April 14, 2005

UCSB Set For Three Game Series With UCLA

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April 14, 2005

The Schedule
Games No. 35, 36, 37 • UCLA
Friday, April 8, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
• Jackie Robinson Stadium
Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, April 10, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
• Both games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
• Santa Barbara, CA

2005 Record
Since improving to14-12, after taking six out of eight games, including five in a row, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team dropped its first Big West Series to Pacific, two games to one. The Gauchos then rebounded and took an easy 20-6 victory over cross-town rival Westmont on April 5. Santa Barbara was then swept by future Big West opponent UC Davis last weekend before outlasting 25th-ranked USC, 9-8.

A Look at Last Weekend
The UC Santa Barbara baseball team was swept for the third time this season, this time at the hands of future Big West opponent UC Davis. In the first two games, The Gauchos were unable to muster any offense, as they were shutout 3-0 on Friday and 9-0 on Saturday. In Sunday's series finale, Santa Barbara scored its lone run of the weekend on freshman David Harrit's first career homer as the Aggies completed the sweep with a 6-1 victory. In Friday's season opener, UCSB squandered a fine pitching performance by junior starting pitcher Michael Martin. In a losing effort, Martin tossed his second complete game of the season allowing five hits and three runs (two earned). UC Davis starter Dave McKae was more impressive, hurling a complete game shutout and holding the Gauchos to only two hits. UCSB was shutout and for the second straight game and the second time all season, falling 9-0 on Saturday.

Playing With the Big Boys
UCSB topped No. 25 USC, 9-8 on Wednesday, April 13, marking the first time this season the Gauchos have not only faced, but also defeated a nationally ranked opponent. In a predetermined 4.0 inning start, senior Loren Fraser (3-2) won his third game of the year by holding the Trojans to four hits and three earned runs. Sophomore reliever Justin Segal tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in relief and senior closer Alex McRobbie earned his seventh save of the season by keeping the Gauchos ahead in the final two innings. Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson blasted his eighth home run of the campaign with a two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning. Junior first baseman Bill Rowe added another run with his solo blast (2) in the bottom of the sixth. Getting out of a funk, junior center fielder Matt Emerick went 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.

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 Feb. 13, Brontsema became the third coach in school history to collect career victory No.300. The Gaucho skipper currently owns a record of 313-307. 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 Gaucho Starters
C - Matt Kalafatis - Has started 32 of 34 games at catcher.
1B - Bill Rowe - Homered in Wednesday's 9-8 win over USC.
2B - Alden Carrithers - Tied with a team high .457 OB%.
SS - Chris Malec - Leads the team with nine doubles.
3B - David Figoni -Tallied two RBI in 9-8 win over USC.
LF - C.J. Cook - Has 11 hits, six runs scored and two doubles.
CF - Matt Emerick - Went 3-for-4 in the 9-8 victory over USC.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Team leading eight homers and 33 RBI.
DH - Matt Aidem - Paces the team with a .388 batting avg.

UCSB Flame Throwers
Despite being swept by UC Davis, pitching coach Tom Myers has elected to go with the same pitching rotation he used last weekend. In Friday's series opener, junior right-hander Michael Martin (3-3, 4.19 ERA), boasting a team-high 62.1 innings pitched, will get the start against UCLA. On Saturday, sophomore Andy Graham (4-3, 4.26 ERA) will look to pick-up his fifth victory of the season against the Bruins. In Sunday's series finale junior Steve Morlock (3-5, 6.24 ERA) is penciled-in to make his team-leading 11th start of the season.

A Number Two Seed
By hitting a home run in the bottom of the first inning against USC on Wednesday, April 13, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson moved into a tie for second on the UCSB all-time career homerun list with 37. He is currently tied with former Gaucho standout Jeff Antoon (1989-92). The Santa Clarita, Calif. native needs four more round trippers to catch UCSB home run king Dave Willis.

S is for Segal and Scoreless Streak
By tossing 3.0 scoreless innings in the Gauchos 9-8 victory over No. 25 USC, sophomore relief pitcher Justin Segal has not allowed a run cross the plate in 11.2 consecutive innings. In fact, the Calabasas, Calif., native has not given up a run in a month. The last time a batter has completed a trip around the diamond while Segal was on the hill was on March 9. In 13 appearances so far this season, Segal has only given up runs in three of them. If you scratch those blunders, Segal has a 0.00 ERA in 25.2 innings of work.

And Streak Stops Here!
Before USC stopped at Caesar Uyesaka for Wednesday's game against the Gauchos, the Trojans were winners of five straight, eight of their last nine and 13 of their past 15 games. Their last win was on Tuesday over 2nd-ranked Cal State Fullerton. Thus, UCSB's 9-8 victory over the Men of Troy should be considered its biggest win of the season considering the Gauchos were 0-6 against Pac-10 schools this season and had not defeated a ranked opponent since they swept No. 4 Long Beach State a season ago.

Finishing Strong
The Gauchos have as reliable bullpen as they come because they are a perfect 15-0 entering the seventh inning with the lead.

Fraser's Falling
So far this season, senior pitcher Loren Fraser has posted a 3-2 record, has a 2.95 ERA, and leads the team with 21 appearances. The scary thing is Fraser seems to be getting better as the season rolls on. The Castro Valley, Calif., native succeeded in dropping his ERA from 3.55 to 2.56 in nine straight appearances from March 12 to April 10. Although his ERA did rise to 2.95 after his last outing, he did pick-up the win in the Gauchos 9-8 victory over No. 25 USC.

Bruin Banter
Entering Friday's match-up, UCLA holds a 7-22 record, having just lost to Loyola Marymont on Tuesday, 4-2. Designated hitter Hector Ambriz leads the Bruins with a .356 batting average and seven doubles. First baseman Brett McMillan is batting .269 and has a team-leading 20 runs scored, five home runs, 18 RBI and 47 total bases. Friday's starting pitcher Ambriz has a 2-3 record with a 3.83 ERA in nine games started this season. In his most recent appearance against the Lions, Ambriz tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. On the hill Saturday, Brian Beck (0-6, 5.36 ERA) will be looking for his first win in eight starts this season. In Sunday's series finale UCLA is yet to decide who will be given the nod.

Series Record
The Bruins lead the all-time series between the two schools 37-29. Last season, the Bruins defeated the Gauchos 3-2 in 12 innings at Jackie Robinson Stadium.