Gauchos Travel to Northridge, Ready for Home Opener Against San Jose State

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Feb. 9, 2004

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
The Schedule
Game No. 4, 5, 6, 7
Tuesday, February 8, 2004 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors at Matador Field
Friday, February 13, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, February 14, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, February 15, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)

San Jose State Spartans vs. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

A Look At Opening Weekend
Two strong pitching performances lifted the Gauchos to a season-opening series victory over San Diego State last weekend. Wins on Friday and Sunday by scores of 8-2 and 2-0, respectively, sandwiched Saturday's 8-5 loss. On Friday in UCSB's season opener, sophomore right-hander Steve Morlock tossed five effective innings and senior catcher Taylor Vogt launched his fourth career home run to lead the Gauchos to their second consecutive season-opening win. Out of the bullpen, senior right-handers Rich Sorenson and Aaron Jones combined to hold the Aztecs hitless and scoreless through the game's final four innings. Saturday's contest got out of reach early for UCSB as San Diego State touched Gaucho starter James Dayley for six runs in the first inning. Despite two hits apiece from shortstop Chris Valaika, first baseman Bill Rowe and center fielder Matt Emerick, the Gauchos were never able to recover against Aztec starter Daryl Harang and two relievers. On Sunday, sophomore righty Michael Martin made definitively his best collegiate start as he paced UCSB with seven shutout innings on the mound, allowing just three hits and walking none. Martin, making his seventh collegiate start, set down the SDSU side in order in the third, sixth and seventh innings. Second baseman Chris Malec and third baseman Nate Sutton each contributed RBI singles in the winning effort. Jones picked up his first save of the year with a pefect ninth inning. The shutout was the first by UCSB pitchers since April 4, 2001 (9-0 vs. Westmont) and the first against a Division 1 opponent since May 19, 2000 (11-0 vs. Cal Poly).

On The Mound This Week
Freshman Andy Graham will make his first collegiate appearance Tuesday as he takes the game ball against Cal State Northridge... Gaucho Head Coach Bob Brontsema is expected to use the same rotation that he used at San Diego State again this weekend versus San Jose State. That means it will be sophomore Steve Morlock (1-0) on Friday, senior James Dayley (0-1) on Saturday and sophomore Michael Martin (1-0) in the finale against the Spartans. The all right-handed trio combined to throw 13 innings last weekend against the Aztecs. In those innings, they gave up eight runs, with six of them coming in one inning.

Now That's Relief
Perhaps what has the Gaucho coaching staff the happiest this young season is the emergence of the pitching staff's young arms and the performance of its bullpen. In the three game series against San Diego State, the UCSB bullpen posted a 1.38 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 13 innings.

The Brontsema File
Bob Brontsema enters his 11th season as head coach of the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. Last year Brontsema logged his 250th victory, becoming the third coach in school history to do so, and also cementing himself as the third winningest coach in UCSB history. He enters this season with a career mark of 263-269. Brontsema's team ended the 2003 season 25-28 overall and 8-13 in Big West Conference play. Brontsema's has been selected twice as Big West Coach of the Year. In 2001, his team finished with a mark of 40-17, good for a .701 winning percentage, the highest in school history. Brontsema's 2001squad also had 10 players sign professional contracts after the season. Brontsema was also selected as Big West Coach of the Year in 1996, when he piloted UCSB to a 32-20 overall mark and 14-7 showing in conference play.

Probable Gaucho Starters
vs. Cal State Northridge
C Taylor Vogt.......... Launched opening day HR
1B Bill Rowe............ Leads team with five hits
2B Chris Malec......... 2-for-4 in Sunday's 2-0 win
3B Nate Sutton......... Has one of teams' two stolen bases
SS Chris Valaika....... First collegiate hit on Saturday
LF Matt Emerick...... Leads team with four RBI
CF Brian Adams....... Started Friday and Sunday vs. SDSU
RF Matt Wilkerson... Two RBI in opening weekend
DH Greg Powers....... 2-for-7 after first three games

On The Mound
Tuesday vs. Cal State Northridge
Andy Graham (Fr. RHP) Collegiate Debut
Friday vs. San Jose State
Steve Morlock (So. RHP)
1-0, 3.60 ERA, 7 K
Saturday vs. San Jose State
James Dayley (Sr. RHP)
0-1, 1 IP
Sunday vs. San Jose State
Michael Martin (So. RHP)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 IP, 3 H, 1K

Scouting the Matadors
Entering Tuesday's matchup, Cal State Northridge holds a 4-2 record, having just taken two of three games at Hawai'i Hilo over the weekend. Shortstop Jesse Perez has been leading Coach Steve Rousey's Matadors with a .400 batting average (8-for-20), seven runs scored and eight RBI. On the mound, four different hurlers have compiled a victory for CSUN, but most notable is Nathan Hochgesang, who, despite remaining winless, has held opponents scoreless over his first 8.2 innings pitched. Scott Sistilli, the Matadors' expected starter on Tuesday, has also not yielded a run in his two innings of work.

Series Record
Cal State Northridge leads the all-time series between the two schools 46-50. However, most recently, the Gauchos took five of six games from the Matadors in 2003, which featured a non-conference sweep at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Scouting the Spartans
Led by Head Coach Sam Piraro, the 2004 San Jose State baseball team is 0-2-1. After an opening day 3-3 tie, the Spartans went on to lose the final two games of their season opening series against Cal Poly by scores of 5-1 and 7-3. Shortstop Anthony Contreras is hitting .417 (5-for-12) in the young season.

Series Record
San Jose State leads the all-time series 31-39 after taking two of three fromUCSB in 2003.