Jan. 27, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
The 2006 UC Santa Barbara baseball team will take the field for the first time this Saturday, Jan. 28 against a team of Gaucho alumni at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start, it looks to be an exciting day of both past and present Gaucho baseball. The rest of the day's activities include the annual "Old Timers" game slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. and a Home Run Derby following its conclusion.
UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema expects a decent turnout of former Gauchos turned professionals. In attendance will be Skip Schumaker (2001), who was called up to the St. Louis Cardinals last season. In 24 at bats, Schumaker batted .250 with nine runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Other professional players attending include Nate Sutton (2004) of the Anaheim Angels organization, home run champ Matt Wilkerson (2005) of the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Alex McRobbie (2005) who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and Loren Fraser (2005) of the Detroit Tigers organization. Former SIDs Darryl Gross, Bryan DeSena and Tony LaTorra are not expected to attend.
With a strong pitching performance by junior Brian Tracy, a key hit by junior Chris Valaika and a home run by then senior Chris Malec (now a player in the New York Yankees organization), the UC Santa Barbara baseball team easily defeated an Alumni team composed of numerous minor leaguers 12-2 last year. In the game, the Gauchos tallied 12 runs off 9 hits and held the alums to two runs on three hits.
The 2006 Gauchos, led by standout junior Chris Valaika and hurlers Andy Graham and Steve Morlock, will begin their new season on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at home against Westmont at 2 pm.