April 2, 2008

UCSB Plays Pepperdine for Two, Heads North for Three-Game Series Against Pacific

April 2, 2008

The Schedule
Games No. 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30

Tuesday, April 1 - 2:00 p.m. (PDT)
Pepperdine at UCSB
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

Wednesday, April 2 - 3:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at Pepperdine
at Eddy D. Field Stadium

Friday, April 4 - 6:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at Pacific
at Klein Family Field

Saturday, April 5 - 6:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at Pacific
at Klein Family Field

Sunday, April 6 - 1:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at Pacific
at Klein Family Field

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara (18-7, 3-0) plays Pepperdine (17-8) at home for one, then travels to Malibu for game two of the series. The Gauchos then square off against the Pacific Tigers (5-19, 0-3) for a three-game weekend set. The meeting pits the top of the Big West Conference against the bottom.

This Week
UCSB takes on the Pepperdine Waves for the first time this year. The Waves hold a 54-51 lifetime advantage over the Gauchos. Last year, UCSB dropped three of four to the Waves. The weekend series against Pacific also marks the first time the two squads have met this season. Last year, UCSB swept a three-game set over the Tigers, scoring 27 runs in the process. The Gauchos hold the all-time series advantage, 64-30.

The Week That Was
The Gauchos started off the week with a victory against cross-town rival Westmont, 6-3. From there, UCSB welcomed Big West Conference rival Cal State Northridge to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for a three-game set. The Gauchos swept the series from the Matadors, ending the week sitting atop the BWC with a perfect 3-0 record. Chris Fox delivered a walk-off RBI single in Saturday's game, while senior southpaw Chuck Huggins struck out a season-high 11 batters in Sunday's series finale.

The Rotation
The Gauchos will send senior Michael Martin (2-0) to the mound on Tuesday against Pepperdine. Martin has started four games on the year and owns a 3.96 ERA. In game two against the Waves, UCSB will trot out freshman righty Greg Davis (1-1). Davis has appeared in six games, starting two. The freshman has struck out nine through 12.1 innings of work.
From there, the Gauchos will turn to their normal starting rotation of Ford, Hollands, and Huggins against the Tigers. Sophomore ace Mike Ford (3-2) will pitch in the series opener against Pacific on Friday. Ford picked up his third win on the season against Northridge on Mar. 28, as he allowed only two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work. Mario Hollands (3-1) gets the nod in game two. The redshirt freshman allowed five runs through six innings in his last start against Northridge. The lefty had one rough inning, as the Matadors plated five runs in one frame without hiting a single ball sharply. Senior Chuck Huggins (5-1) mans the bump in the series finale against the Tigers. In his last outting, the Redwood City, Calif., native was masterful, striking out 11 Matadors in seven innings of work. Huggins earned his team-leading fifth victory in the Sunday start, allowing a single run on seven hits.

Fantastic Ford
Mike Ford is 3-2 on the year, having allowed only 34 hits in 38.1 innings of work, while striking out 38. The flame- throwing righty has yet to be homered off of this year. He has pitched at least six innings in five of his six starts to begin the year.

Power Push
UCSB is first in the Big West Conference in five offensive categories: Slugging percent- age (.481), runs scored (185), doubles (56), home runs (23), and total bases (417). The Gaucho attack has scored 185 runs in 25 games, an average of 7.4 runs scored per game. The Gauchos are also second in the BWC in hits (274), runs batted in (166), and triples (9).

Super Mario
Redshirt freshman Mario Hollands is coming into his own as a Gaucho. In six starts the southpaw is 3-1 with a sterling 2.97 ERA. The El Cerrito, Calif., native has allowed only 12 earned runs in 36.1 innings of work. In addition, Hollands is sporting an impressive 30-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio. Amazingly, only six of the 36 hits allowed by Mario have been for extra bases, and are all doubles.

The Bob Brontsema File
2008 marks the 27th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 15th season as head coach, after ten years as an as- sistant and two as a player. He has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, first in 1996 when he guided the Gauchos to a 32-20 record and an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, and again in 2001, when he led the team to a 40-17 mark and another NCAA Tournament berth. The .702 winning percentage in 2001 ranks third highest 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 his coaching career include April 27, 1997, marking his 100th career win with a 16-4 victory over the University of Pacific and April 7, 2001, a day that saw him earn career win number 200 with a 7-2 victory over UC Riverside. The 6-1 victory over San Jose State on Feb. 13, 2005 marked yet another milestone for Brontsema, career win number 300. Victory number 344, which pushed him past Dave Gorrie and into the No. 2 spot in career wins, came May 12, 2006 in an 8-6 win over Long Beach State.

Huggy Bear
Senior Chuck Huggins is carrying the Gaucho pitching staff. With his win on Sunday, the southpaw now owns a 5-1 record with a 3.53 ERA. In his most re- cent start, Huggins fanned a season-high 11 batters, while allowing only one run on seven hits. The Redwood City, Calif., native owns a 44-to-12 strikeout to walk ratio thus far.

Fox Facts
Senior Chris Fox, an All-Big West Honorable Mention selection in 2007, has picked up where he left off last season, providing speed and power out of the two hole. The slick- fielding center fielder has moved to designated hitter and his offensive numbers have benefited. Fox leads the team in slugging, triples, homers, and total bases. His four triples, .648 slugging percentage, 24 runs scored, 4 home runs, 59 total bases, 13 stolen bases and .396 batting average all rank within the top ten in the Big West Conference.

Consistent Carlson
After making the switch from shortstop to second base to begin the year, Shane Carlson has taken full advantage both offensively and defensively. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native had an 18-game hitting streak from Feb. 22 to Mar. 16, having hit safely in all 18 games to begin the season. In eight of those 18 games, Carlson had multi-hit perfor- mances. His three home runs and 24 RBI are good for secon on the taem. In addition, Carlson has blossomed defensively, having made only two errors in 113 chances, a .982 fielding percentage.

Orange Oliver
Orange Coast College transfer Eric Oliver has been a key piece to the Gauchos' ear- ly season success. The Irvine, Calif., native has started all 25 games for the Gauchos at first base, while hitting out of the three hole. Oliver upped his season average to .309 over the week. He is first in doubles with eight and third on the team with 21 RBI. Oliver has also fielded his position with ease committing only two errors in 225 chances. His 202 putouts are third in the Big West.

Gump The Great
Junior Brian Gump is making the most out of starting role as the Westminster, Calif., native has started in all 25 games to begin the year. The sweet-swining lefty was 7-for-12 over the four game week, with two walks, two doubles, one home run, and four stolen bases. Gump's 29 runs scored and 42 hits are good for tops in the entire Big West Con- ference. In addition, Gump also ranks fourth in batting average (.416), fifth in on-base percentage (.474), fourth in total bases (58), and second in stolen bases (16). The athletic center fielder is already making a strong bid for BWC Player of the Year accolades.

Senior Trio
The Gauchos return six starters to the field from a year ago, including the senior trio of Patrick Rose, Mike Zuanich, and Chris Fox. Combined, the threesome accounted for 34% of the runs scored, 33% of the team's hits, 29% of all homeruns, and 32% of all RBIs in 2007.

Three's Company
The starting rotation of Ford, Hollands, and Huggins is 11-4 on the year in 18 starts with a combined ERA of 3.02. The threesome owns an extraordinary 112-to-39 strikeout to walk ratio, and has allowed a mere four home runs. The trio has pitched at least six in- nings of work in 13 of their 18 starts to begin the year.

Shut-Down Brown
Senior reliever Kyle Brown has allowed only one earned run in 13.2 innings of work. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native is 2-0 in 10 appearances out of the bullpen. The southpaw is averaging close to one strikeout per inning of work with 13. Relief Corps. Junior Matt Wade and Kyle Brown accounted for 54.2 innings last year and will be two of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen for UCSB in 2008. Thus far, Brown has allowed only one earned run, while Wade has allowed just three earned runs in 8.1 innings of work. The Gauchos six saves are good for second in the Big West, with four individual relievers contributing to the cause. Brown has one, junior Zach Samuels has one, Michael Martin has one, and sophomore Clayton Edwards leads the Gauchos with three.

Get The Door, It's DeAlba
Junior transfer John DeAlba has had an immediate impact on the Gauchos early suc- cess. The talented lefty has 23 hits in 24 games played, with 14 runs scored and seven doubles.