UCSB Has Won Five of Last Six and Has Eyes Set on Fresno State

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Feb. 17, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Schedule
Games No. 8, 9, 10 • at Fresno State • Pete Beiden Field
Friday, February 18, 2005 at 6:35 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, February 12, 2005 at 1:05 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, February 13, 2005 at 1:05 p.m. (PST)

Saturday's and Sunday's Games on KCSB 91.9 FM

A Look at Last Week
After UC Santa Barbara took two of three over Pepperdine on opening weekend, the Gauchos continued their trend by taking two of three over San Jose State this past weekend. In the harsh conditions of game one against the Spartans, Friday night starter junior Steve Morlock threw six strong innings allowing five hits, giving up two earned runs. The Gauchos were down two runs entering the last inning when they mounted their first come-from-behind victory of the season. Senior catcher Matt Kalafatis tied the game at four with his two-run home run. It was his first of homer of the 2005 campaign. In the top of the 12th, UCSB took the lead for good on a RBI double by senior second baseman Chris Malec. On Saturday Feb. 12, the Gauchos received six strong innings from starter Michael Martin. The junior allowed only two runs to cross the plate. It was sophomore reliever Justin Segal who struggled in game two, allowing three runs on four hits without recording an out in the inning. The only run tallied by UCSB in the game was a first inning lead off homerun by center fielder Matt Emerick. In the rubber match on Sunday, the UCSB offense got back on track by scoring six runs off 11 hits. Sophomore shortstop Chris Valaika went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and senior third baseman David Figoni inked three RBI in the victory. Sophomore starter Andy Graham picked up his second victory of the season with his second straight fine pitching performance. The right-hander hurled six innings allowing, only one run while strike out five.

Kings of Santa Barbara
On Tuesday, Feb. 15 UCSB's bats exploded to defeat cross-town rival Westmont 14-2. The Gauchos continued their hot hitting and scored a season-high 14 runs. Starting pitcher sophomore Brian Tracy recorded his first victory of the season.

On The Mound This Week
Although pitchers Steve Morlock and Michael Martin both struggled in their first starts against Pepperdine, the junior starters each regained 2004 form with their performances against San Jose State. Even though neither tallied a win, they each had a solid outing on the mound. Morlock pitched six innings allowing only two earned runs off five hits and Martin tossed six innings giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. Andy Graham looked solid on the hill once again, picking up his second victory on Sunday versus San Jose State. This weekend, Gaucho head coach Bob Brontsema is expected to use the same rotation as he did against Pepperdine and San Jose State. Meaning Morlock (0-1) will get the nod on Friday against the Bulldogs. On Saturday, Martin (0-1) is expected to be on the hill and in the series finally Graham (2-0) will do the honors.

The Brontsema File
2005 marks the 24th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 12th season as head coach, after ten years as an assistant and two as a player. With a 6-1 victory over San Jose State on Sunday February 13, Brontsema became the third coach in school history to collect career victory no .300. The Gaucho skipper currently owns a record of 301-292. He has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1996 when he guided the Gauchos to a 32-20 record and an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, and in 2001, when he led the team to a 40-17 mark and another NCAA tourney berth. The .701 winning percentage in 2001 was the best in school history. In 2004, Brontsema's Gauchos posted the second-most overall wins in his career as head coach, going 33-21. Milestone dates in Brontsema's coaching career include win no. 100 in 1997, win no. 200 in 2001, and win no. 300 in 2005.

Probable Gaucho Starters
C - Matt Kalafatis - Hit the game tying HR in Saturday's win.
1B - Bill Rowe - 2-for-5, two RBI in Sunday's 6-1 victory
2B - Chris Malec - Hit game winning RBI double on Sat.
SS - Chris Valaika - Leads the team with eight runs scored
3B - David Figoni - Hit his first homer of 2005 on Tuesday
LF - Matt Stevens - In the first seven games batting .471
CF - Matt Emerick -Leads the team with 16 total bases
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Leads the team with 10 RBI
DH - C.J. Cook -Started five of seven games for UCSB

Possible Starting Pitchers
Friday - Steve Morlock - RHP - Jr. (0-1), 11 innings pitched
Saturday - Michael Martin - RHP - Jr. (0-1), 10 2/3 innings pitched, nine K's
Sunday - Andy Graham - RHP - So. (2-0), 1.50 ERA, 11innning pitched, nine K's

One Step Closer
With senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson's 30th career bomb for the Gauchos on Feb. 12 against Pepperdine, the Santa Margarita, Calif., native jumped a spot on UCSB's career top-ten homerun list. His first round-tripper this season placed him sixth all time, tying him with UCSB standout Tyler Von Schell. Von Schell is currently playing in the San Francisco Giants organization. With Wilkerson's next homerun, he will tie Jeff Bannon for fifth all-time in Gaucho history.

Gaucho Offense Clicking On All Cylinders
Through the first seven games of the 2005 season, the Gaucho line-up has recorded at least six hits in every game. UCSB has already reached the double-digit hits mark four times this season and three times the it has put more than 10 runs on the scoreboard.

Scouting the Bulldogs
Entering Friday's match-up, Fresno State holds a 1-7 record, losing two straight games last weekend against third-ranked Cal State Fullerton. Designated hitter Beau Mills leads the Bulldogs with a .375 batting average (9-for-24), five runs scored, two doubles and 14 total bases. Center fielder Nick Moresi has a team leading one home run and four RBI. Friday's starting pitcher Eddie Romero faired very well against CSF, tossing five innings and allowing only one run against the defending national champions. Sunday's starter against the Gauchos, Doug Fister, had a more difficult time with Titans. The rigthy gave up four runs off seven hits in five innings of work.

Series Record
Fresno State leads the all-time series between the two schools 31-30. Most recently, the Gauchos took two of three games from the Bulldogs in 2004 at Caesar Uyesaka.