Fresno State Bulldog Classic
Margie Wright Diamond – Fresno, Calif.
Tournament Central Page
Gaucho Classic Recap
UC Santa Barbara was once again held back by heavy rain last weekend, as four of its six Gaucho Classic games resulted in cancellations. The Gauchos did complete two games on Friday despite muddy field conditions, falling to LIU Brooklyn, 6-1 and Cal, 11-0. UCSB matched the Blackbirds 7-7 in hits, but had four errors to LIU's one. Freshman Teah Thies provided UCSB's only RBI in the bottom of the fourth, knocking a single to shortstop to bring sophomore Rayna Cohen home.
Bulldog Classic Preview
Santa Barbara heads to Fresno, Calif. this Thursday through Sunday for six scheduled games at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic. Since starting the season with a 3-1 record, UCSB has struggled to find wins. However, that could change this week, with four of its six games coming against sub-.500 opponents.
The Gauchos are set to take on the Bulldogs in the tournament opener in a Thursday night game at 6:00 p.m. UCSB will then play two games each on Friday and Saturday. The Gauchos will face California Baptist (11:30 am) and Montana (2:00 pm) on Friday, competing against both teams for the first time in program history. Then, on Saturday, they play a morning game against North Dakota (11:30 am) and a late-night rematch against Fresno State (7:30 pm). On Sunday, the Gauchos close things out with an 11:30 am match-up with CBU.
Fabian's Hot Start
No Gaucho has had a hotter start offensively this year than outfielder Sammy Fabian, who leads the team in runs (8), hits (20), doubles (3), total bases (23), batting average (.385) and slugging (.442). Her hits and batting average rank fourth and fifth in the Big West, respectively. The left fielder started the season with a six-game hit streak, including five games with at least two hits. She enters the Bulldog Classic having posted multi-hit efforts in nearly half her appearances, tallying two or more in seven of 15 outings.
Perennial All-League Selection
Senior infielder Sierra Altmeyer boasts the most career accolades of any Gaucho currently on the roster, with three All-Conference selections. Last year, she was named to the All-Big West Second Team, after leading the Gauchos in a ton of categories: runs (33), RBI (31), doubles (11), home runs (8), walks (28), on base percentage (.420) and slugging (.557).
Despite missing the Gauchos' last three games, the San Diego, Calif. native is tied for third on the team with 12 hits thus far and leads the way with a .512 on base percentage. She has been extremely consistent at the plate, recording at least one hit in 10 of her 12 appearances, with her .375 batting average trailing only Fabian.
First-year Gauchos Tyler Goldstein and Teah Thies have made an impact for UCSB through the first month of their freshman seasons. No Gaucho has recorded more RBI this season than Thies, who has a UCSB-leading seven. Trailing right behind her are Goldstein and sophomore outfielder Rayna Cohen with six, while no other Gaucho has more than three. Goldstein also sits third in batting average (.333), slugging (.389), on base percentage (.405) and total bases (14).
Junior infielder Carissa Felix has just 10 at bats in six games played this season, but she has been extremely efficient with the opportunities she's been given. The Montclair, Calif. native has a hit in each of her last four appearances. That includes a perfect 2-for-2 mark in UCSB's last outing against Cal, accounting for two of the Gauchos' three hits in that game. Her .500 batting and slugging averages along with her .545 on base percentage would be team-highs if they qualified for minimum hitting requirements.
When the Gauchos have gotten out to fast starts this year, they have been able to come away with wins. In games where they scored first, they have a 3-1 record. When they score in the first inning, they are 3-2. UCSB has yet to let a lead slip away, going 3-0 when leading after the fourth, fifth or sixth innings.
Stringing Those Hits
Since opening the year with three consecutive double-digit hit totals, UCSB has reached double-figures just once in the last 12 games. However, the Gauchos still average the fourth-most hits per game (6.87) in the conference and the fourth-highest batting average (.269).
Santa Barbara's defense has given up fewer than five runs in seven of 15 games, with the pitching trio of Veronika Gulvin, Felisha Noriega and Emily Schuttish combining for a 4.23 ERA, good for the sixth-lowest in the conference. Their combined 5.05 strikeouts per seven innings are good for fourth. Noriega owns the team's lowest ERA of 3.40, placing her at No. 8 among Big West pitchers. She also leads the team with a 3-3 record thus far. Gulvin meanwhile currently holds the UCSB-high with 5.85 K/7, placing her fourth in the conference.
Three of the Gauchos' four wins this season came with at least a three-run margin of victory, with the 3-1 win over Army being the only exception. Close games haven't been a friend to UCSB so far this season though, as the Gauchos enter the weekend with a 1-5 mark in games decided by two runs or fewer. UCSB did win its only extra innings game so far though, going off for five eighth-inning runs in an 11-6 win over Montana during opening weekend.
Originally scheduled to have played in 22 games by this point in the year, UCSB has completed just 15 contests, with games against Nevada, Santa Clara, Utah, Bowling Green, Cal and Pacific all being canceled due to rain and poor field conditions.
UCSB brings six newcomers to Campus Diamond in 2019, including Utah State transfer Devan Sperry Jr. (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Mt. Sac standout Carissa Felix (Montclair, Calif. / Ontario HS) along with four freshmen. Sperry posted career-highs across the board as a sophomore last year, finishing with 20 hits, four doubles, three homers and 15 RBI at USU. Meanwhile, Felix dominated at Mt. Sac, helping lead the Mounties to a 41-7 record while totaling 59 hits and 41 runs on a .415 batting average.
Rounding out the newcomers are Gaucho freshmen infielders Teah Thies (Laguna Hills, Calif. / Laguna Hills HS) and Ally Nodohara (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato HS), pitcher Alyssa Molina (Los Angeles, Calif. / Notre Dame S.O.) and outfielder Tyler Goldstein (Agoura Hills, Calif. / Agoura HS).