March 8, 2002
The Gauchos come into the Johnny Quik Classic with an 11-9 record. UCSB last played on Tuesday March 5, when they defeated Cal Poly 11-4. Prior to the Cal Poly game, the Gauchos played a weekend set with Pepperdine, losing the series two games to one.
The Johnny Quik Classic
The Gauchos will take part in the Pepsi Johnny Quik Classic, hosted by Fresno St. from March 11 to March 16. The eight team tournament is divided into two Divisions where each team plays each other within in their division. UCSB will be in the Red Division with Illinois State, Gonzaga and host Fresno State. The Blue division consists of Fordham, Liberty, Oral Roberts and Pacific. After the three games are played within the division, teams will be seeded according to wins and losses and will play three more games to determine the tourney champion.
The Red Division
The Gauchos will be playing the first game of the classic in a 10:00 a.m. show down against Illinois State. The Redbirds come into the game with an 0-6 record. Jon Peacock has swung a hot bat for Illinois State, leading the team with a .500 batting average, to go with four homers. This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools. In thier second game, which will be on the following day, UCSB will take on Gonzaga for a 4:00 p.m. scheduled match-up. As of March 8, the Bulldogs are 6-7 on theseason. They will play a three-game series with Pepperdine before coming to the tournament. Gonzaga is led by Nate Gold, who has seven home runs and is batting .309. Host Fresno State will be the Gauchos third opponent. UCSB will take on the Bulldogs, who are are 6-11 on the season(as of 3/8/02), at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Fresno State will play a three-game set against San Jose State before taking part in the tournament. The Bulldogs are led offensively by Tobe Riday-White, who is batting .409 with three homers and 11 RBI, and on the mound by pre-season All-American, Bob Runyon (1-4, 5.06).
Back In The Rotation, Back Out Of The Rotation
James Garcia won his first game of the year in the Gauchos win over Cal Poly. After giving up three runs in the first two innings, the senior from Torrance, Calif., settled down, and threw shut out ball for the next five innings to get the win. The 2001 third team All-American (10-4, 3.10 in 2001) has struggled on the mound this season, as evidenced by his 1-3 record and 6.39 ERA. However, Garcia seems to have regained his groove after a few appearances in relief. Garcia has actually pitched in the Gauchos last three games, pitching two shut out innings in both of his relief appearances against Pepperdine. In his first relief outing, Garcia got the save in a 3-2 win where he got the Waves to hit into inning ending double-plays in both innings pitched. Garcia was scheduled to pitch in his fourth consecutive game against Illinois State, but due to an undisclosed injury, now Kevin Miller will take his spot in the rotation.
What About Bob?
Bob Brontsema returns for his ninth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 227-217(.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.
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 (.450), runs (30), hits (36), RBI (28), walks (15), on-base percentage (.546), slugging percentage (.863) and home runs with eight, after hitting only one last seaon. Matt Vasquez, Spilborghs' High School teammate at Santa Barbara High, is also holding his own on the pitching side. Vasquez leads the Gaucho pitching staff in wins (4), ERA (2.83) and innings pitched (35.0). The 2001 Freshman All-American has given up six earned runs in his last three starts, logging 30.1 innings, winning all four games. Opponents are hitting a paltry .214 against him this season.
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 is tied for the Gaucho lead with eight homers on the year and is batting .309 with 22 RBI's.The Trabuco Hills, native blasted three home runs against UCLA on Feb. 26., and has hit four in his last five games. Malec is second on the team and second in the Big West with 27 RBI and is third on the team in batting average (.317) and home runs (5). The Laguna Niguel native is also one of only four Gauchos to start every game this season.
Gaucho Probable Starters
1B * Josh McCanne * Is 6-for his last-9 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. 2B * Chris Malec * Batting .317 with 5 homers and second on team with 27 RBI. SS * Dave Light * Batting .286 with 17 runs scored, 12 RBI and 2 HR on the season. 3B * Nate Sutton * After starting the season 5-for-38 (.132) has gone 15-for-32 (.469) since. LF * R.J. Smith/Kevin Miller * Hot bat will start. Blair Havens and C.J. Cook will also play. CF * Andy Campanella * Will not give in to pitchers as evidenced by team leading 6 HBP's. RF * Ryan Spilborghs * Hit four homers in last five games and now has eight overall. C * Taylor Vogt/ Nic Rodriguez * Vogt is second on the team with a .360 batting average. P * Kevin Miller (2-1, 5.40), Matt Vasquez (4-1, 2.83), James Dayley (1-1, 7.12)
On The Horizon
Following the Johnny Quik Classic, the Gauchos will take a week off before resuming play at Cal Poly on Sunday, March 24. The Gauchos will then host Westmont on Tuesday, March 26 before starting Big West Conference play, when they host Cal State Northridge beginning March 28.
The Bottom Line: Hitting and Pitching Leaders (2002)
Batting Average: Spilborghs .450,Vogt .360,Malec .317
Home Runs: Spilborghs 8, Wilkerson 8, Malec 5
Runs: Spilborghs 30, Wilkerson 21, Licht 17, McCanne 17
RBI: Spilborghs 28, Malec 27, Wilkerson 22, McCanne 17
ERA: Sorenson 0.00,Vasquez 2.83, Edrosolan 3.72
Innings Pitched: Vasquez 35.0, Garcia 31.0, Dayley 24.0
Game Pitched: Edrosolan 9,Moran 9, Thompson 9
Strikeouts: Garcia 25, Dayley 23, Vasquez 23
More News & Notes
* Against Gonzaga, the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 3-4 against UCSB. The two teams last played each other in 1987.
* Against Fresno State, the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 33-28 against UCSB. The two teams last played each other in 1992.
* Ryan Spilborghs is the lone returning starter from 2001 on the field for the Gauchos. UCSB had nine players drafted off last years 40-17 team.
* The Gauchos scored 12 runs in the fifth inning against Creighton, in a 23-10 win on Feb. 23. UCSB also had 25 hits in that game.
* Josh McCanne hit a walk-off grandslam with two outs in the ninth, in the Gauchos 8-4 victory over Loyola Marymount, for their first win of the season on February 1.
* Ryan Spilborghs had a 35-game hitting streak in 2001. In 2002 Spilborghs already has had a 12-game streak and currently has a five-game multi-hit streak and also has two or more hits in seven of his last eight games. The First Team All-Big West selection in 2001 has hit three home runs in his last two games. His 28 RBI is also tops in the Big West.
* In 2001, James Garcia became the first Gaucho to win 10 games since Santa Clara pitching coach Tom Myers did so for UCSB in 1991. Despite Garcia's 6.39 ERA, opposing hitters are batting just .230 against him this year,
* UCSB is batting .296 as a team, good for sixth best, in the Big West. With no runners on base, the Gauchos are batting a dismal .260. However, with runners on, the Gaucho bats wake up, swinging a robust .335 in those situations.
* Aside from Vasquez (2.83) and reliever Jared Edrosolan (2 saves, 3.72), no other Gaucho pitcher has an ERA below 4.50. As a team, UCSB has a 5.97 ERA. However, the Gaucho oppenents have a 7.44 ERA in their games against UCSB.
* The Gauchos are batting .545 (12-22) in bases-loaded situations and their pitchers have picked-off 12 runners this season.
* Three teams (UCSB, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State) made the NCAA regionals from the Big West last year, with Fullerton advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.
* Oakland Athletic Barry Zito pitched his freshman season at UCSB before transfering to Pierce JC and then finishing at USC. Current Texas Ranger second baseman, Mike Young, was a teammate of Zito's at UCSB in 1997.