February 21, 2009

Baseball Team Opens Season on Sunday with Two Games

Feb. 21, 2009

Click here to see Season Preview Day 1: The Infield
Click here to see Season Preview Day 2: The Catchers
Click here to see Season Preview Day 3: The Outfield

Click here to see Season Preview Day 4: The Pitching Staff

• The Schedule
Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara (0-0) vs. St. Louis (0-0) at Cal State Bakersfield
Series record vs. the Billikens - (N/A)

Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Bakersfield (0-0) at Cal State Bakersfield
Series record vs. the Roadrunners - (N/A)
Game broadcast live online

Monday, February 23, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Westmont (0-0) at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Series record vs. the Warriors - (87-23)
2008 season record vs. the Warriors (2-0)
Game broadcast online at kcsb.org

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UCLA (0-0) at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Game broadcast online at kcsb.org
Series record vs. the Bruins - (36-54)
2008 season record vs. the Bruins (0-1)
Pink Zone Event - Gauchos will wear pink hats and wristbands to raise breast cancer awareness.

• Start Me Up
UCSB enters the 2009 season with a lot of accolades after finishing 35-21 (14-10, third in the Big West) last season. The Gauchos are ranked No. 30 in both the Collegiate Baseball and Ping! Baseball preseason polls. Baseball America projects that UCSB will play in a postseason Regional this season and the Web site Boyd's World ranks the Gauchos' schedule as the 18th toughest in the nation. UCSB was also rated No. 33 in Perfect Game's top 100 teams.

• Gauchos Picked Third in Big West
UCSB was picked to finish third in the Big West in the annual coaches poll. The Gauchos, who went 14-10 in conference play last year, were one of only three teams to garner a first place vote and finished with 65 total votes, two behind UC Irvine. Cal State Fullerton, with seven first-place votes, finished first with 78 total points. Long Beach State received one first place vote and were picked to finish fourth with 55 points.

• Built Ford Tough
Junior Mike Ford, who was a Second-Team All-Big West selection last season, has garnered some preseason hype. He has been placed on the Brooks Wallace Watch List - annually awarded to collegiate baseball's best player - for the second straight season. Ford has also been named a preseason Third Team All-American by Ping! Baseball.

• Mystery, Alaska
Joe Gardner, who transferred to UCSB from Ohlone College, was named the Co-MVP of the Alaskan Summer League after going 6-0 with a 0.60 ERA in eight starts for the Kenai Peninsula Oilers. Gardner is slated to start UCSB's season-opener vs. St. Louis.

• Nice Mantel Pieces
Several returners notched significant awards after successful 2008 campaigns. Mario Hollands was named the Big West's Freshman Pitcher of the Year and was also named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger and a Third Team All-American by Ping! Baseball. Senior Shane Carlson was a Second-Team Big West selection and senior Eric Oliver was a Big West Honorable Mention pick.

• Meals, Tregoning Honored
Junior college transfers David Meals and Ryan Tregoning - each from West Valley Junior College - were recently given the top awards at the Santa Clara County Hot Stove Banquet for their achievements. Meals, who went 8-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 86 innings last year, was named the Community College Pitcher of the Year. Tregoning was given the Player of the Year award after hitting .442 with 72 hits, 18 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 54 RBI and a .515 on-base percentage as the team's right fielder.

• Think Pink
On Tuesday, Feb. 24 UCSB's baseball team will wear pink hats and wristbands to raise breast cancer awareness. The pink hats - with the same logo as the regular hats the team normally wears - will be available for purchase at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on game day.

• Captain K
Mike Ford enters this season with 144 career strikeouts and will surely crack UCSB's top-10 this season. George Bonilla (1984-85) sits 10th with 171 career K's. Ford's former teammate Michael Martin (2003-08) is ninth with 182.

• Leathermen
Last season UCSB had a .971 fielding percentage, which topped the Big West and was just shy of setting a school record. The 1992 team holds the mark with their .973 fielding clip.

• Deep Thoughts
Follow pitching coach Tom Myers' thoughts on the Gauchos all year long as he will blog about the team through Ping! Baseball's site. You can access this blog through the baseball team's page on UCSBgauchos.com.

• The Book on Brontsema
A two-time Big West Coach of the Year, UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema brings a 406-400-2 record into the 2009 season. Brontsema's victories rank second in UCSB history and in 10 different seasons he has won at least 25 games.

• Season Tickets Now Available
For the first time ever, UCSB is offering season tickets for baseball and every ticket purchase comes with a free hat! Call 893-UCSB to get your season tickets now.

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."

• BE Great
UCSB Athletics is proud to promote the celebration of Black History Month as part of one of two recently created programs aimed at providing an outstanding all-around experience for Gaucho student-athletes and to reach out to the campus and Santa Barbara community. The promotion of black history falls under the "BE Great" life skills program, which was recently unveiled by Director of Athletics Mark Massari and Executive Associate Athletics Director Diane O'Brien. For more information on the BE Great life skills program, click here.