Baseball Will Take On Pepperdine For Three-Game Series

Feb. 28, 2002

TWIGB (This Weekend In Gaucho Baseball)

* Friday March 1, 2:00 p.m. - vs. Pepperdine at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
* Saturday March 2, 1:00 p.m. - vs. Pepperdine at Eddy D. Field Stadium (Malibu, CA)
* Sunday March 3, 1:00 p.m. - vs. Pepperdine at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

Gauchos On The Air

Oskar Garcia and Co. will cover the Gauchos on KCSB 91.9 FM in Fridays game. Air time will be five minutes before game time for all games.

The Record

The Gauchos are now 9-7 on the season. They are 4-4 at home, 4-1 on the road and 1-1 in neutral games.

Vegas

The Gauchos went 2-1 overall at the Rebel Invitaional in Las Vegas, Nev. UCSB lost its first game to Michigan State 19-14, but rebounded to win their next two games. UCSB defeated Creighton 23-10 with the aid of four home runs in a 12-run fifth inning. The Gauchos also defeated host UNLV 3-2 in the third and final game of the Invite. On Tuesday the Gauchos visited UCLA and lost to the Bruins 12-7 despite Matt Wilkersons three home runs.

Pepperdine

The Waves come into the three game series match-up with an 8-10 record. They lost to UC Irvine 8-2 on Wednesday. They are led by offensively by Ty Harper, who has is batting .368 with 17 RBI and on the mound by Brandon Boesch, who has a record of 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA.

Santa Margarita Connection

Not only have secondbaseman Chris Malec and designated hitter Matt Wilkerson cracked the starting lineup for the Gauchos, the two freshman have made an immediate impact for the Gauchos on offense. The two teammates played together last year at Santa Margarita High School. Wilkerson leads the Gauchos with seven homers on the year and is batting .323 with 19 RBI's. Malec leads the Big West with 24 RBI's and is second on the team in batting average (.338) and home runs (5).

Products Of Santa Barbara

As was predicted before the season, the Gauchos leader offensively has been Ryan Spilborghs. The junior rightfielder from Santa Barbara leads the Gauchos in batting (.438), runs (22), hits (28), walks (12), and on-base percentage (.532). Spilborghs is a model of consistency, evidenced by his 35 game hitting streak in 2001, a school record. Spilly had his 12-game hitting streak snapped over the weekend against UNLV. Matt Vasquez, Spilborghs' High School teammate at Santa Barbara High, is also holding his own. Vasquez leads the Gaucho pitching staff in wins (3), ERA (2.86) and innings pitched (28.1). The 2001 Freshman All-American has given up three earned runs in his last two starts, logging 23.2 innings, winning all three games. Opponents are hitting a paltry .202 against him this season.

What About Bob?

Bob Brontsema returns for his ninth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 225-215(.511). Brontsema is coming off his best coaching season at UCSB guiding the Gauchos to a 40-17 record, good for the best single season winning percentage (.702) at UCSB since 1986. The 40 wins were the most by a UCSB team since 1990. For his efforts, Brontsema was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Brontsema has posted three straight over-.500 campaigns, the school's first such achievement since 1992.

Gaucho Probable Starters

1B * Josh McCanne * Tied for team lead in doubles with five.
2B * Chris Malec * Leads Big West with 24 RBI, second on team with 5 HR.
SS * Dave Licht  * Batting .333 with 14 runs scored in 11 starts at Short.
3B * Nate Sutton * Tied for team lead with 12 walks, has a .397 OBA.
LF * R.J. Smith/C.J. Cook  * Kevin Miller and Blair Havens could also play.
CF * Andy Campanella  * Leads team with three stolen bases.
RF * Ryan Spilborghs * Leads team in batting (.438) and on-base percentage (.532).
C * Nic Rodriguez * Has started three of the last four games.
P * James Dayley (1-0, 6.38), Matt Vasquez (3-1, 2.86) Kevin Miller (2-0, 3.65)

On The Horizon

Following the Pepperdine series the Gauchos will be taking on Cal Poly on March 5 and Georgetown, in a newly scheduled game, on March 6. Both games will be at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. First pitch for both teams is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

The Bottom Line: Hitting and Pitching Leaders (2002)

Spilborghs .438,Malec .338,Licht .333, Vasquez 2.86, Thompson 2.89 and Edrosolan 3.52