Baseball Prepares For Temple, Hopes For Good Weather

Feb. 26, 2001

This Week In Gaucho Baseball (TWIGB)
Saturday, March 3, 11 am - Temple (DH)
Sunday, March 4, 1 pm - Temple

Hitting Bombs And Taking Names
UCSB slugged its way to two victories last week, as eight doubles, one triple and four home runs powered the Gaucho attack. Dave Molidor homered Wednesday vs. Westmont (1). Friday at Loyola Marymount, Von Schell nailed a three-run ball (4), while Chad Peshke (2) and Jed Stringham added solo shots. Stringham's blast was his team-leading sixth of the young 2001 season.

Ogle 031
Although not a British spy, senior lefty Rylie Ogle, who wears number 31, was a dangerous man Friday at Loyola Marymount. The Seal Beach native tossed eight innings in his third start of the year. Ogle allowed only two runs, one earned, and held the Lions to five hits. The 6-4 southpaw also struck out five men in his best outing as a Gaucho. Ogle improved to 2-1 with the win. He is the first UCSB hurler to notch two victories and leads the team with a 2.33 ERA.

Several Gaucho hitters have been punishing opposing pitching thus far. UCSB has four full-time starters hitting over .400, and eight of its nine lineup spots are producing at a .300 clip or better, all of which has helped the Gauchos to a .361 average as a team. Jeff Bannon leads the regulars at .486. UCSB is outhitting its opponents by 83 points, outhomering them 15-4 and has amassed 80 RBI to its opponents' 56. To top it all off, Santa Barbara's Home Team is slugging .586, an even 200 points better than its adversaries.

In case you haven't noticed, and judging by the fan mail you haven't, the Gaucho pitching staff has been throwing darts of late. The pitching corps has steadily improved its ERA every game since the February 4 loss at San Jose State. In fact, they have nearly halved the mark, dropping it from 10.80 to 5.62. Helping the Gaucho effort is the fact that four of UCSB's top five inning men have the four lowest ERAs on the staff.

Not-So-Phantom Menaces
Two things have definitely plagued the Gauchos thus far: rain and one-run games. UCSB had its home opening series with Oregon State washed out, had a Tuesday game at UCLA moved to Wednesday and its Saturday and Sunday contests at LMU last weekend never materialized due to wet conditions. While the Gauchos have been beating opponents by an average of seven runs per game, three of their four losses have come by one run, the last being a 6-5 setback vs. Santa Clara.

That's His Job, That's What He Does
Bob Brontsema returns for his eighth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 181-195 (.480). UCSB's best record under Brontsema came in 1996, when it went 32-20 overall and 14-7 in Big West games, good for an NCAA Regionals appearance. With his 28-25 finish in 2000, Brontsema has posted two straight over-.500 campaigns, the school's first such achievement since 1992.

Gaucho Baseball: Who's Next?
It's not the California Lottery, but it's still pretty darn exciting. UCSB will host Temple this weekend. The teams will play an 11 a.m. doubleheader Saturday, followed by a 1 p.m. single game Sunday. The Owls are 0-6 and have been swept at Tulane and William & Mary.

The Bottom Line: Gaucho Hitting and Pitching Leaders
Campanella .500, Bannon .486, Molidor .450, Von Schell .436, Schumaker .413, Stringham .375, Peshke .316, Ogle 2.33, Sugarman 3.38, Gonzales 4.22, Garcia 5.50.