May 8, 2006
Junior shortstop Chris Valaika was named the Golden1/ucsbgauchos.com Student-Athlete of the Week Monday after a punishing performance in the Gauchos' series versus No. 4 Cal State Fullerton. The Valencia, Calif. native was simply dominant in Santa Barbara's last two games, plating eight runs on five hits and ten at bats.
In UCSB's 8-2 win over the Titans on Saturday, Valaika blasted a three-run homerun to give the Gauchos a 4-2 lead, then stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on and delivered the knockout blow in the form of a two-run single.
On Sunday, Valaika helped the Gauchos push one of the nation's best teams to the brink, contributing a game-tying single in the seventh with two outs. Valaika finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored. On the weekend, he had a direct play in 10 of the Gauchos' 16 total runs scored.