UCSB Opens Big West Play Having Won Six of its Last Eight Games

UCSB Opens Big West Play Having Won Six of its Last Eight Games

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March 31, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Schedule
Games No. 27, 28, 29 • Pacific
Friday, April 1, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, April 2, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, April 3, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
• Caesar Uyesaka Stadium • Santa Barbara, CA

The Gauchos On KIST
Beginning with the March 22 game at Cal Poly, all but three of UCSB's remaining games will be broadcast live on KIST 1340 AM in Santa Barbara. In addition, all games carried on KIST will be linked to the Gauchos' Official Website at www.UCSBgauchos.com. They will be part of the CollegeSports Network's College Sports Pass.

2005 Record
After dropping to 8-10, UC Santa Barbara rebounded to take six out of its last eight games and at one point last week were winners of a season-high five straight games.

New York, New York
The Gauchos opened up spring break on March 21 with 4-2 victory over visiting Stony Brook, a university located in Long Island, NY. Junior starting pitcher Steve Morlock, in a predetermined four-inning start, won his second game of the season by allowing five hits and two earned runs. Pitcher Michael Martin entered the game in the 5th inning and tossed 2.0 innings of relief, striking out the side in the top of the sixth inning. Senior reliever Alex McRobbie baffled the Sea Wolves as he struck out two of their last three batters, earning his fourth save of the season. Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson thanked Stony Brook for visiting with a two-run home run (4) in the bottom of the third inning.

A Look At Last Weekend
Santa Barbara swept its first weekend series of the season, taking all three games at home against Oral Roberts. The Gauchos opened up the series on Thursday, March 24 with a 6-4 win and then cruised to a 7-2 win in game two. On Saturday the Gauchos did a little early spring-cleaning as they squeaked by the Golden Eagles 4-3 to complete the three-game sweep. In the series opener, sophomore starting pitcher Andy Graham won his fourth game of the 2005 campaign by hurling 6.2 innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs while striking out three. Senior shortstop Chris Malec hit his third home run and senior relief pitcher Alex McRobbie struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season. On Friday, March 25 junior starter Michael Martin picked-up his third victory, tossing 7.0 innings and allowed only two earn runs. He also struck out four. Freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers had a career day, going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson went 2-for-5 and blasted his fifth homer in the victory. In Saturday's series finale, junior hurler Steve Morlock won his second straight start as he pitched 5.0 innings and allowed three hits and two earned runs. Wilkerson continued to swing a hot stick as he homered for the second straight game, giving him six on the year. McRobbie, doing his best Eric Gagne impression, once again was unhittable as he shut the door on an ORU late inning rally. McRobbie retired the final four batters en route to his second save of the series.

A Case of the Mondays
After extending its winning steak to five, UCSB dropped a non-conference match up to Cal Poly on Monday, March 28. Sophomore starting pitcher Brian Tracy lost his third game of the season, giving up four hits and five earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. Freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers, senior shortstop Chris Malec and freshman designated hitter Matt Aidem all had two hits in the loss.

The Brontsema File
2005 marks the 24th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in 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 310-302. 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 Starters
C - Matt Kalafatis - Has started all 25 games at catcher.
1B - Bill Rowe - Drove in two in Friday's 7-2 victory.
2B - Alden Carrithers - Tallied two RBI in Friday's win.
SS - Chris Malec - Leads the team with eight doubles.
3B - David Figoni - Leads the team with 35 hits.
LF - C.J. Cook - Had three hits in Thursday's 6-4 win.
CF - Matt Emerick - A perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Leading the Big West with 28 RBI.
DH - Matt Aidem - Paces the team with a .403 batting avg.

The Men On The Hill
Friday - Michael Martin - RHP - Jr. - (3-1), 4.18 ERA, 47.1 IP, 33K
Saturday - Andy Graham - RHP - So. - (4-1), 3.51 ERA, 33.1 IP, 18K
Sunday - Steve Morlock - RHP - Jr. - (3-4) 5.82 ERA, 43.1, 16K

UCSB Flame Throwers
Gaucho pitching coach Tom Myers had to be happy with his boys and their performance last week. The UCSB starters had a combined record of 4-0 and reliever Alex McRobbie alone posted three saves. This weekend, as Pacific comes to town to open up Big West Conference play, Myers is going to surprise the Tigers with a brand new pitching rotation. In Friday's opener, junior Michael Martin (3-1, 4.18 ERA) will get the nod. On Saturday, sophomore Andy Graham (4-1, 3.51 ERA) will take the mound and attempt win his fifth game of the season. In Sunday's series finale, junior Steve Morlock (3-4, 5.82 ERA) is penciled-in to make his ninth start of the season.

Chicks Dig The Long Ball
With three home runs last week, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson climbed even higher up on the all-time UCSB homers list. The Santa Margarita, Calif., native is now sitting pretty in the No. 3 spot with 35 career four-baggers. Entering Friday's game with Pacific, Wilkerson is two round-trippers shy of moving into a tie for second place with former Gaucho standout Jarred Janke. If that weren't enough, Wilkerson has also amassed 28 RBI this season, which brings his career RBI count up to 163. He currently has a hold of the No. 7 spot all-time and is three RBI short of catching Eric Johnson for the sixth slot. His 28 RBI mark is tops in the Big West Conference.

Alex Saves The Day
Senior relief pitcher Alex McRobbie last week was perfect out of the bullpen, earning three saves, striking out six out of the ten batters he faced in 3.1 innings of work. For the season, McRobbie has a 1.08 ERA, posted six saves, struck out 18 and allowed only two earned runs in 16.2 innings of relief. The San Anselmo, Calif., native is quickly approaching the single season save record of 10 accomplished by Chris Quiroz in the 1999 season.

The UCSB Welcome Matt
This season, the most common name found in the Gaucho line-up is Matt. Normally, Santa Barbara boasts at least four players with the name Matt, but there have been times when five Matts have been found in the starting nine. Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson leads the team with six home runs. Freshman designated hitter Matt Aidem paces the team with a .403 batting average. Senior catcher Matt Kalafatis has made all 25 starts behind the plate. Junior center fielder Matt Emerick is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases and finally senior right fielder Matt Stevens has made 12 starts in the left corner slot this season. Remember when someones up, odds are it really Matt-ers.

Put Me In Coach
With shortstop Chris Valaika's season ending knee injury, freshman Alden Carrithers, the Gauchos' new second baseman as Chris Malec shifted to shortstop, has been called upon to help fill a giant hole. In Carrithers' eight starts so far this season he is batting .387 (12-for-31), has an on base percentage of over .500, is a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases and he yet to commit an error in 24 chances.

Tiger Tales
Entering Friday's match-up, Pacific holds a 12-15 record, having just beaten 12th-ranked Stanford on Monday, 2-0. Catcher Brandon Gottier is batting .283, has four doubles, 12 RBI and a team high 28 hits. Outfielder Matt Berezay has a .255 batting average, 26 hits, five doubles, four triples, five home runs, 19 RBI and 54 total bases. Friday's starting pitcher Luke Massetti has 4-3 record with a 5.09 ERA in nine games started this season. On the hill Saturday, Jason Haar (1-3, 4.62 ERA) will be looking for his second win in 10 starts this season. Most recently, Haar picked up his first victory of the season, tossing 7.0 innings and allowed only one earn run in a 7-2 victory over Hawaii on March 23. In Sunday's series finale Brett Manning is penciled-in to get the start for the Tigers. In three starts so far this season, Manning yet to win a game (0-3) and has an earned run average of 6.11.

Series Record
UCSB leads the all-time series between the two schools 59-26. Last season, the Tigers took two of three games from the Gauchos in Stockton, Calif.