UCSB Travels to Northridge for One, Plays Host to UC Davis for Three-Game Set

UCSB Travels to Northridge for One, Plays Host to UC Davis for Three-Game Set

April 7, 2008

The Schedule
Games No. 31, 32, 33, & 34

Tuesday, April 8 - 3:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at Northridge
at Matador Field

Friday, April 11 - 2:00 p.m. (PDT)
UC Davis at UCSB
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

Saturday, April 12 - 1:00 p.m. (PDT)
UC Davis at UCSB
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

Sunday, April 13 - 1:00 p.m. (PDT)
UC Davis at UCSB
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara (21-9, 5-1) travels south to face Cal State Northridge (13-13, 3-3) in a Non-Big West Conference matchup. The meeting will mark the fifth time the two squads have faced each other this year, with the Gauchos leading the series, 4-0. From there, the Gauchos welcome new BWC member UC Davis (20-10, 3-0) for a three-game weekend set. The first ever BWC meeting between the two squads pits the top of the conferthe Gauchos in second.

This Week
UCSB takes on the Matadors for the fifth time this eason, and the second time at Matador Field. UCSB has dominated the series winning all four contests thus far. In the four games the Gauchos have outscored Northridge, 36-21. On Friday, the Gauchos play host to the Aggies for what promises to be an exciting series. The Aggies and Gauchos occupy the one and two spots among all BWC teams in nine offensive categories: runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles, home runs, total bases, total plate appearances, and at-bats. Combined the two teams have scored 445 runs, and have amassed 696 hits all over 60 total games.

The Week That Was
The Gauchos started off the week with a victory against No. 11 Pepperdine with a 14-0 blowout at home. The Waves were quick to return the favor, bashing the Gau- chos with 14 runs of their own, in a 14-3 loss. From there, UCSB visited Stockton, Calif., to face division rival Pacific. The Gauchos took two of three from the Tigers, improving their BWC record to 5-1.

The Rotation
The Gauchos will send senior Michael Martin (3-1) to the mound on Tuesday against Northridge. Martin has started five games on the year and owns a 3.24 ERA. The senior has allowed only 28 hits in 33.1 innings pitched this year.
From there, the Gauchos will turn to their normal starting rotation of Ford, Hollands, and Huggins against the Aggies. Sophomore ace Mike Ford (3-2) will pitch in the series opener against UC Davis on Friday. Ford pitched well in his last outting, al- lowing two earned runs in six innings of work. Mario Hollands (3-1) gets the nod in game two. The redshirt freshman allowed two runs (one earned) in seven innings against Pacific in his last start. The lefty struck out five while walking only one in the no-decision. Senior Chuck Huggins (6-1) mans the bump in the series finale against the Aggies. In his last outting, the Redwood City, Calif., native was masterful, striking out five Tigers in seven innings of work. Huggins earned his BWC-leading sixth victory in the Sunday start, allowing two runs on only three hits.

Huggy Bear
Senior Chuck Huggins is leading the way for the Gaucho pitching staff. With his win on Sunday, the southpaw now owns a 6-1 record with a 3.38 ERA. In his most recent start, Huggins fanned five in seven innings of work, while allowing only two runs. The Redwood City, Calif., native owns a 49-to-13 strikeout to walk ratio thus far. Huggins is first in the BWC in wins (6), second in opponents batting average (.221), and third in strikeouts (49). In addition, Huggins has pitched at least five innings in all seven of his starts to begin the year.

Fantastic Ford
Mike Ford is 3-2 on the year, having allowed only 13 earned runs in 44.1 innings of work, while striking out 41. The flame-throwing righty has allowed only one long ball in his seven starts. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native has pitched at least six innings in six of seven starts to begin the year.

Power Push
UCSB is first in the Big West Conference in three offensive categories: Slugging percentage (.487), doubles (65), and home runs (30). In addition, the Gauchos are second in the BWC in five other categories: Runs scored (222), hits (334), RBI (202), total bases (507), and sac flies (18). The Gaucho attack has scored 222 runs in 30 games, an average of 7.4 runs scored per game.

Super Mario
Redshirt freshman Mario Hollands is com- ing into his own as a Gaucho. In seven starts the southpaw is 3-1 with a sterling 2.70 ERA. The El Cerrito, Calif., native places within the top ten in the BWC in ERA, opponents batting average (,253), and innings pitched (43.1). In addition, Hollands is sporting an impressive 35-to- 9 strikeout to walk ratio. Amazingly, only nine of the 42 hits allowed by Mario have been for extra bases, and all have been doubles. Impressively, Hollands has yet to be homered off of.

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, and total bases. His four triples, 28 runs scored, 65 total bases, and 13 stolen bases all rank within the top five in the Big West Conference.

Consistent Carlson
After making the switch from shortstop to second base to begin the year, Shane Carlson has moved back to short after sec- ond baseman Matt Valaika went down to injury. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native had an 18-game hitting streak from Feb. 22 to Mar. 16. In eight of those 18 games, Carlson had multi-hit performances. His four home runs and 29 RBI are good for second on the team. In addition, Carlson has blossomed defensively, having made only three errors in 137 chances, a .978 fielding percentage.

Gump The Great
Junior Brian Gump is making the most out of starting role as the Westminster, Calif., native has started in all 30 games to begin the year. The sweet-swining cooled off slightly over the past week, but still ranks within the top three in the Big West Conference in three offensive categories. Gump's 31 runs scored , 16 stolen bases, and 46 hits are good for second, second, and third in the entire Big West Conference, respectively. The athletic center fielder is already making a strong bid for BWC Player of the Year accolades.

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 30 games for the Gauchos at first base, while hitting out of the three hole. Oliver upped his season average to .313 over the week. He is second in doubles with eight and third on the team with 23 RBI. Oliver has also fielded his position with ease committing only two errors in 275 chances. His 250 putouts are good for third in the Big West.

Three's Company
The starting rotation of Ford, Hollands, and Huggins is 12-4 on the year in 21 starts with a combined ERA of 2.90. The threesome owns an extraordinary 125-to-43 strikeout to walk ratio, and has allowed a mere six homeruns. The trio has pitched at least six in- nings of work in 16 of their 21 starts to begin the year.

Be Like Mike
Senior Mike Zuanich has provided much of the power for the Gauchos thus far. The left fielder leads the BWC in RBI (31) and sac flies (6), and is fourth in home runs with 5.

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. Junior transfer Zach Samuels has blossomed in his role out of the pen, allowing just nine hits in 15 innings of work. The right-hander posses a solid 3.60 ERA and is sixth in the BWC in relief appearances with 13. The Gauchos six saves are good for fourth 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.