18-18 Overall, 8-7 in Big West Gauchos Battle 16th-ranked Long Beach State At Caesar Uyesaka This Weekend

April 19, 2000

The Week That Was
UC Santa Barbara finished up a three game series against the Cal Poly Mustangs, and managed to take one of the three games. The Gauchos took the opener on Friday, 11-8 on a game winning three run home run by Dave Molidor. Redshirt freshman Jim Bullard earned the win in relief to improve his record to 3-1. Saturday, the Mustangs defeated the Gauchos 12-11 and came back Sunday for the rubber match to defeat the Gauchos again 9-8. Bullard came in relief on Saturday to take the loss and Jeremy Sugarman started in Sunday's game and took the loss to drop to 2-3 on the season.

Bannon Making Strides To Help Gaucho Offense
Jeff Bannon came into the season with a lot of promise. Thus far, he has struggled at the plate, trying to make adjustments in his swing. Bannon may have found what he was looking for. Going into last week, Bannon was batting a meager .213. By Sunday, Bannon had improved his average 28 points to .241, his high-water of the season. Bannon was 0-for-3 against UCLA, but came back on Friday with a 4-for-4 day with two RBI and three runs scored including a home run. Bannon followed up that performance going 1-for-3 on Saturday and 2-for-4 on Sunday, including his seventh home run on the season. Bannon's seven home runs leads the Gauchos.

The Bottom Tier Of The Big West
The Gauchos find themselves in the lower echelon of the Big West, not only in the standings, but also in the offensive and pitching categories. With a record of 8-7 in conference, the Gauchos are tied with Nevada for fifth place. Long Beach comes in with a record of 13-5, followed by Cal State Fullerton with a record 11-4. Sacramento State is third with a 10-5 record, and Cal Poly, after taking 2-of-3 from the Gauchos, reside in fourth place. The only two teams below the Gauchos are Pacific (2-13) and New Mexico State (1-14). The Gauchos currently rank sixth in batting with a team average of .294. The Gauchos fell one spot to seventh in pitching with a 6.65 ERA.

Molidor Shining In The Big West
Junior Dave Molidor is definitely turning heads in the Big West. Molidor is currently fourth in the Big West in batting with a .391 average. He is also among the league leaders in slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.484), RBI (40) and doubles (14).

The 49er Report
Long Beach State is 25-13 overall and 13-5 in the Big West Conference. They took two of three from Cal State Fullerton last weekend which catapulted them into first place in the Big West. The 49ers took game one on Friday after coming back from a two run deficit in the eighth to defeat Fullerton 7-4. Saturday, the 49ers were bested by Fullerton 5-1, but came back to take Sunday's game 15-8.

Injury Front
The injury report is far from all quiet. Pitcher Chris Quiroz is out for the season with shoulder troubles as is Jared Schumaker out for the season with a dislocated shoulder. Chris Crawley and Dan Kemper also have shoulder problems and could be out for an extended period of time. Ryan Spiborghs' status has been changed to out for the season as he was fitted for a cast last week on his right arm.

On The Horizon
The schedule does not get any easier for the Gauchos after they complete the weekend series against Long Beach State. The Gauchos will host USC on Tuesday (the game was originally scheduled for Los Angeles, but due to wet conditions in March, the Gauchos traveled to Los Angeles to play there then) and then travel south for a three game, Big West series against the Cal State Fullerton Titans, currently 11-4 in the Big West.

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