Jan. 21, 2004
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 2004 Gaucho baseball squad will make its first appearance of the season this Saturday against the UCSB Alumni team at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start, the annual Alumni game will be preceeded by an Old Timers game featuring UCSB players from the 60's and 70's at 10 a.m.
UCSB Head Coach Bob Brontsema said he is hoping for a large turnout of former Gauchos, including Oakland Athletics' southpaw Barry Zito. The 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner pitched at UCSB as a freshman in 1997 before transferring to LA Pierce Community College and eventually USC.
In last year's alumni game, the 2003 Gaucho squad was outdone by their predecessors 13-12 in a wild slugfest. The 2003 alumni team featured a starting lineup of seven All-Big West Conference honorees including a handful of 2001 graduates and most recent graduates Ryan Spilborghs and Dave Licht. The alumni tallied 13 runs on 11 hits, while the Gauchos recorded 12 runs on eight hits.
The 2004 Gauchos, led by powerful juniors Chris Malec and Matt Wilkerson and senior Nate Sutton, will kick their new season into gear on Friday, February 6 at San Diego State. UCSB will make its first appearance at home in a three game series against San Jose State beginning February 13.