June 5, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - UC Santa Barbara left-handed pitcher Mario Hollands was named a 2008 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, it was announced Wednesday. Hollands becomes the second consecutive Gaucho pitcher to earn that distinction after teammate Mike Ford garnered Freshman All-American accolades in 2007.
A talented lefty with great stuff, Hollands started a team-high 14 games for a Gaucho squad that finished with an overall record of 35-21 and a 14-10 mark in the ultra-competitive Big West Conference in 2008. The El Cerrito, Calif. native went 7-3 on the year, finishing second to Chuck Huggins (8) in victories. Hollands posted an earned run average of 4.03 and struck out 61 batters in a total of 82.2 innings of work.
The Gauchos' Saturday starter, Hollands was named the Easton Big West Conference Freshman Pitcher of Year after ranking ninth among league hurlers in ERA and wins and second in home runs allowed.
In his first appearance of the year, Hollands struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits in six scoreless innings in the Gauchos' 8-4 victory over visiting Marist on February 23. The redshirt freshman's most impressive performance of the season came on May 3, when he scattered four hits on the way to his first-career complete game in Santa Barbara's 10-2 victory over No. 12 Cal State Fullerton. Hollands finished with a season-high nine strikeouts on the way to his seventh victory of the year in a 10-4 win against UC Riverside May 17.
"Mario was tremendous for us this year," head coach Bob Brontsema said. "We've known what he is capable of for quite some time now and he finally got the chance to show it. He was very deserving of the honor and we're extremely pleased that he was recognized for his performance."
Hollands will look to stay sharp this summer while pitching for the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod League.