UCSB Picked 6th in Annual Coaches Poll

Jan. 25, 2011

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team was chosen sixth in the annual Big West preseason poll the conference announced on Tuesday.

The Gauchos, who finished fifth last year, return seven starting position players to the lineup as well as two of their weekend starters.

Cal State Fullerton, the conference's reigning champs, were unanimously selected to repeat, drawing all nine first-place votes and 81 total. UC Irvine and UC Riverside tied for second with 65 apiece, followed by Cal Poly with 50, Long Beach State with 47 and the Gauchos with 36. Pacific was picked seventh with 26 votes, UC Davis drew 22 tallies and Cal State Northridge had 13.

In a similar preseason poll, by College Baseball Today, the Gauchos were tabbed to finish fourth in the Big West. To see that article, please click here.

UCSB returns senior right-handed pitcher Jesse Meaux, who was drafted last June but decided to return to Santa Barbara, along with starting pitcher Greg Davis, reliever Kevin Gelinas and starting position players Mark Haddow, Beck Wheeler, Trevor Whyte, Sean Williams, Ryan Palermo and Derek Eligio.

Also expected to contribute greatly this season are outfielders Ben Edelstein and Lance Roenicke, along with catcher Bryce Tafelski. UCSB also brings in a highly-touted recruiting class with starting pitchers Zak Edgington and Matt Vedo and position players Joe Wallace and Joe Winterburn.

This weekend the Gauchos will bring back several notable baseball alums during its annual alumni gala. Expected to be in attendance are Skip Schumaker (St. Louis Cardinals), Ryan Spilborghs (Colorado Rockies), Chris Valaika (Cincinnati Reds), Virgil Vasquez (Los Angeles Angels) and many others. Click here to find out more and how to be a part of it!

The alumni weekend festivities begin on Friday night with UCSB's dinner, "A Night With an Angel" featuring Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Only a small amount of seats remain for the exclusive event, so please contact Christina Baglas at (805) 893-5372 or by email at christina.baglas@athletics.ucsb.edu.

The Gauchos open the season on Friday, Feb. 18 with a home series vs. LaSalle.

Season tickets are now on sale for one low price!

The best seats at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium will again be reserved for season-ticket holders and any fan purchasing tickets now will receive the new UCSB Sunday hats with each season ticket purchased. The Gaucho Sunday hats, brand new this season, are white with a blue brim and have the UCSB logo in blue with gold outline. Adult prices are just $75 and youth prices are $50 - that's a 75 percent savings over the single-game ticket price!

Also, for the fan who cannot make it to every Friday game or weekday affair, UCSB Athletics is offering a weekend only plan for just $50, which is a 60 percent savings over the single-game price! UCSB staff and faculty can purchase a season seat for $37.50.

Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here to purchase today.

To see the entire 2011 baseball schedule, please click here.

2011 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton (9) 81
T2. UC Irvine 65
T2. UC Riverside 65
4. Cal Poly 50
5. Long Beach State 47
6. UC Santa Barbara 36
7. Pacific 26
8. UC Davis 22
9. Cal State Northridge 13