Saturday, Apr. 6, 2019 at 1:00 / 3:00 p.m.
UC Davis (27-6, 2-1) at UC Santa Barbara (6-28, 0-3)
at Campus Diamond in Santa Barbara, Calif.
2018 Series: UCSB 2-1
All-Time Series Record: 28-114
Sunday, Apr. 7, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.
UC Davis (27-6, 2-1) at UC Santa Barbara (6-28, 0-3)
Live Stats: Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3
Fullerton Series Recap
UC Santa Barbara took on Cal State Fullerton in the first weekend series of the conference season, but wasn't able to come away with a win in three closely fought games at Campus Diamond. Led by junior pitcher Felisha Noriega, the Gaucho defense was on top of its game in Saturday's opener, holding an opponent to just one run for the third time this season. However, UCSB was shutout in the run column despite owning a 7-2 advantage in hits. Saturday's second game would head into extra innings tied 2-2, but Fullerton exploded for four eight-inning runs on its way to a 6-2 victory. The Gauchos would fall 3-1 in their series finale on Sunday.
The Home Stand Continues
With one Big West series now under their belt, the Gauchos (6-28, 0-3) will shift their focus to a UC Davis (27-6, 2-1) team which owns the best overall record in the conference. The Aggies opened league play by defeating CSUN in two of three games at home. They possess perhaps the most potent defense in the Big West, leading the pack in strikeouts (6.7 K/7) and giving up by far the fewest runs (1.71 ERA). UCD's defense is powered by star pitcher sophomore Brooke Yanez, whose 1.08 ERA, 164 strikeouts and 17-2 record all rank first in the conference. The Aggies enter this weekend winners in eight of their last nine efforts.
Home, Sweet Home
Of the 34 games the Gauchos have played in so far this season, only seven of them were played at home. UCSB owns a 1-6 record at Campus Diamond this season, but had its other four scheduled home games canceled due to weather and field conditions. The Gauchos own a 39-32 record at Campus Diamond since the start of the 2016 season.
Steady As She Goes
Outfielder Sammy Fabian continues to be remarkably consistent for the Gauchos. She has recorded at least one hit in 15 of her last 17 outings, averaging more than 1.5 hits per game over that span. Last month, Fabian had a run where she tallied at least two hits in five straight outings, the longest streak of her career. She now has 15 multi-hit efforts this season, doing it in exactly half of her 30 appearances. The sophomore heads into the weekend second in the Big West in batting average (.444) and hits (44) while also sitting fourth in on base percentage (.481). Her current .444 batting average is the highest in program history, just barely edging out the .437 Kristen Clark put up in 2014. Fabian also has at least a share of the UCSB team-high in doubles (4), stolen bases (6) and slugging (.485).
Ramirez Stepping Up
Junior Genesis Ramirez has been one of UCSB's top producers this season, as she leads the team in runs (14) and walks (12). Her 10 RBIs are also tied with Rayna Cohen for the second-most on the team.
First-year Gauchos Teah Thies and Tyler Goldstein have made an impact for UCSB through the first two months of their careers. No Gaucho has recorded more RBIs this season than Thies, who has a team-leading 12, top-five among Big West freshmen. She is coming off a big offensive week in which she batted at a team-high .444 clip and tied a career-high with three hits in a game for the second time this season. Goldstein meanwhile owns a slash line of .270/.347/.303, ranking top-five on the team across the board. Her 24 hits and nine RBIs are also good for fourth. while her 11 walks trail only Ramirez.
A Big Missing Piece
Despite putting up a respectable 6.74 hits per game – a mark which ranks fourth among Big West teams – UCSB has struggled to put up runs, averaging just 2.5 per contest. A big reason for this has been the absence of infielder Sierra Altmeyer, who has played in just 12 games this season. The senior 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). Before coming out of the lineup this season, she was putting up career-bests in batting average (.375) and on base percentage (.512), both of which would place her in the top-10 of the conference.
Ally Nodohara and Genesis Ramirez both hit home runs at the Bulldog Classic in early March, the first two of the season for the Gauchos. Nodohara's solo blast against CBU on Mar. 8 – the first hit of her career – ended a run of 17 straight games without a Gaucho homer dating back to last May. Ramirez's home run came in the top of the sixth inning during the rematch against CBU just two days later. It was the third of her career. Surprisingly, UCSB's third home run of the year from Carissa Felix would also come against the Lancers, when the Gauchos met them for a third time at the LMU Tournament on Mar. 15.
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).