UCSB Hosts Cal State Northridge in Final Home Series of Season as Part of Walk Off Weekend

Photo by Tony Mastres
Photo by Tony Mastres

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

• The Schedule
Friday, May 9 at 3:00 p.m. vs. Cal State Northridge (17-30, 5-10)
Saturday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. vs. CSUN
Sunday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m. vs. CSUN
All-Time Record vs. Matadors: 74-56-3
2013 series: Gauchos won series 2-1 @ CSUN
CSUN Streak/Last 10: Lost 2/3-7

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

• Probable Starters
Friday: LHP Justin Jacome (5-2, 3.05 ERA) vs. RHP Brycen Rutherford (4-4, 2.84 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Austin Pettibone (2-1, 4.28 ERA) vs. LHP Jerry Keel (0-8, 3.43 ERA)
Sunday: TBA vs. TBA

• Walk Off Weekend
With Gaucho baseball and softball both hosting their final home series of the year this weekend, UCSB is proud to announce Walk Off Weekend. Giveaways, ticket specials, merchandise offers, and discounted food and beverage will all be in store over the weekend as the Gauchos wrap up another campaign.

• Kuresa Hits the Century Mark
In Saturday's contest at UC Irvine, Gauchos first baseman Tyler Kuresa started his 100th consecutive game, putting him in fairly elite company. The junior infielder became just the fifth UCSB player since 2000 to start 100 straight games, and the first since Brandon Trinkwon started 114 in a row between the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Kuresa has started every UCSB game after redshirting the 2012 campaign.

• UCSB Inches Toward History
With Tuesday's win over Cal State Bakersfield, UCSB improved to 20-3-1 in non-conference play this season (.870 winning percentage). With four non-league games left, the Gauchos will clinch the best non-conference record in program history with their next such win. The mark currently belongs to the 1984 team which went 31-10 in non-conference games for a .756 winning percentage. With one more non-league win, the Gauchos will finish with at least a .778 winning percentage.

• 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 late in April, joining utilityman Joey Epperson (Golden Spikes Award, top collegiate player) as Gauchos under consideration for a prestigious NCAA honor.

• UCSB Bids Farewell to Quartet of Seniors
Four members of the UCSB baseball team will be playing their last home games as Gauchos this weekend: utilityman Joey Epperson, catcher Jackson Morrow, relief pitcher Cameron Cuneo, and infielder Travis Israel.

• RPI Report
After losing its series against the Anteaters, UCSB dropped three spots to No. 52 in the official NCAA RPI, which ranks third in the conference behind Cal Poly (No. 19) and UC Irvine (33). Overall, the Big West has four teams among the top-56 (the aforementioned three and Long Beach State). Teams in the top-45 are generally considered to have a good chance at an at-large bid into the NCAA Tourney.

• Downshifting Schedule
UCSB will be facing a double-edged sword with its remaining opponents down the stretch. On the one hand, the Gauchos will be facing two of the bottom three teams in the conference as well as an under .500 USF team in their final three series, with the trio of teams combining for a .420 winning percentage.  However, none of UCSB's remaining opponents have an RPI below 150, meaning improving the Gauchos RPI could be tough. This makes next Tuesday's contest at Pepperdine (RPI: 38) absolutely critical.

• Mahle and Tate Dominate
Over the past few weeks, UCSB relievers Greg Mahle and Dillon Tate have been downright unhittable. Since Apr. 12, the two have combined to throw 33.2 innings in 17 appearances with just two earned runs for a 0.53 ERA and 0.742 WHIP.  Tate has had his way with hitters all year, having allowed an earned run just once in 22 appearances and ranking second among Big West pitchers and second all-time in UCSB history with 10 saves. The versatile Mahle has thrived in a variety of roles this year, having thrown six innings of two-hit ball this past weekend at UCI. With 26 appearances, he is on pace for another 30-app season, which would make him the second Gaucho ever to have multiple seasons with 30 or more appearances (Justin Segal, '06 & 07).