SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara junior right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber and freshman outfielder Michael McAdoo were named the Preseason Big West Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively, in the just-published conference preview by the prestigious amateur baseball publication Baseball America.
Joining that duo in earning honors was UCSB's redshirt junior center fielder Andrew Calica, who was tabbed as the Big West's best athlete and best defensive outfielder.
Entering his third season in the starting rotation and the first as the staff ace, Bieber is coming off a spectacular 8-4, 2.24 ERA sophomore season in which he made his case as one of the elite Sunday starters in the entire country.
The 6-3 righty ranked pounded the strike zone all year, ranking eighth in the country in walks per nine innings (1.04) and 10th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.31). At one point, he went 32 2/3 consecutive innings without alllowing a walk from Apr. 4 to May 3. Not just a control specialist, he struck out 7.59 batters per nine innings last season.
Among returning Big West hurlers, he had the fourth-lowest ERA last season. Bieber heads into his junior campaign with a career record of 11-8 with a 2.72 ERA and 128 punchouts.
A 6-2, 200-pound outfielder from Antioch, Calif., McAdoo is one of the top players of UCSB's freshman class. He comes to UCSB after earning East Bay League MVP and All-American honors at De La Salle High School, where he batted .418 with 20 RBIs as a senior. Baseball America noted his athleticism and five-tool potential as reasons he will be the top freshman in the league in 2016.
Calica, one of UCSB's top returning veterans, is looking to build on a strong sophomore season in which he hit .329 atop the order while playing sparkling defense. He then went on to hit .425 in the prestigious Cape Cod League en route to the league batting crown, becoming the first player to hit over .400 in "The Cape" since 1990. With a first step and range ranking among the best in the country, he will once again patrol center field this year for the Gauchos, where he has yet to record an error in two seasons.
UCSB baseball will kick off its season next week by hosting the University of San Francisco Dons for a four-game series starting on Friday. Feb. 19. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now available, so get yours today by clicking here or calling the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-593-UCSB.
The entire Baseball America preview can be read here.