February 6, 2002

Baseball Readies For Weekend Series At Santa Clara

Feb. 6, 2002

TWIGB (This Week In Gaucho Baseball)
* Friday February 8, 2 p.m. - at Santa Clara
* Sat. - Sun., February 9-10, 1 p.m. - at Santa Clara

Gauchos On The Air

Oskar Garcia and Co. will cover the Gauchos on KCSB 91.9 FM in 2002. KCSB will broadcast four games in February. The next broadcasts will be in February 15, 17 and the 19th. Air time will be five minutes before the game for all games. The Santa Clara series can be followed pitch-by-pitch on-line at http://santaclarabroncos.fansonly.com/livestats/m-basebl/

Flirting With The Mendoza Line No More

The Gaucho offense got off to a miserable start as the Gauchos were only able to muster 19 hits in their first three games against Loyola Marymount, good for a frigid .207 average. However, the Gauchos racked up 14 hits in Mondays game against BYU to raise their team batting average 49 points to .256.

So-Fresh And So-Clean

The freshman have already made an impact on this years squad on the field and on the mound. DH Matt Wilkerson has been the Gauchos most potent supplier of power, smacking two home runs and a triple in his first week of collegiate ball. Second baseman Chris Malec is coming off a 4-for-4 performance against BYU and leads the Gaucho starters with a .462 batting average. Righty Eric Posthumus pitched six strong innings in his first start, striking out seven batters to pick up his first win and the first for a Gaucho starter against BYU. Alex McRobbie and Mike Sutherland are two other freshman who have also seen time in the bullpen.

Smorgasborghs

Junior Ryan Spilborghs, the Gauchos only returning regular starter from last seasons team has not slowed down in 2002. After batting .375 in 2001 Spilly has gotten off to a great start this season, batting .429 with five runs scored and leads the Gauchos in doubles, with two. The local product from Santa Barbrara High has been just as solid defensively where he has saved the pitching staff numerous runs with his strong arm and the ability to cover a lot of ground out in right field.

Starting Pitching Says It All

When the starters do well so do the Gauchos. In their two losses the Gaucho starters have given up 11 runs. In their two wins the starters have yeilded only four. Ace James Garcia and returning starter Matt Vasquez struggled with their control last weekend as both walked five batters in their starts. The Gaucho bullpen has done well so far this year. In 13.1 innings, the Gaucho pen has allowed only five earned runs, good for a 3.38 ERA.

The Man With The Plan

Bob Brontsema returns for his ninth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 218-210 (.508). Brontsema is coming off his best coaching season at UCSB guiding the Gauchos to a 40-17 record, good for the best single season winning percentage (.702) at UCSB since 1986. The 40 wins were the most by a UCSB team since 1990. For his efforts, Brontsema was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Brontsema has posted three straight over-.500 campaigns, the school's first such achievement since 1992.

Those Other Guys

UCSB will play a three-game set at Santa Clara this weekend. The Broncos are 2-1 on the season, coming off a series win over 17th ranked Fresno State. Santa Clara is lead offensively by Joey Gomes who is batting .417 with a home run and five RBI and on the mound by John Redmond who has a 1-0 record and 1.50 ERA.

The Bottom Line: Hitting and Pitching Leaders (2002)

Malec .462, Spilborghs .429,Wilkerson .385,, Sugarman 0.00, Moran 0.00, Edrosolan 0.00, Sutherland 0.00 and Posthumus 1.50.