai'i For Three

Joey Epperson
Joey Epperson

Full release, including stats and player notes, available here in PDF Format

• The Schedule
Friday, Mar. 28 at 3:00 p.m. vs. Hawai'i (2-11)
Saturday, Mar. 29 at 2:00 p.m. vs. Hawai'i
Sunday, Mar. 30 at 1:00 p.m. vs. Hawai'i
All-Time Record vs. Hawai'i: 7-14
2013 series: 2-2 split
Hawai'i Streak/Last 10: Won 2/5-5
All games broadcasted on AM 1290 and

• Probable Starters
Friday: LHP Justin Jacome (4-0, 2.08 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Austin Pettibone (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Sunday: TBA

• Gauchos Earn First Top-10 Ranking in Over Quarter-Century/Rankings Report
In this week's Collegiate Baseball poll, UCSB was ranked No. 10, the program's highest ranking since the 1986 season (No. 5). The Gauchos also appeared in the four other national polls, including Perfect Game (14), Baseball America (15), USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll (23), and NCBWA (26). In unofficial RPI reports, UCSB checked in at No. 28/30 (Warren Nolan/Boyd's World).

• Best of the West
At 18-3 overall and with an .857 winning percentage, UCSB boasts the best record in the West Region and the fourth best in the nation. Across the NCAA, the Gauchos trail only Louisiana-Lafayette (23-3, .920), South Carolina, and Virginia Commonwealth (both 20-3, .870).

• Chance at Program History
With a win against Hawai'i in Friday's opener, the Gauchos will match the 1984 team for the best start in program history at 19-3. Should they equal that record, it will be all the more impressive considering seven of the 1984 team's first 22 games came against Division II opponents.

• Series Clinchers
Having won 10 straight series of three or more games dating back to last season, UCSB is on the precipice of tying a program record set over the 1983 and 1984 seasons of 11 straight 3+ game series wins. Similarly, the Gauchos have won or split 15 straight series overall, just three behind the program record of 18 over the 1986 and 1987 seasons.

• Calica Thrives at the Top of the Lineup
Redshirt freshman Andrew Calica was named Big West Field Player of the Week on Monday, hitting .588 in the Wagner series after being moved to the leadoff spot for the first time this season. With the strong week, Calica raised his season average to .427, which places him 11th in the country and third overall in the Big West Conference. He has now recorded a hit in 13 of UCSB's last 14 games and has reached base safely in 20 straight contests. Against Wagner, he had three hits and at least one RBI in each of the first three games of the series, then went 1-3 with three stolen bases and two runs in the series finale.

• One Streak Ends, Another Continues for Joey Epperson
Going 0-3 in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against Wagner, Joey Epperson's team-best 24-game hitting streak came to an end. Epperson's "slump" didn't last too long however, as he has hits in both games since snapping the streak, and currently maintains the second-highest batting average in the NCAA at .475. Joey is also in the midst of another impressive streak, having reached base safely in 33 straight games dating back to last season.

• To First Base and Beyond
Junior second baseman Woody Woodward has reached base safely in 72 of 76 career starts at UCSB, the best ratio on the team among players with more than five starts. So far in 2014, he has reached in 20 of 21 games. Woody began last season by reaching base in his first 44 starts, the streak only coming to end when he had to leave a May 24 contest against UC Davis early due to an injury.

• Five is the Magic Number
Holding the opposition to five runs or less appears to be the magic number for UCSB baseball. In the 16 games in which the team has done so, they are undefeated. On the offensive side, the Gauchos are a perfect 12-0 when scoring more than five runs.