Joe Gardner Placed on National Pitcher of the Year Watch List

April 28, 2009

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara junior right-handed pitcher Joe Gardner has been placed on the College Baseball Foundation's watch list for National Pitcher of the Year, the College Baseball Foundation and Mizuno announced on Tuesday.

Gardner has opened the 2009 season, his first in Division I, 6-0 with a 3.51 ERA. The Fremont, Calif. native is one of only 50 pitchers nationwide to be placed on the National Pitcher of the Year watch list.

This nomination comes just days after Gardner tossed a complete-game victory over No. 12 Cal Poly, striking out eight. It was his first career complete game and just the second by a UCSB pitcher this season.

Since opening the season with a 13 strikeout performance vs. St. Louis, Gardner has been the Gauchos' most reliable pitcher. He is the first Gaucho in five years to open a season 6-0, replicating a feat done in 2004 by Michael Martin, who is second all-time in victories at UCSB.

"He's certainly someone who is deserving because he's been outstanding since day one," UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema said.

Gardner's name is scattered throughout the Big West leaderboard. His six victories are one behind the conference leader, his 3.51 ERA is seventh, his 60 strikeouts rank second, his .260 opponent batting average is ninth and his 66.2 innings pitched are tied for seventh.

Gardner, who transferred to UCSB from Ohlone College, has been a terrific Friday starter as the Gauchos are 9-1 in games he starts.

The Pitcher of the Year will be honored during the College Baseball Awards Show on July 2 in Lubbock, Texas.

"We are excited to have this new award as part of our presentation in July," said Raymond Richardson, College Baseball Awards Show chair and CBF board member. "To have the chance to specifically recognize the greatest pitching talent in college baseball is an opportunity we couldn't pass up."

Following Tuesday's game vs. Cal State Bakersfield at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, the Gauchos then will conclude its postponed game vs. Pepperdine on Monday, May 4.

Tickets to the Bakersfield game are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, by coming to the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.

All fans will be admitted free to the Monday, May 4 game.

UCSB Athletics is pleased to announce the Group Strength ticketing program. In an effort to provide an alternative to higher cost events, groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets to UCSB Athletic events at significantly discounted prices. The general admission tickets - available for all ticketed UCSB Athletic events this Spring - will start at just $1 for youth and $3 dollars for adults. Tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance by calling the UCSB ticket office at 893-3292 or by clicking here..

Getting to UCSB baseball games is easy! From Highway 217, veer right at Steck Circle onto Mesa Road, and take a left onto Stadium Road. Caesar Uyesaka Stadium is on your left, and you can park at Lot 30 which is right outside the stadium. There are two kiosks that accept cash and credit card to pay for parking. Click here for maps and general directions.

Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

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