Baseball Takes On USC, Westmont In Weekday Match-Ups

Baseball Takes On USC, Westmont In Weekday Match-Ups

April 23, 2002

Upcoming Schedule

* Apr. 24 USC R-Vasquez (4-5, 3.53) vs. TBA (KCSB 91.9FM) 5:00 p.m.
* Apr. 25 Westmont L-Thompson (2-2, 5.37) vs. TBA 2:00 p.m.
* Apr. 30 UCLA TBA vs. TBA 2:00 p.m.

Gauchos On The Air

KCSB 91.9 FM will carry this weeks game against USC but will not carry the Westmont game as originally scheduled due to scheduling conflicts with men's volleyball. In addition to the USC game, KCSB will air live broadcasts of five more Gaucho baseball games.

April 24 vs. USC
April 30 vs. UCLA
May 17 vs. Sacramento State
May 24-26 vs. Cal Poly

Broadcast times will begin five minutes before game times.

Stuck In The South End Of The Big West

UC Santa Barbara (16-24, 3-9 BWC) get a much needed break from Big West action this weekend as they take on USC (24-16, 9-3 Pac-10) on Wednesday and Westmont (7-30-1, 5-20 GSAC) on Thursday in non-conference play. After facing the top four Big West teams in consecutive weekends-Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, Long Beach St. and Cal State Fullerton-the Gauchos will play three non-conference games in two weeks, before resuming Big West games against UC Riverside May 3. The Gauchos are coming off a disappointing weekend against Cal State Fullerton where they were swept by the 14th-ranked Titans. The Gauchos are now in eighth place-out of nine teams-in the Big West Conference.

The Trojans

UCSB will be facing their third-straight ranked opponent in USC. According to Collegiate Baseball, the Trojans, currently the top team in the Pac-10, are ranked #23 in the nation. Led by Mike Gillespie (632-348-2), in his 16th season, USC is coming off a weekend sweep of Wasington State and have won 12-of their last-15. The Trojans are batting .326 as a team, led offensively by Alberto Concepcion (.399, 13 2B, 7HR, 35 RBI) and Bill Peavy (.392, 14 2B, 10 HR, 49 RBI). Five Trojans are hitting .373 or higher. The pitching staff which is having a down year with a ERA of 5.83, is led by Brett Bannister (3-2, 3.33, 43K, 48.2 IP) and Matt Chico (6-3, 5.34, 56K, 55.2 IP). The Gauchos lost both games to USC last season 12-5 and 6-4. UCSB starter Matt Vasquez will get a chance to avenge one of those losses to the Trojans last year. Vasquez-then a freshman-went 6.2 innings, striking out six while giving up six runs, two earned, in the losing effort. The Trojans lead the all-time series 57-28.

The Warriors

Westmont, who the Gauchos take on Thursday afternoon at home, have had an even tougher season than UCSB. Westmont comes into the game with a .189 win percentage. They are batting .254 as a team, led by David Morton (.300, 23R, 1HR, 15 RBI) and Carlos Mata (.285 22R, 3HR, 17 RBI). Morton is the lone Warrior batting over .300. The team ERA is a lofty 8.08, led by Brett Bollman (2-9, 6.78, 51K, 79.2 IP) and David O'Neill (3-7, 7.29, 43K, 70.1 IP).

Gaucho Probable Starters

1B * Josh McCanne * Leads the Big West with five sacrifice flies. Second on team with 7 2B.
2B * Chris Malec * Has a base-hit in 27-of last-30 games.  5 doubles and 6RBI in Big West.
SS * Dave Licht  * Tied for third on team with 29 runs scored.  Also has six doubles.
3B * Nate Sutton * Second on team with 23 walks. Batting .333 with runners on base.
LF * Blair Havens  * Leads Gauchos with .367 average, has scored 12 runs in 12 BW games.
CF * R.J. Smith * Batting .286 in Big West.  Had game winning hit against Long Beach St.
RF * Ryan Spilborghs * Has had three 5-RBI games.  Has 18 multi-hit games, 12 single-hit.
C * Taylor Vogt * Hit first career home run Sunday against Fullerton.
DH * Matt Wilkerson * Leads team with five stolen bases.  Second on team with 34 runs.

Weekend In Review

The Gauchos went 0-3 in the series with Cal State Fullerton, making it the fourth consecutive series the Gauchos have lost...On Friday, Matt Vasquez pitched 10 innings, but did not get the decision as Fullerton rallied to win 6-2 in 11 innings. The loss overshadowed Vasquez's no-walk effort and Ryan Spilborghs 11th homer of the season, that momentarily gave the Gauchos a 2-1 lead in the eighth...In game two, the Titans used a six-run first innning, where they hit for the cycle, to handily down UCSB 12-6. Darric Merrell (6-2) got the win and Sean Thompson (2-2) the loss...In game three, Fullerton used two three-run innings highlighted by Shane Costa's three-run homer ,to win convincingly 9-2. Costa had a torrid weekend going 8-for-14 and extending his hitting streak to 21 games. Shawn Thompson (2-2) took the loss while Jordan DeJong (7-2) got the win.

They Call Him Coach

Bob Brontsema is in his ninth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 232-232 (.500). Brontsema is coming off his best coaching season at UCSB guiding the Gauchos to a 40-17 record, good for the best single season winning percentage (.702) at UCSB since 1986. The 40 wins were the most by a UCSB team since 1990. For his efforts, Brontsema was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Brontsema has posted three straight over-.500 campaigns, the school's first such achievement since 1992.

Pitching Notes

As a team, the Gaucho pitching staff has an ERA of 6.18, which is second-to- last in the Big West...Due to injuries, the Gauchos have used nine different starters...Matt Vasquez is winless in his last five starts losing four in the process...Mike Sutherland has been the Gauchos most effective pitcher in Big West action. The freshman lefty from Torrance, Calif., has yielded only one run in four appearances in Conference play...The Gauchos will continue to be without the services of starters James Garcia (Sr. 2-3, 6.57, 33K, 37 IP, .245 Opp. BA) and James Dayley (Jr. 1-2, 8.89 26K, 26.1 IP) . The two were supposed to be weekend starters for the Gauchos this season but injuries to Dayleys back and Garcias shoulder and ankle have kept them off the field...With the injuries, lefty junior, Sean Thompson (2-2, 5.37, 26K, 53.2 IP) and senior Matt Moran (1-1, 7.45, 17K, 29 IP) have stepped in to starting roles for the Gauchos...Freshman Eric Posthumus has also been effective out of the pen for the Gauchos getting the win against Long Beach St. with 2.1 innings of work...Junior Kevin Miller leads the Gaucho relievers with six appearances in Big West play...Miller's twin brother Chris plays catcher for UC Irvine...Sutherland and freshman Alex McRobbie were the only pitchers to not be scored upon against Cal State Fullerton.

Hitting Notes

The Gauchos are batting 286 as a team, good for eighth in the Big West. However, a better indicator of the UCSB offense, is their runs scored on the season of .282 which is fourth in the Big West...The 39 team home runs are second and 16 triples are good for third best in the Conference...The Gauchos are batting .271 in 12 Big West games. That figure is not too shabby considering UCSB faced the top three pitching teams-UC Irvine Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton-in the Big West, the past two weekends...Junior Blair Havens leads the regular starters with a .339 average in Big West play...Freshman Chris Malec has five doubles in Big West action and has at least three hits in every series...Junior Ryan Spilborghs and freshman Matt Wilkerson have hit two homers in Big West games to lead the Gauchos...Wilkerson was the only Gaucho to get three hits in a game in the Fullerton series going 3-for-4 with two RBI on Saturday.

Offense By Grade

Seniors:	.252 (81-318)	4 HR	65 R	39 RBI
Juniors: .295 (158-535) 16 HR 115R 103 RBI
Sophomores: .246 (58-235) 2HR 51 R 38 RBI
Freshmen: .304(101-332) 17 HR 101R 81 RBI

Defensive Notes

The Gauchos are fielding .964 as a team, good for third in the Big West. UCSB is fielding .972 over their last 12 games committing only 13 errors in those games. The Gauchos have turned 40 double plays, which is good for second in the Big West.

First Year Phenoms

Freshman Chris Malec and Matt Wilkerson have made the transition as teammates from Santa Margarita High School to teammates at UCSB with relative ease. Malec, the Gauchos second baseman, is batting .323 with six home runs. He also leads UCSB with 11 doubles and is second on the team with 42 RBI and 13 hit-by-pitches. Malec has already had two six-RBI games this season and at one point had a 14-game hitting streak. Malec has reached base in 38 of 40 games. Wilkerson, the Gauchos designated hitter, is second on the team and fifth in the Big West with ten home runs. Wilkerson hit two homers in the Gauchos 15-9 loss to Northridge, March 30, and also slugged three against UCLA, on February 26. Wilkerson is currently batting .293 with 34 runs and 33 RBI. Malec and Wilkerson were coached at Santa Margarita by Tip Lefebvre, brother of former Dodger and major league manager Jim Lefebvre.

Native Son

If you come see the Gauchos this season, it's a sure bet that #24 will be batting third in the lineup. Ryan Spilborghs, the Gauchos most explosive offensive threat and product of Santa Barbara High School, has been as good as advertised and even more. Spilborghs is batting .362 and is among the confence leaders with with 44 runs scored, five triples, 108 total bases, 45 RBI and .691 slugging percentage. "Spilly", as teammates, coaches and friends call him, has 11 homers on the seaon. His 11th home run came off Fullerton ace, Wes Littleton (7-2, 1.1.46), on a blast to deep right center giving the Gauchos a 2-1 lead on Saturday. Spilborghs has reached base in 36 of 40 games including six base hits in his last seven games. Spilly also has scored 10 runs and driven in 11 base runners in Big West play.

Upcoming Schedule

UCSB will be off for the weekend before hosting on UCLA on Tuesday April 30 at 2:00 p.m. The Gauchos will then resume Big West Conference play May 3-5 against UC Riverside at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Big West Standings

			                  Conf.	Overall
Cal State Fullerton	 10-2	27-12
Long Beach State	     8-1	25-12
Cal State Northridge  6-3	29-13
UC Irvine		           6-3	24-18
Cal Poly		            6-6	20-23-1
UC Riverside		        3-6	23-19
Pacific			            3-6	21-16-1
UC Santa Barbara	     3-9	16-24
Sacramento State	     0-12	15-22	

More Gaucho Notes

* Ryan Spilborghs is the lone returning starter from2001 on the field for the Gauchos. UCSB had nine players drafted off last years 40-17 team.

* According to Boyd's College Baseball Publication, the Gauchos have the 11th toughest schedule in the nation..

* UCSB scored in every inning in their 16-5 win over Westmont. The last time that happenned was against Chapman College in 1985.

* The Gauchos scored 12 runs in the fifth inning against Creighton, in a 23-10 win on Feb. 23. UCSB also had 25 hits in that game.

* Josh McCanne hit a walk-off grandslam with two outs in the ninth, in the Gauchos 8-4 victory over Loyola Marymount, for their first win of the season on February 1.

* Ryan Spilborghs had a 35-game hitting streak in 2001. Earlier in 2002, Spilborghs had a 12-game streak. Spilborghs leads the Big-West with 39 runs scored.

* In 2001, James Garcia became the first Gaucho to win 10 games since Santa Clara pitching coach Tom Myers did so for UCSB in 1991. Despite Garcia's 6.39 ERA, opposing hitters are batting just .230 against him this year,

* Chris Malec and Andy Campanella lead the Gauchos with 13 hit-by-pitches. The school record is 14, set by Greg Braunwilder in 1982.

* Three teams (UCSB, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State) made the NCAA regionals from the Big West last year, with Fullerton advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.

* Nine Gauchos were drafted off the 2001 team. Jared Schumaker (5th, St. Louis), Jim Bullard (9th, Chicago, AL), Jamie Gonzales (12th, Detroit), Dave Molidor (14th, Cincinnati), Tyler Von Schell (15th, San Francisco), Jeff Bannon (18th, Cincinnati), Chad Peshke (33rd, Cleveland) and Jed Stringham (36th, Detroit).

* Oakland Athletic Barry Zito pitched his freshman season at UCSB before transfering to Pierce JC and then finishing at USC. Current Texas Ranger second baseman, Mike Young, was a teammate of Zito's at UCSB in 1997.