May 7, 2007
Freshman infielder Matt Valaika hit .333 with four runs scored and four RBI in three games against 20th-ranked Cal State Fullerton over the weekend, leading the Gauchos to their first series win over the Titans since 2001.
In Saturday's 11-9 victory, Valaika went 1-for-5, scored a pair of runs, and drove in three. The Valencia native was even hotter Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a run batted in as UCSB used a four-run ninth inning to come from five down and take a 7-6 decision.
In the two victories, Valaika hit .444 (4-for-9) and hit a home run in each contest. He also reached base and scored in the decisive ninth inning on both Saturday and Sunday.
Valaika was also named the Big West Conference Player of the Week, the first Gaucho to earn the award this season. In addition, he is the first freshman to receive the league honor in 2007.