Baseball Opens Season Tuesday at Home

Feb. 22, 2010

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• The Schedule
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Westmont (4-5)
at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)
Series record vs. the Warriors - 83-22
Last win - 2009 (6-0; 2/23)
Last loss - 1998 (12-8; 3/10)
Last series win - 1983 (UCSB, 2-0)
Last series loss - never lost a season series
Last time out vs. the Warriors - W, 6-0 (2/23/09)
Game available on Gametracker
Game broadcast live by KCSB

Friday, February 26, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at San Jose State (1-1)
at SJSU's Blethen Field
Series record vs. the Spartans - 36-46
Last win - 2009 (7-6; 4/17)
Last loss - 2009 (4-2; 4/19)
Last series win - 2005 (UCSB 2-1)
Last series loss - 2009 (SJ, 2-1)
Last time out vs. the Spartans - L, 4-2 (4/19/09)

• A Look at 2010
UC Santa Barbara enters the 2010 season after a 29-23 overall mark in 2009. Last year's team tied a school record by having nine players drafted in Major League Baseball's June amateur draft. However, two of those players return for 2010 in left-handed pitcher Mario Hollands and infielder Matt Valaika. Also returning are All-Big West honorable mention selection Marty Mullins and All-American pitcher Mike Ford.

• Brontsema Closing In
UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema is closing in on the school's all-time wins record and needs just 11 more victories to pass Al Ferrer for the most ever by a Gaucho coach. Already the school's record-holder for most Division I victories, Brontsema, who has won 435 games in his 16-year career could technically obtain the record in the second game of the March 13 doubleheader vs. Northern Illinois, which is the Gauchos' 11th scheduled game in 2010.

• Who's On First?
Between the draft and graduation, UCSB lost much of its returning starters from 2009. Of the projected starters on Tuesday, just Valaika, Mullins, Gunnar Terhune and Mark Haddow were regulars last season. Santa Barbara lost 36 home runs (53 percent of its 2009 total), 224 RBI (or nearly 61 percent) and 245 runs scored (or 56 percent).

• Addition by Subtraction
Though UCSB lost several standouts from last year's team, the Gauchos welcome highly-touted newcomers. Left-handed pitcher Kevin Gelinas is expected to play a key role on the hill, right-hander Nick Loredo is slotted as the Saturday starter and junior college transfers Beck Wheeler and Sean Williams figure to see ample time on the diamond.

• Viva Valaika
Senior infielder Matt Valaika, who was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds but returned to the Gauchos, hit .343 with a .545 slugging percentage - both of which led UCSB last season. The Valencia, Calif. native led UCSB with 13 multi-RBI games and is Santa Barbara's leading returner in at-bats, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI and total bases. Valaika was named an All-Big West honorable mention for his performance.

• Super Mario
Friday's projected starter Mario Hollands was a freshman All-American selection and the Big West's Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2008, but don't let his 6-6 mark and 4.74 ERA in 2009 fool you. The 6-foot-5 southpaw was putting together another superb year before taking a line drive during an April 10 game at UC Davis. After being removed from that contest, Hollands was 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA through seven starts. After returning, the El Cerrito native went 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA. In the six games following his injury, Hollands allowed more hits (46 to 44), more earned runs (26 to 21) and struck out fewer batters (32 to 17).

• Built Ford Tough
Right-hander Mike Ford returns for his senior season, already in some UCSB top-10 career marks and with others in his sights. Ford, a 2007 All-American, is 10th in school history in strikeouts with 175 (trailing Michael Martin, 2003-08, by seven). The Scottsdale, Ariz. native needs six wins for 10th all-time in career victories, three more starts to crack the top-10 list and needs to throw just 25 innings to break into the top-10 in that category.

• Handing Out Some Hardware
Following successful summer league campaigns, some Gauchos were given high marks. Hollands was named the 55th best prospect in the elite Cape Cod League by Perfect Game Crosschecker after going 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA. Outfielder Mark Haddow hit .309 with five home runs, six doubles, 20 runs, and seven stolen bases in the Jayhawk League and was ranked the No. 2 prospect to come out of the league by PG Crosschecker. Meanwhile, Gelinas went 2-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 16 games in the California Collegiate League and was labeled the No. 1 prospect in the CCL by Baseball America.

• More Honors
Recently Perfect Game Crosschecker named several Gauchos as ones to watch this upcoming season. Gelinas was listed as the 19th top prospect in California and Hollands was named the No. 27 top prospect in the state. Right-hander Jesse Meaux came in at 71 while Haddow was 75th. Valaika was touted as No. 102 and Ford was listed at No. 116. Outfielder Lance Roenicke was also listed at No. 137. Others noted by the website were right-handed pitcher Greg Davis, outfielder Derek Eligio, pitcher Nick Loredo and catcher Bryce Tafelski.

• UCSB Tabbed for Sixth
In a recent poll amongst Big West coaches, the Gauchos were tabbed for sixth place in the ultra-competitive league this season. UCSB received 36 votes, just 12 behind fifth-place UC Riverside. Santa Barbara opens conference play on April 9 with a three-game series at Cal Poly.

• Worth Noting
In 16 seasons under Brontsema, the Gauchos have reached 25 wins 11 times.

•The Bob Brontsema File
The 2010 season marks the 29th year of Head Coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. With two years as a player, 10 as an assistant coach and now entering his 17th season at the helm, Brontsema has been involved in 856 Gaucho victories, far more than anyone in UCSB baseball history. In fact, he has participated in 60 percent of all UCSB victories in school history. Entering this year, Brontsema ranks second in career wins (just 10 wins shy of equaling the record), third in overall career winning percentage and third in career conference winning percentage. He also holds the record for most Division I wins in school history. His 17 years as Gaucho head coach give him the second longest tenure in UCSB baseball history, behind Dave Gorrie with 18 years.

The dean of Big West coaches, Brontsema currently ranks first in Big West career wins amongst active Big West coaches and number one in overall wins. In career conference wins, only five individuals throughout the history of the Big West surpass Brontsema. The Big West Conference is consistently ranked as one of the toughest baseball conferences in the country.

Brontsema has managed six former Gauchos who are currently playing in the Major Leagues (Cincinnati's Justin Lehr, St. Louis' Skip Schumaker, Colorado's Ryan Spilborghs, Pittsburgh's Virgil Vasquez, Texas' Michael Young and San Francisco's Barry Zito) and his 2009 squad tied a school record by having nine players drafted. Fifty-three of Brontsema's athletes have earned All-Big West honors and 10 of his Gauchos have been named All-Americans. Of the 69 athletes under Brontsema's tutelage selected into the professional ranks, only seven had been drafted before entering UCSB.

Probable Starting Lineup

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
5 Gunnar Terhune CF Led team with 4 triples last season
10 Sean Williams 2B Won Silver Slugger at Irvine Valley College
8 Matt Valaika SS Led Gauchos in batting and slug pct. in 09
25 Mark Haddow RF Finished second on 09 team with 10 SB
35 Trevor Whyte 1B 1st Team All-Orange Conf. at Saddleback
33 Ryan Tregoning LF Hit .310 in 35 games last season
26 Marty Mullins C Threw out 42% of baserunners in 2009
Beck Wheeler/Shane Arslan DH - Duo expected to split time
17 Ryan Palermo 3B Hit .500 in nine games last season

Probable Starting Pitchers

Day No. Name Quick Notes
Tues 28 Jesse Meaux Posted a 5.87 ERA in 7 starts in 09
Fri 11 Mario Hollands Lefty went 6-6 with 4.74 ERA last yr
Sat 23 Nick Loredo JC transfer will make UCSB debut
Sun TBA