UCSB Hosts No. 11 Long Beach State For a Three-Game Set
May 5, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Games No. 45, 46, 47 Long Beach State
Friday, May 6, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, May 7, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, May 8, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
All games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Santa Barbara, CA
On Deck For This Weekend
This weekend, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team hosts No. 11 Long Beach State for a three-game set beginning Friday, May 6 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The 49ers travel to Santa Barbara boasting a 32-14 overall record and a 10-2 conference record. The Gauchos are 19-25 and 1-8 in conference. UCSB is in the midst of finishing-up its season by playing 18-straight Big West games.
UCSB enters its match-up with Long Beach State holding 19-25 record. The Gauchos have been swept in consecutive weekends by Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. The Gauchos dropped their first conference series of the year to Pacific way back on the weekend of April 1.
The Gauchos On KIST
All of UCSB's remaining games 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.
A Look at Last Weekend
The UC Santa Barbara baseball was swept on the road by Cal State Fullerton last weekend in a three-game conference match-up. The second-ranked Titans took the series opener 9-1, defeated the Gauchos 10-5 on Saturday and completed the sweep with an easy 16-2 victory on Sunday. In Friday's game one, Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Rickey Romero baffled the Gauchos as he tossed 8.0 innings allowing only three hits and one run (earned) while striking out eight. UCSB junior starting pitcher Steve Morlock hurled 8.0 innings, giving up 11 hits and nine runs (seven earned) while striking out four. The Gauchos mustered only three hits with junior first baseman Bill Rowe tallying the lone RBI. On Saturday, errors on the field by David Figoni and Jack Pinkerton killed the Gauchos. Junior starting pitcher Michael Martin allowed nine hits and 10 runs but only three of them were earned in 6.0 innings of work. Nate Holguin pitched well out of the Gaucho bullpen, tossing 2.0 innings, allowing only one hit while fanning three. Senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson went 3-for-4 and junior center fielder Matt Emerick hit his first triple of the season. Pinch hitter Matt Stevens hit his second home run in the top of the ninth inning. It was his first round-tripper since the second game this season at Pepperdine back on February 5. In Sunday's series finale, the defending champs showed UCSB no mercy, jumping on the board early and often. Santa Barbara starting pitcher Andy Graham left the game after 4.1 innings, allowing nine hits and eight runs (four earned). Juniors Bill Rowe and Chris Webber each drove in a run for the Gauchos.
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 315-315. 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 - Batting .346 in Big West play.
1B - Bill Rowe - Tallied two RBI this weekend vs. CSF.
2B - David Figoni - Hitting .348 vs. LHP this season.
SS - Alden Carrithers - Second on the team with a .422 OB%
3B - Jack Pinkerton - four doubles and one hr this season.
LF - C.J. Cook - Five RBI in Big West Conference play.
CF - Matt Emerick - Hit his first triple in Saturday's loss to CSF.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Team leading nine homers and 39 RBI.
DH - Matt Aidem - Paces the team with a .355 batting avg.
UCSB Flame Throwers
Despite being swept by the second-ranked team in the country, pitching coach Tom Myers has decided to not to make any changes in this weekend's rotation. In Friday's series opener, junior right-hander Steve Morlock (4-7, 6.28 ERA) will get the start against Long Beach State. On Saturday, junior Michael Martin (4-5, 4.65 ERA), boasting a team-high 81.1 innings pitched, will be looking to pick-up his fifth victory of the season. In Sunday's series finale, sophomore Andy Graham (4-5, 5.75 ERA) is penciled-in to make his 11th start of the campaign.
A Seven-Game Slump
The Gauchos are currently in the midst of a season-high seven-game losing streak. Their last win came back on April 17 against UCLA. Santa Barbara has had two different four-game losing streaks but has also been winners of five in a row. A season ago, UCSB ran off nine in a row but also lost five straight. The last time the Gauchos lost seven or more was in 2003 when they posted a nine-game losing streak.
Defense is Not the Name Of the Game
With the loss of middle infielders Chris Valaika and Chris Malec, the Gaucho defense has had a hard time filling their void. In the last seven games, UCSB opponents have scored 77 runs, yet only 53 have been earned. The difference of 24 runs has come from 14 Gaucho errors. In the same span of games, opponents have only committed three.
Stepping Up His Game
Senior catcher Matt Kalafatis has really caught fire in Big West Conference play. Through nine conference games, Kalafatis is batting .346 with nine hits, three doubles, two runs scored and 12 total bases. In 33 non-conference games, the San Ramon, Calif., native is batting .170 with, 17 hits and two doubles.
Wilkerson Watch 2005
With no home runs this weekend against Cal State Fullerton, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson remains in the second spot on UCSB's career home run list with 38. Wilkerson is now three homers shy of catching current home run king Dave Willis (1994-97). With no RBI this weekend, Wilkerson still remains 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 (1990-01). The Santa Margarita, Calif., native is 32 RBI short of becoming UCSB's RBI king.
Although the Gauchos have lost seven straight and are 1-8 in conference there are two pitchers out of the bullpen that have remained solid. Sophomore Justin Segal who has a 2.50 ERA in 39.2 innings has gone 11 consecutive appearances without giving up an earned run. The Calabasas, Calif., native has succeeded in consistently dropping his ERA in every game he's appeared in since March 9. Junior Nate Holguin began the season a little shaky but has really turned it on as of late. In his last four appearances, Holguin has tossed 7.1 innings and allowed two earned runs. Giving him an ERA of 2.46 within the span, dropping his overall ERA from 6.04 to 5.17.
Entering Friday's match-up, LBSU holds a 32-14 record (10-2 conference), having just swept UC Davis last weekend. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is leading The Beach with a .367 batting average, six home runs and .663 slugging percentage. Third baseman Evan Longoria is batting .331 and has a team-leading 57 hits and 76 total bases. Friday's starting pitcher Caesar Ramos is 9-4 with a 1.56 ERA in 14 starts this season. He leads the team with 104.0 innings pitched, which includes four complete games. Scheduled to take the hill on Saturday is right-hander Marco Estrada. In 13 starts this year, Estrada is 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA. In Sunday's series finale, right-hander Jared Hughes (7-2, 2.34 ERA) is penciled-in to get the nod for the 49ers.
Long Beach State has a 71-60 edge in its series with UCSB. Last season, the Gauchos swept the fourth-ranked 49ers at Blair Field. The Beach eventually missed a trip to the College World Series by just one game.