UCSB Hosts UC Davis in Last Home Series of Season

May 18, 2006


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The Schedule
Games 49-51
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
Friday, May 19, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

This Week
UCSB (23-25, 8-10) will take on UC Davis (15-32) in a three-game non-conference series over the weekend. Game one is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., game two is slated for 1 p.m. and Sunday's series finale is scheduled to be played at 1 p.m. Game three will feature a pre-game ceremony honoring those Gaucho seniors on the 2006 squad.

A Look Back at Last Week
UCSB is coming off a week in which it captured a 2-1 conference series victory over Long Beach State. UCSB then fell to No. 20 Peppderdine 10-5 on Wednesday of this week. The Gauchos took game one against LBSU by a count of 8-6 before downing the Dirtbags 4-1 on Saturday. Santa Barbara went for their first series sweep on Sunday, but were unable to muster a real offensive attack, falling to Long Beach State 3-1. No. 20 Pepperdine came into town on Wednesday and took advantage of fifteen free passes issued by Gaucho pitching, thirteen coming by way of walk and two by way of hits batsmen.

Streaking Sticks
The Gauchos currently have six players that are riding a hit streak of three or more games. Perhaps the hottest of the streakers is junior Robbie Blauer. Blauer is currently toting a seven-game hit streak in which he is batting .466 (14-30). Over the streak, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native has tallied four RBI, four runs scored and three doubles. Junior Chris Valaika is also riding a seven-game hit streak. Over the streak, he has tallied three runs scored, ten RBI, two doubles and a home run. Matt Emerick, who has a hit in eight of his last nine games, is riding a four-game hit streak. Over the nine games, Emerick has racked up four runs scored, two RBI and two doubles. Leadoff man Alden Carrithers has a four-game hit streak headed into the weekend. Over the streak, Carrithers has accumulated four runs scored, three RBI and a double. With his seventh home run of the season on Wednesday, junior Brian Lee extended his hit streak to three games. Junior Mario Lewis rounds out the streaking Gauchos, carrying a three-game hit streak in which he has batted six-for-eleven (.545).

Before not appearing in Wednesday's 10-5 loss to Pepperdine, junior Justin Segal had appeared in eleven straight games. Segal has made 32 appearances in all this year, and currently totes a team-leading 2.45 ERA. In addition, Segal is tied for most wins on the club (5) and is the runaway winner in the games finished department (27) and on the saves list (7). His .243 opposing batting average ranks second on the squad to senior Andrew Schoneberger's .241 mark. Segal is also making his mark on the Big West stat board, ranking first in appearances, games finished, games in relief, runs allowed (20), home runs allowed (0), earned runs allowed (14), hits allowed (44), third in walks allowed (12) and ERA, fifth in saves and seventh in opponent batting average.

Probable Gaucho Starters
C - Chris McMurray - Batted 5-10 with two RBI and two runs scored against LBSU
1B - Robbie Blauer - Currently riding seven game hit streak, batting .466 over streak
2B - Alden Carrithers - Leads the Big West in runs scored with 53
3B - Shane Carlson - Has a hit in seven of his last eight games
3B - Matt Clark - Has started thirty games this season
SS - Chris Valaika - Currently riding a seven game hit streak
LF - Brian Lee - Connected for his seventh home run of the year against Pepperdine
CF - Matt Emerick - Has a hit in eight of his last nine games
RF - Mario Lewis - Batting six-for-eleven (.545) in his last three games
OF - Brian Gump - Leads all players with ten sacrifice bunts on the season
RHP - Andy Graham - 5-6, 5.21 ERA
LHP - Jeff Braun - 1-1, 2.51 ERA
RHP - Brian Tracy - 2-7, 4.88 ERA

Scouting the Aggies
UC Davis (15-32) is coming off a week in which it dropped a series to Cal Poly 2-1. Davis took game one by a score of 6-5 before falling 8-5 in game two on Saturday. In Sunday's rubber match, the Mustangs once again downed the Aggies, this time by a count of 6-4. Leading hitters for Davis are senior Tyler LaTorre (.373, 2 HR, 28 RBI), senior Lukas Kirby (.325, 3 HR, 28 RBI) and senior Jimmy Goetz (.317, 1 HR, 17 RBI). UCD's weekend rotation is slated to be senior left-hander Michael Potter (8-1, 1.90 ERA), freshman right-hander Bryan Evans (10-3, 2.62 ERA) and Sunday's starter is freshman right-hander Brad McAtee (9-1, 3.26 ERA).

Series Record
UCD leads the all-time series between the two teams 4-1.

The Brontsema File
2006 marks the 25th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 13th season as head coach, after ten years as an assistant and two as a player. Brontsema's career record is 345-345 (.500). 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 Tournament 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 career win number 300 with the 6-1 victory over San Jose State on February 13th, 2005.

What's Up Next?
After the three-game series with UC Davis, UCSB will visit Cal Poly for its final three-game conference series. In addition, the games against Poly will be the final regular season games for the Gauchos. UCSB took two of three games from the Mustangs earlier this year. During those three games, Cal Poly was ranked No. 24 in the nation. Since that point, the Mustangs have failed to regain a National ranking.