April 3, 2009

Gauchos Host Pacific Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Big West Home Opener

April 3, 2009

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• The Schedule
Friday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 4 at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 5 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (15-8, 1-2) vs. Pacific (10-13, 3-0) at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Series record vs. the Tigers - (66-31)
2008 season record vs. the Tigers - (2-1)
Saturday's game broadcast online at kcsb.org
Sunday's game broadcast live on KCSB 91.9 FM
Game available online through Gametracker
Streaming video available through bigwest.tv

• Coming Up
UCSB hosts Pacific for a three-game series this weekend in its Big West home opener. The Tigers swept UC Davis last weekend to open conference play before falling to Stanford, 10-2, on Monday. Individual game tickets remain available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or by calling 805-893-UCSB. And, the Cinco Pack is now available - five baseball or softball games of your choosing for one low price and every time you bring your Cinco Pack ticket to the game, you receive a free Baseball Bingo! card. Click here to reserve your seats.

• Sak It To Me
Caesar Uyesaka Stadium has a nice home field advantage for the Gauchos. Following up a 24-6 record at home last year UCSB has started this season 7-2 in the friendly confines. The Gauchos' overall ERA is more than two runs fewer than their opponents at Caesar Uyesaka and hitting nearly 50 points higher than the opposition.

• V For Valaika
Junior Matt Valaika led the Gauchos to their 15-8 victory over San Diego State on Wednesday, by knocking in a career-high four runs, one shy of his entire total from last year. Valaika leads the Gauchos with four three-hit games and is tied for second on the team with five multi-RBI games this year. He is third on the team with both a .320 average and 21 runs scored while his 18 RBI are fourth.

• Annie, Get Your Gunnar
Through the season's first eight games, Gunnar Terhune's average stood at .194. However in his past 11 games, Terhune has hit in 10 contests - including a season-best six straight - and has raised his average to a healthy .319. In that time Terhune has batted .415 (17-for-41) with three doubles, eight runs and eight RBI.

• Captain E.O.
First baseman Eric Oliver has recorded eight multi-hit games, which is second on the team (behind Ryan Cavan's 11). Oliver is the only Gaucho to start all 23 games, yet has struck out just three times - fewest among starters. Over his past eight games Oliver is hitting .382 (13-for-34) with 13 RBI and seven extra-base hits. The Irvine, Calif. native is also tied for second on the team with five multiple RBI days.

• Monster Mashers
UCSB's .301 batting average ranks fifth in the Big West while the Gauchos' .500 slugging percentage is second. UCSB's 94 extra-base hits are first in the conference. The Gauchos are first in doubles, triples and home runs.

• Cavan a Good Time
Ryan Cavan leads the Gauchos with his .397 batting average. Without trying to jinx it and for informational purposes only, the last Gaucho to hit .400 was Skip Schumaker in 2001. UCSB's highest batting average in a season was Cy Williams' .434 mark (100-200 at-bats) in 1948, although Bill Geivett's .412 mark is considered the one to beat since he did it in 1985 with over 200 at-bats. Cavan boasts a team-best .479 on-base percentage - and team-high 1.005 OPS (on base plus slugging) - and is currently on a five-game hitting streak.

• Cummings and Goings
Third baseman Robby Cummings has 32 RBI, tying him with Fullerton's Jared Clark for most in the Big West. The senior is averaging 1.5 RBI per game and has driven in a run in all but six of his 20 games. Cummings is tied for third in the conference with six home runs.

• Going, Going ... Gump
Senior Brian Gump has set a new career-high with five home runs - tied for seventh in the Big West - and the centerfielder has hit in eight of his past nine starts. In that span Gump has knocked in 11 runs. His 12 stolen bases are tied for second in the conference.

• Score First = Win
It seems like a simple formula that when you score first, you win. When UCSB scores in the first inning, they are 6-2. When the Gauchos score first in any game, they are 10-2.

• Davis Cup
Greg Davis made his first start of the season on Wednesday, allowing just one run in four innings. He leads the Gauchos with a 1.42 ERA and a .174 batting average against.

• Pitching Points
The UCSB pitching staff ranks third in the Big West in ERA (4.41) and their .272 batting average against is also third in the conference. Though UCSB's 159 strikeouts rank seventh in the nine-team conference, the Gauchos have K'd 58 batters looking, second in the conference.

• Early Returns
The college baseball Web site, Boyd's World, projects RPI ratings that are extremely accurate. In the latest projection, UCSB's RPI is No. 38 in the nation.

• Mullins It Over
As a team the Gauchos didn't have a great week last week, but junior catcher Marty Mullins sure did. The transfer from West Valley College was 7-for-13 (.538) with six runs scored and four RBI. Mullins went 5-for-5 last Friday, becoming the first Gaucho to do so since Brian Gump on Mar. 8 last year vs. Houston. In that game Mullins had three doubles, tying the school record, last achieved by teammate Eric Oliver on Feb. 28 last season. Mullins' .623 slugging percentage is tops on the team and seventh in the conference.

• Hey, 19
When they were ranked No. 19 last week the Gauchos cracked the top-20 in a national poll for the first time since 2001 when UCSB was ranked No. 20 by Collegiate Baseball. The last time a UCSB team to be ranked higher than that came in 1990 when the Gauchos were No. 17 in the Sporting News poll.

Probable Starting Lineup

Batting No. Name Pos. Yr. 2009 Notes
1. 4 Ryan Cavan SS Jr. 1.005 OPS ranks first on the team
2. 16 Brian Gump CF Sr. Has hit in 8 of past 9 starts
3. 21 Eric Oliver 1B Sr. 13 walks compared to just 3 K's
4. 22 Shane Carlson DH Sr. 4 HR ranks third on the team
5. 8 Matt Valaika 2B Jr. Hitting .320 with 18 RBI and 21 runs
6. 10 Robby Cummings 3B Sr. 32 RBI is tied for first in the Big West
7. 25 Mark Haddow RF So. 7 of 8 in stolen base attempts
8. 26 Marty Mullins C Jr. .623 slugging pct. leads UCSB
9. 5 Gunnar Terhune LF Jr. Riding a 6-game hitting streak

Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday 18 Joe Gardner RHP Jr. Gauchos are 5-1 in his starts
Saturday 11 Mario Hollands LHP So. 1-0, 0.69 ERA in home outings
Sunday 12 Mike Ford RHP Jr. In last start, allowed 2 ER in 8 IP

• The Bob Brontsema File
The 2009 season marks the 28th year of Head Coach Bob Brontsema's involvement with the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. With two years as a player, 10 as an assistant coach and now entering his 16th season at the helm, Brontsema has been involved in 830 Gaucho victories, far more than anyone in UCSB baseball history. In fact, he has participated in over 60 percent of all UCSB victories in school history. Entering this year, Brontsema ranks second in career wins, third in overall career winning percentage and third in career conference winning percentage. He also holds the record for most Division I wins in school history. His 16 years as Gaucho head coach give him the second longest tenure in UCSB baseball history, behind Dave Gorrie with 18 years. The dean of Big West coaches, he currently ranks first in Big West career wins amongst active Big West coaches and No. 1 in overall wins. In career conference wins, only five individuals throughout the history of the Big West surpass Brontsema.

• BE Great
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

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