UCSB Returns Home to Host 3-Game Series Against CSUN

Andrew Martinez (photo by Tony Mastres)
Andrew Martinez (photo by Tony Mastres)

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• The Schedule
Friday-Sunday May 4-6 at 3 p.m., 2 p.m., 1 p.m.
UCSB Gauchos vs. CSUN Matadors
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
All-time record vs. the Matadors: 82-60-3
The last meeting: April 9, 2017 - CSUN 10, UCSB 8

• Projected Starting Pitchers
Pitcher (Record, ERA) Fast Fact
Fri. - RHP Chris Lincoln (2-2, 2.19)...Opposing hitters are batting just .164 with two outs.
Sat. - RHP Stevie Ledesma (5-2, 2.55)...Has won 4 of his 6 starts (4-1) with a 1.93 ERA over 37.1 IP. 
Sun. TBD

• The Gauchos' Record
UCSB enters its weekend series against CSUN with an overall record of 21-18-1 and a Big West Conference mark of 6-6. Since their record fell to 4-9-1 after a 4-4 tie on Mar. 11 vs. Texas State, the Gauchos have gone 17-9. Included in the current run, were two wins over Cal State Fullerton, two over UC Riverside and one apiece over USC, UC Irvine and UC Davis.

• The Week in Review
The Gauchos claimed two out of three games from UC Riverside last weekend, winning 9-8 in 12 innings on Friday and 14-2 on Saturday, before falling 14-10 in 11 innings on Sunday. On Tuesday, UCSB won a 9-5 decision at Cal State Bakersfield.

• A Series of Fortunate Events
The Gauchos have a solid 16-8-1 record at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium this season and since opening the year with a 5-5-1 record at home they have gone 13-3. In fact, since losing back-to-back home series to Texas State and Sacramento State in March, UCSB has claimed four consecutive series by sweeping San Jose State, taking two of three from Cal State Fullerton, sweeping UTRGV and winning two out of three against UC Riverside. Earlier in the season, the Gauchos took two of three from Penn State, so overall, they have a 5-2 record in weekend series.

• Picking Up the Offense
Overall, UCSB is batting .262 and averaging 5.7 runs per game, but in the last four games the offense has started to heat up. In their last three games, the Gauchos have collected 49 hits in 157 at bats, a more-than-solid .312 batting average while averaging 10.5 runs per game. Of the 49 hits, there have been nine doubles, two triples and four home runs. Over that span, UCSB has collected 17 walks and been hit by 10 pitches and its on-base percentage is .406. Finally, in the last four games, the Gauchos have stolen 10 bases, more than a quarter of their season total. 

• The Kids are OK
The 2018 Gaucho roster is one of the youngest in school history. UCSB has 15 freshmen and eight sophomores, a total of 23 underclassmen, on a roster of 32 players, 71.9%. Among field players, freshmen and sophomores have made 228 of 360 starts, 63.3%, and among pitchers, they have made 25 of the 40 starts, 62.5%, and 81 of 147 total appearances, 55.7%.

• Jew Named Player of the Week
Sophomore center fielder Tommy Jew became the first UCSB player this season to be named Big West Field Player of the Week after helping the Gauchos win two of three games from UC Riverside last weekend. In the three games against the Highlanders, Jew went 9-for-15 (.600), had a slugging percentage of 1.067, scored six runs and had seven RBI. The San Ramon, Calif., native also contributed two doubles, a triple and his third home run of the season. In Friday's 9-8 12-inning victory, Jew produced his first 4-hit performance of the series, finishing 4-for-5, and with the Gauchos trailing 8-6 in the 11th, Jew cranked an up-and-in pitch over the scoreboard in left field to knot the game at 8-8. In Saturday's 14-2 victory, he went 4-for-4 and collected a career-high five RBI.  

• Top of the Order Gets it Done
Tommy Jew was a big part of UCSB's big offensive weekend against UC Riverside, but he had company. The Gauchos had the same top four in the batting order for each of the games. Andrew Martinez batted first, Clay Fisher second, Jew third and Thomas Rowan clean-up. Combined, the foursome collected 26 hits in 60 at bats, .433, with 21 runs scored, 14 RBI, four walks, six doubles, a triple and a home run. Individually, Jew was 9-for-15 (.600), Fisher was 9-of-16 (.562), Martinez was 4-13 (.308) and Rowan was 4-for-16 (.250). Rowan currently has the longest hitting streak of any Gaucho at seven consecutive games, while Fisher has the second longest at five in a row.