No. 23 UCSB, Off to Best Start Since 1996, Takes to Road

March 9, 2009

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• The Schedule
Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (9-2) at UCLA (2-10) at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
Series record vs. the Bruins - (37-54)
2008 season record vs. the Bruins (0-1)
2009 season record vs. the Bruins (1-0)
Game is available on Gametracker
Also broadcast online at UCLABruins.com

Friday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m./2:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (9-2) at St. Mary's (9-3)
at St. Mary's Louis Guisto Field
Series record vs. the Gaels - (7-1)
2008 season record vs. the Gaels (2-1)

• Coming Up
UCSB will travel to Los Angeles to face UCLA for the second time this season. The Gauchos won the first game against then-ranked No. 9 UCLA, 7-6, on Feb. 24. UCLA lost three games to No. 16 Oklahoma by only four runs over this past weekend. This weekend, the Gauchos head to Moraga to face St. Mary's, winners of five of their past six games. Last year UCSB took two of three from the Gaels at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

• Picture Them Rolling
At 9-2, the Gauchos are off to their best start since opening the 1996 season with a 10-2 mark. UCSB swept a four-game series for the first time since Mar. 14-16 last season vs. Southern Utah and is on a six-game winning streak for the first time since winning seven in a row Mar. 22-Apr. 1 last season. That streak started with two wins vs. St. Mary's.

• Lion Tamers
UCSB took all four games against Loyola Marymount over the weekend. The Lions came into Santa Barbara riding a four-game win streak, including a big win over then-ranked No. 5 UC Irvine in their previous game. LMU entered with a record of 8-2 before the Gauchos tripled their loss total, leaving 8-6. It is the first time UCSB swept a four-game series since March 14-16, 2008 against Southern Utah.

• One-Hit Wonder
Sophomore Mario Hollands pitched a one-hit shutout against LMU on Friday. He struck out 10 Lions while allowing only two baserunners over nine innings, becoming the first UCSB pitcher since Mike Tresemer on mar. 24, 1986 to throw a complete game, one-hitter. His performance earned him Collegiate Baseball Pitcher of the Week honors, his first Big West Pitcher of the Week selection and the www.recruitingcloser.com National Pitchers of the Week List.

• Rank and File
The Gauchos have climbed up in several polls. UCSB is listed as No. 23 by Ping! Baseball, No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball, and No. 25 by Baseball America. The Gauchos are also receiving votes in the USA Today poll and are receiving votes in the National College Baseball Writer's Association poll.

• Captain Cavan
Junior Ryan Cavan leads UCSB with a .484 average. In the four-game series with LMU over the weekend, he went 6-14 with five runs, three RBI and five walks. His average ranks fourth in the Big West. He is also eighth with a .677 slugging percentage and his .553 on-base percentage ranks second in the conference.

• RBI Machine
Third baseman Robby Cummings blasted home eight Gauchos over the four games against LMU. He now leads all Big West hitters with 17 RBI, or an average of 1.7 per game.

• Can't Spell Oliver Without the `O'
Senior Eric Oliver led a 44-hit weekend attack against LMU by recording seven hits in 15 at-bats. Over the four-game series the Irvine native upped his batting average more than 100 points. He also drove in five runs - including the lone RBI in Friday's 1-0 victory - and scored four others.

• Super Mario
Mario Hollands' name is scattered throughout the Big West leaderboard. His 2.35 ERA is sixth, his .173 batting average against is third and his 23 innings pitched ranks second. His 24 strikeouts are also second in the Big West to teammate Joe Gardner.

• Gardner is Mowing `Em Down
Three starts into the season, Gardner is 1-0 and leading all Gaucho starters with a 1.66 ERA, which is also third in the Big West. After striking out six batters against LMU, he leads all Big West pitchers with 27 strikeouts on the season. He is averaging 9.0 strikeouts per game.

• Built Ford Tough
Junior Mike Ford, who is on the Wallace Watch List for the second straight season, is now 3-0 on the season after beating LMU on Sunday. It is the first time in his career that he has won three starts in a row. He is tied for first in the Big West in wins, along with two others.

• Better Than Average
Through the season's first 11 games the Gauchos are batting a collective .318 as a team, which ranks second among Big West schools. Last year UCSB batted .321 as a team.

• Strikeout Squad
Through the season's first eleven games, Gaucho pitchers have struck out 99 hitters, or 9.0 per game. Last season the team averaged 6.6 strikeouts per game. The UCSB record for strikeouts in a season is 428, done in 1997. This year's team is on pace for 558 K's.

• Oh So Close
The UCSB team record for strikeouts in a game is 16, which has been done four times. Twice already this year the Gauchos have come close to equaling that when they combined to strike out 15 batters vs. St. Louis and Westmont.

• King of K's
Mike Ford has 155 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 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings over his career.

• Power Patrol
Last season the Gauchos hit 55 home runs, or an average of nearly one per game. This season, UCSB has already blasted 12 home runs or an average of 1.1 per game. The 12 home runs are second in the Big West Conference.

• The Book on Brontsema
A two-time Big West Coach of the Year, UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema is 415-402-2 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.

Probable Starting Lineup

Batting No. Name Pos. Yr. 2009 Notes

1. 16 Brian Gump CF Sr. 15 runs scored leads the Big West
2. 4 Ryan Cavan SS Jr. Leads team with .484 avg, .553 OBP
3. 21 Eric Oliver 1B Sr. Led team with 7 hits vs. LMU
4. 22 Shane Carlson DH Sr. Went 5-19 w/ 3 R, 3 RBI over wknd
5. 8 Matt Valaika 2B Jr. .405 avg is 6th in Big West
6. 10 Robby Cummings 3B Sr. 17 RBI is tops in Big West
7. 25 Mark Haddow RF So. .387 is 10th in BW; 6-6 in SB
8. 26 Marty Mullins C Jr. Has thrown out 3 of 7 base stealers
9. 5 Gunnar Terhune LF Jr. 4-8 w/ 3 RBI in final 2 g's vs. LMU

Probable Starting Pitchers

Tuesday 28 Jesse Meaux RHP So. 5 ER in 4.2 IP vs. LMU
Friday 11 Mario Hollands LHP So. His 1-hitter was first since 1986
Saturday, G1 18 Joe Gardner RHP Jr. Averaging 9.0 K's per outing
Saturday, G2 28 Jesse Meaux RHP So. 5 ER in 4.2 IP vs. LMU
Sunday 12 Mike Ford RHP Jr. 3 straight W's for 1st time in career

• 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."

• Baseball Buddies
UCSB's baseball team is proud to be part of the Baseball Buddies program again this season. Youth teams are invited to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium to come be part of the Baseball Buddies program, hosted by the UCSB Gauchos.Sign up and have your team participate in on-field activities, including taking the field with a Gaucho prior to the start of the game! Click here for more information and to sign up.