February 26, 2009

UCSB Faces Three Teams at Dairy Queen Classic

Feb. 26, 2009

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• The Schedule
Friday, February 27 at 4:35 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara (3-1) at Minnesota (2-1) at the Metrodome
Series record vs. the Golden Gophers - (0-2)
2008 season record vs. the Golden Gophers (N/A)
Game available to watch online at gophersports.com

Saturday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. Hawai'i (1-3) at the Metrodome
Series record vs. the Warriors - (4-11)
2008 season record vs. the Warriors (N/A)
Listen live online through ESPN1420AM.com

Sunday, March 1 at 9:00 a.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara vs. Washington (1-2) at the Metrodome
Series record vs. the Huskies - (8-6)
2008 season record vs. the Warriors (N/A)

• This Weekend
UCSB will play outside California for the first time since March 7-9 last season (at Houston) when they face Minnesota, Hawai'i and Washington in the Dairy Queen Classic, played inside the Metrodome, home of Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins.

• 18 Straight Zeroes
When the Gauchos shut out Cal State Bakersfield and Westmont in consecutive games this past week, it was the first time since 1992 that a UCSB squad had posted back-to-back shutouts. Behind Mario Hollands' six strikeouts in eight shutout innings vs. Bakersfield and Zach Samuels' six shutout frames with nine punchouts, UCSB was able to accomplish the feat.

• Gardner Mows `Em Down
Joe Gardner, who transferred to UCSB from Ohlone College, made quite a splash in his Division I debut on Sunday vs. St. Louis. The right-hander recorded 13 strikeouts and allowed just two unearned runs in seven innings in the Gauchos' season opener. This past summer Gardner 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.

• Going, Going, Gump
Senior Brian Gump has belted three home runs - tied for the team lead - in UCSB's first four games and leads the team in slugging percentage (1.063) and total bases (17). The centerfielder hit four all of last year.

• 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. In his first start this season, Ford struck out five in five innings vs. No. 9 UCLA.

• Westmont Game Canceled
The March 3 game against Westmont has been canceled because of Big West Bylaw 500.4.1, which limits the league's baseball programs to one game against non-Division 1 teams.

• 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.

• Slugging Shane
Over his past three games, senior Shane Carlson has hit three home runs and is tied for the team lead with Brian Gump. Carlson, the team's top-returning home run hitter, has already reached half his total of last season.

• Triple Threats
Mark Haddow and Ryan Cavan each have recorded two triples already this season and are not far off the pace of last year's leader. Patrick Rose led UCSB in 2008 with five triples.

• Strikeout Squad
Through the season's first four games, Gaucho pitchers have struck out 45 hitters, or 11.3 per game. Last season the team averaged 6.6 strikeouts per game.

• Captain K
Mike Ford has 149 career strikeouts and should crack UCSB's top-10 this season. George Bonilla (1984-85) is 10th with 171 career K's. Ford's former teammate Michael Martin (2003-08) is ninth with 182. Ford is averaging 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings over his career.

• 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.

• 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 by clicking here.

• The Book on Brontsema
A two-time Big West Coach of the Year, UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema is 409-401-2 and now in his 16th season at the helm. Brontsema's victories rank second in UCSB history and in 10 different seasons he has won at least 25 games.

• The Bob Brontsema File
The 2009 season marks the 28th year of Head Coach Bob Brontsema's involvement with the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. With two years as a player, 10 as an assistant coach and now entering his 16th season at the helm, Brontsema has been involved in 827 Gaucho victories, far more than anyone in UCSB baseball history. In fact, he has participated in over 60 percent of all UCSB victories in school history. Entering this year, Brontsema ranks second in career wins, 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 16 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, he currently ranks first in Big West career wins amongst active Big West coaches and No. 1 in overall wins. In career conference wins, only five individuals throughout the history of the Big West surpass Brontsema.

Probable Starting Lineup

Batting No. Name Pos. Yr. 2009 Notes

1. 16 Brian Gump CF Sr. 3 HR are one shy of 2008 mark
2. 5 Gunnar Terhune LF Jr. Moved from INF to OF this season
3. 21 Eric Oliver 1B Sr. Led team in runs last season
4. 22 Shane Carlson SS Sr. 3 HR past 3 games; 7 RBI
5. 8 Matt Valaika 2B Jr. .364 avg is 4th on team.
6. 10 Robby Cummings 3B Sr. Tied for team lead w/ .455 avg.
7. 7 John DeAlba DH Sr. Made 30 starts in 2008
8. 26 Marty Mullins C Jr. Has started 3 of team's 4 games at C
9. 25 Mark Haddow RF So. Tied for team lead w/ .455 avg.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday 18 Joe Gardner RHP Jr. 13 K's in 7 IP vs. St. Louis in D-I debut
Saturday 11 Mario Hollands LHP So. 8 shutout IP vs. CSUB w/ 6 K's
Sunday 12 Mike Ford RHP Jr. 5 K in 5 IP vs. #9 UCLA on Tues.

• 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.

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