No. 19 UCSB Baseball Makes First TV Appearance of 2014 as Team Travels to UC Irvine for Big West Set

Robby Nesovic (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Robby Nesovic (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Full release, including player notes and stats, in PDF form

• The Schedule
Friday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. at No. 20 UC Irvine (29-14, 11-1)
Saturday, May 3 at 1:00 p.m. at UCI
Sunday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. at UCI
All-Time Record vs. Anteaters: 38-41
2013 series: Gauchos won series 2-1 @ UCSB
UCI Streak/Last 10: Won 4/7-3

• Gauchos Make Their 2014 TV Debut on ESPN
Friday night's series opener against the Anteaters will be aired live on ESPN3, with Sam Farber handling play-by-play duties. The link to the broadcast can be found directly here or on UCSB's broadcast page. This is UCSB baseball's first televised game of the 2014 season.

• UCSB Baseball on the Radio
All three games of the UC Irvine series will be broadcasted live over the air on AM 1290 – Santa Barbara News-Press Radio – and online at Gerry Fall, the Voice of the Gauchos, will have the call for all UCSB Baseball broadcasts this season. For links to all broadcasts, click here.

• Probable Starters
Friday: LHP Justin Jacome (5-1, 2.53 ERA) vs. RHP Andrew Morales (7-0, 0.78 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Austin Pettibone (2-1, 4.94 ERA) vs. LHP Elliot Surrey (6-2, 2.05)
Sunday: RHP Shane Bieber (2-2, 3.40 ERA) vs. RHP Evan Brock (7-3, 3.15 ERA)

• Pulse on the Polls
For the eighth consecutive week, the UCSB Baseball program made an appearance in national polls, ranking as high as No. 19 this week (Perfect Game). Elsewhere, they checked in at No. 24 in the NCBWA poll. They also received votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.

• RPI Report
Despite a series win against UC Riverside over the weekend, UCSB dropped from No. 37 to No. 49 in the official NCAA Rating Percentage Index. That is second-best among Big West schools behind Cal Poly, who sit at No. 17. UC Irvine ranks third conference-wide at No. 54, up from No. 65 last week.

• Painful Record
Junior 2B Woody Woodward set a new UCSB program record last week and he has a few bruises to show for it. Entering the series against UC Riverside with 16 hit-by-pitches on the year, Woodward was plunked five times by the Highlanders and the Bruins to give him 21 on the year, breaking the program's single-season record of 18 set by Josh McCanne in 2002. Woodward has now been hit by a pitch in nine of his last 12 games played and ranks fourth nationally in the statistic. As a team, UCSB has been hit by 76 pitches, good for 11th in the country and putting the team on pace for its second-ever 90+ HBP season.

• Kissing Your Sister
UCSB's tie with UCLA on Tuesday afternoon was the program's first since the 1998 season.

• Three Gauchos Land on National Watch Lists
Shortstop Peter Maris (Brooks Wallace Award, top collegiate SS) and closer Dillon Tate (NCBWA Stopper of the Year, top collegiate reliever) were both added to watch lists for national awards last week, joining utilityman Joey Epperson (Golden Spikes Award, top collegiate player) as Gauchos under consideration for a prestigious NCAA honor.

• Mahle and Tate Fans in Luck
Those fans trying to catch a peek at Greg Mahle and Dillon Tate will probably get their wish at any UCSB game they choose to attend. Mahle leads the entire Big West in appearances with 24, while Tate ranks fifth with 20. The two's usage has been ramped up significantly in conference play, as the Mahle and Tate rank 1-2 in Big West game appearances. Overall, Mahle and/or Tate have appeared in 31 of UCSB's 38 games this season (82%).

• Not Your Ordinary Closer
Besides making a high number of appearances, Tate pitches A LOT when he gets into games. Six of his 10 saves this season have required four or more outs, second in the conference to only UCI's Sam Moore, who has 12. Half of his 20 appearances, including three straight and five of his last seven, have been more than one inning of work.

• Keeping it Close
Thanks to the success of the bullpen, UCSB boasts a 19-0 record this season when leading after six innings. The Gauchos have been difficult to come back on no matter when building a lead, as the team is 18-1 this season when scoring first. Getting on top early has been important for the Gauchos, as the team has played 16 one-run games – 12th most in the country – to an 11-4-1 record. Things have got even tighter in conference play, as 12 of UCSB's 15 Big West games have been decided by two runs or less.

• Under the Lights
In Friday's nationally-televised series opener, UCSB will look to turn around its fortune in night games. The Gauchos are just 4-4 (.500) this season under the lights compared to a 22-7-1 (.759) mark in day games.