March 3, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Games No. 15, 16, 17 University of Washington
Friday, March 4, 2005 at 6:30 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, March 5, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, March 6, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Since improving to 7-2 with a win over cross-town rival Westmont, UC Santa Barbara has dropped four out of its last five games, which includes being swept by Oregon State this past weekend. Most recently, the Gauchos defeated Cal Poly 11-8 in a one game non-conference match-up on Tuesday, March 1.
A Look At Last Weekend
UCSB suffered its first sweep of the season at the hands of Oregon State. The Gauchos, losing all three games by a margin of two runs, were beaten 4-2, 6-4, and 5-3 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. On Friday, Feb. 25, Oregon State starter Dallas Buck baffled the Gaucho line-up, pitching seven innings, allowing only five hits and two earned runs, while striking out six batters. Freshman designated hitter Matt Aidem was a bright spot for UCSB, going two-for-three with one run scored. Gaucho starting pitcher Steve Morlock dropped his second game of the season, allowing four earn runs off seven hits in 6.0 innings hurled. In Saturday's game two, starter Michael Martin gave UCSB six strong innings, allowing four-earned runs off nine hits but received a no-decision. Sophomore Brian Tracy picked up his first loss of the season by allowing an earned run in 0.2 innings pitched. Third baseman David Figoni increased his hitting streak to seven games with his two hits in the contest. Once again Aidem swung a hot bat, getting a clutch two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at four. In Sunday's finale, Santa Barbara sophomore Justin Segal had his best outing of the season, pitching 5.1 innings of relief for starter Andy Graham. Segal struck out six batters, including every batter he faced in the sixth inning. Figoni extended his hitting-streak to eight games by going 3-for-5 with one RBI.
Out Lasting Our Neighbors To The North
In a three-hour and 47 minute affair, the Gauchos defeated Cal Poly in a non-conference clash on Tuesday, March 1. The Mustangs - using a new pitcher in every inning - walked 10, tossed four wild pitches and hit four UCSB batters. Senior David Figoni tallied his ninth game in row with at least one hit, by going 1-for-2 with two RBI. Sophomore shortstop Chris Valaika, trying to get out of a funk, had one hit and drove in two. Senior reliever Loren Fraser won his first game by tossing 4.0 scoreless innings. Alex McRobbie earned his third save of the season by shutting down the Mustangs in 2.0 innings of relief.
The Same Ole Story
Gaucho skipper Bob Brontsema is expected to go with the same weekend rotation he has been using so far this season. Although the starters suffered two losses this weekend, will attempt to bounce back this weekend against Washington. In Friday's series opener, Steve Morlock (1-2) will be looking to get back on track after losing his second game against Oregon State. Sophomore Michael Martin (1-1) will get the nod on Saturday and will increase a team leading 25.2 innings pitched. In Sunday's finisher, sophomore Andy Graham (2-1) will going for his third win of the season.
The Brontsema File
2005 marks the 24th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement with the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 12th season as head coach, after ten years as an assistant and two as a player. With a 6-1 victory over San Jose State on Sunday February 13, Brontsema became the third coach in school history to collect career victory no .300. The Gaucho skipper currently owns a record of 304-296. He has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1996 when he guided the Gauchos to a 32-20 record and an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, and in 2001, when he led the team to a 40-17 mark and another NCAA tourney berth. The .701 winning percentage in 2001 was the best in school history. In 2004, Brontsema's Gauchos posted the second-most overall wins in his career as head coach, going 33-21. Milestone dates in Brontsema's coaching career include win no. 100 in 1997, win no. 200 in 2001, and win no. 300 in 2005.
Probable Gaucho Starters
C - Matt Kalafatis - Tallied two RBI in Tuesday's victory.
1B - Bill Rowe - Batting .300 through the first 14 games.
2B - Chris Malec - Drawn a team leading 10 walks.
SS - Chris Valaika - Leads the team with five doubles.
3B - David Figoni - Leads the Big West with 15 runs scored.
LF - C.J. Cook - Starter 11 of 13 games this season.
CF - Matt Emerick - Leads the team with .359 batting avg.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Tied for Big West lead with 17 RBI.
DH - Matt Aidem - Leading the team with a .500 batting avg.
Posibile Weekend Rotation
Friday - Steve Morlock - RHP - Jr. - 1-2, 23.0 innings pitched
Saturday - Michael Martin - RHP - Jr. - 1.1, 25.2 innings pitched 14 K's
Sunday - Andy Graham - RHP - So. - 19.2 innings pitched, 9 K's
Figoni on Fire
Senior third baseman David Figoni is currently the hottest-swinging Gaucho. Besides riding a nine-game hitting streak into Friday's game against the Huskies, Figoni leads the team with a .351 batting average, 20 hits, two home runs and 28 total bases. In the sweep by Oregon State, the Redwood City, Calif., native was a blazing 6-for 13 (.462) with one round-tripper.
I Will Walk 500 Miles
Through the 14 games played, Gaucho batters have shown a good eye at the plate. So far this season, UCSB has received 75 free passes to first base, which is tops in the Big West Conference. UCSB averages 5.4 walks per game and has two players (Chris Malec and David Figoni) that have drawn 10 walks each.
The Gauchos have blasted eight home runs this season but all have been solo shots. Seven different players have homered for the Gauchos and only David Figoni has more than one.
The Silver Lining
Although its never a good thing to be swept by an opponent, Baseball America voters deemed sweeping the Gauchos was good enough to vault Oregon State to a No. 24 rank in the county.
Scouting the Huskies
Entering Friday's match-up, Washington holds a 4-7 record, going 2-3 this past weekend at the Aggie Baseball Classic at Texas A&M. This weekend series against UCSB will be Washington's first home stand of the season. Third baseman Nick Batkoski leads the Huskies with a .341 batting average and 14 hits. Shortstop Brent Lillibridge has a team leading two triples, 10 RBI and 19 total bases. Friday's starting pitcher Time Lincecum (1-2) is coming off a two-hit shutout over 15th ranked Texas A&M in a game lasting only seven innings. On the mound Saturday, Right-hander Matt Kasser brings is 1-2 with a 3. 50 ERA in three starts this season. Kassar leads the Huskies with 18.0 innings pitched. In the series finale, RHP Kyle Parker has amassed a 1-2 record in three games started so far in 2005.
UCSB currently owns an all-time 8-3 edge over Washington. Most recently the Huskies defeated the Gauchos, 6-5, in a tournament at Pepperdine in the beginning of the 2003 season.