April 28, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Games No. 42, 43, 44 Cal State Fullerton
Friday, April 29, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, April 24, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
All games at Goodwin Field
On Deck For This Weekend
This weekend, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team travels to the defending national champion Cal State Fullerton for a three-game set beginning Friday at Goodwin Field. The Titans host the Gauchos boasting a No. 2 ranking, a 30-11 overall record and an 8-1 conference record. Santa Barbara is 19-22 and 1-5 in conference. UCSB is in the midst of finishing-up its season playing 18-straight Big West games.
UCSB enters its match-up with Cal State Fullerton boasting a 19-22 record. The Gauchos swept last weekend by Cal Poly. The Gauchos dropped their first conference series to Pacific way back on the weekend of April 1.
The Gauchos On KIST
This weekend, the games on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on KIST 1340 AM in Santa Barbara. In addition, all games carried on KIST will be linked to the Gauchos' Official Website at www.UCSBgauchos.com. They will be part of the College Sports Network's College Sports Pass. On Sunday, UCSB will pick-up Cal State Fullerton's web cast and will be available online only.
A Look at Last Weekend
The UC Santa Barbara baseball was swept by Cal Poly last weekend in a three-game conference match-up. The Mustangs took the series opener 6-1, easily defeated the Gauchos 15-6 on Saturday and completed the sweep with a 13-10 victory on Sunday. On Friday, April 22 Cal Poly starter Jimmy Olson baffled UCSB as he tossed a complete game, allowing only one earned run and seven hits. Junior starting pitcher Michael Martin picked-up the loss as he allowed five runs (all earned) and eight hits in 6.0 innings of work. Reliever Nate Holguin looked solid out of the bullpen as he hurled 3.0 innings, giving -up four hits and one earned run. Senior catcher Matt Kalafatis went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. In Saturday's game two, Cal Poly exploded for 15 runs on 22 hits. Sophomore starter Andy Graham was chased from the game after 3.0 innings. Junior left C.J. Cook blasted his first home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning. On Sunday, Cal Poly broke out the broom as it continued to swing hot bats. Junior starting hurler Steve Morlock pitched 3.2 innings and allowed nine hits and seven runs (six earned). Relief pitcher Justin Segal pitched 2.1 innings and allowed five runs in the top of the sixth inning but because of two costly errors none were earned. Closer Alex McRobbie was sensational out of the bullpen, tossing 2.1 innings and striking out five. Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson had a big day at the plate going 3-for-5 with a home run (9), two RBI and two runs 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 315-312. 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 - Went 3-for-3 in Friday's 6-1 loss to Cal Poly.
1B - Bill Rowe - Has two homers in last eight games.
2B - David Figoni - Making his second start at 2B this season.
SS - Alden Carrithers - Leads the team with a .443 OB%.
3B - Jack Pinkerton -Batting .310 vs. LHP.
LF - C.J. Cook - Hit his first home run on Saturday vs. Cal Poly.
CF - Matt Emerick - Perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases this season.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Team leading nine homers and 39 RBI.
DH - Matt Aidem - Paces the team with a .363 batting avg.
UCSB Flame Throwers
After being swept by the Mustangs, pitching coach Tom Myers has decided to switch things up and go with this season's original weekend rotation. In Friday's series opener, junior right-hander Steve Morlock (4-6, 6.08 ERA) will get the start against Cal State Fullerton. On Saturday, junior Michael Martin (4-4, 4.66 ERA), boasting a team-high 75.1 innings pitched, will be looking to pick-up his fifth victory of the season. In Sunday's series finale sophomore Andy Graham (4-4, 5.54 ERA) is penciled-in to make his 10th start of the campaign.
Enough can't be said about the emergence of freshman Matt Aidem. The Valencia, Calif. native has started 28 games this season, almost all of them at designated hitter. Last Saturday, Aidem made his first start at third base and did not commit an error. What's most impressive is the way Aidem can swing a bat. Currently he paces the team with a .363 batting average. He is 33-for-88 (.375) against right-handed pitching. He's batting .490 (24-for-49) with runners on base and he's 4-for-6 with the bases loaded. When runners are in scoring position, Aidem bats a robust .531 (17-for-32). Needless to say that this freshman has really made impact.
The Silver Lining (AGAIN)
With a sweep of the Gauchos last weekend, Cal Poly jumped into the Top 25 for the first time this season as they are now currently ranked No. 24 by Collegiate baseball. That marks the second time this season that a team has swept the Gauchos and then broke into the Top 25. If you remember back on the weekend of February 25, Santa Barbara was swept by Oregon State, which propelled the Beavers to a No. 23 ranking by Collegiate baseball. OSU is now the sixth-ranked team in the country according to Baseball America.
Wilkerson Watch 2005
By blasting his ninth home run of the season in Sunday's loss to Cal Poly, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson moved past Jeff Antoon for the second spot on the UCSB career home run list with 38. Wilkerson is now three homers shy of catching current home run king Dave Willis. Even with two RBI in the Cal Poly series, Wilkerson is still sitting in the No. 6 slot on the all-time UCSB career RBI list with 174. He is still three RBI shy of catching Chad Peshke. The Santa Margarita, Calif., native is 32 RBI short of becoming UCSB's RBI king.
Although the Gauchos have started out this season 1-5 in conference, it seems strangely familiar to 2004. A season ago, UCSB started 1-5, dropping its first conference series to UC Irvine before being swept by UC Riverside. The Gauchos then stole a game from 2004 NCAA Champion Cal State Fullerton before sweeping fourth-ranked Long Beach State, which eventually missed a trip to the College World Series by just one game. Who are Santa Barbara's next two opponents? You guessed it Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. Can lighting really strike twice?
Entering Friday's match-up, CSF holds a 30-11 record (8-1 conference), having just swept UC Davis last weekend. Right fielder Sergio Pedroza is leading the Titans with a .367 batting average, 11 home runs and 41 RBI. Third baseman Ronnie Prettyman is batting .344 and has a team-leading 14 doubles. Friday's starting pitcher Ricky Romero is 8-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts this season. He leads the team with 88.2 innings pitched. Scheduled to take the hill on Saturday is right-hander Wes Roemer. In 13 appearances this year, Roemer is 4-1 a 2.36 ERA. In Sunday's series finale, southpaw Scott Sarver (6-2, 5.14 ERA) is penciled-in to get the nod for Fullerton.
Cal State Fullerton has a 78-30 edge in its series with UCSB. Last season, the Titans took two out of three games from the Gauchos at Caesar Uyesaka Staduim. Santa Barbara was one of only two Big West teams to defeat the 2004 National Champions.