UCSB Baseball Faces Rhode Island on Thursday & Friday

Austin Pettibone (by Christopher Clark)
Austin Pettibone (by Christopher Clark)

• The Schedule
Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
Friday March 16, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
Friday March 16, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Rhode Island
at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)
Overall record vs. the Rams – First-ever meeting

• Dates Changed
Due to impending rain in Santa Barbara this weekend, the three-game series vs. Rhode Island has been pushed up to a 3:00 p.m. game on Thursday and a doubleheader on Friday starting at 11:00 a.m. Click here for more information.

• On the Radio
All 24 of UCSB's Big West Conference games will be broadcast live on AM 1290 in Santa Barbara and live online by clicking here. Included in the broadcast schedule is a majority of the rest of the Gauchos' schedule, which will be broadcast exclusively live online. To see a full schedule of Gaucho baseball on the air, click here.

• Nice for Bryce
Senior Bryce Tafelski leads the Gauchos with his .483 batting average (14 hits in 29 at-bats) and enjoyed his first four-hit game on March 11 at Nevada.  Tafelski's .545 on-base percentage also leads UCSB.

• Doing It All
Freshman Greg Mahle has been a huge part of the Gauchos this year as he has 10 RBI in 14 games, plus his .378 batting average is third on the team and he has also started twice. Mahle, who hails from Westminster, Calif., struck out 10 Fresno State hitters in 6.0 innings on Tuesday.

• Outfield of Dreams
Outfielders Lance Roenicke (LF), Brett Vertigan (CF) and Joey Wallace (RF) have been three of the Gauchos' best hitters this season. Vertigan's .427 batting average is second on the team, as is his 12 RBI and he's tied for the team lead with eight multi-hit and three multi-RBI games. Roenicke has hits in 15 of his 16 games played this season, leads the team with six stolen bases and is tied with Vertigan with 12 RBI. Wallace is riding an eight-game hitting streak, is batting .333 and boasts a .424 on-base percentage.

• Vasquez Vanquishes Villains
Six-foot-six freshman left-hander Andrew Vasquez tied his career-high with eight strikeouts in Saturday's win at Nevada. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native has gone at least 6.0 innings in three of his four starts and has struck out at least six batters in every outing. His 29 punchouts are tied for the team lead with Matt Vedo.

• Obi-Won
Sophomore shortstop Brandon Trinkwon has a .379 batting average, good for third on the team, while his .514 on-base percentage is second on the squad. Trinkwon has hits in 12 of his 15 games played and has reached base in all but one game this season. His 13 RBI lead the team and he is tied with Vertigan with eight multi-hit games and three multi-RBI contests.

• Home Sweet Home
Starting with the Rhode Island series, UCSB plays 12 of its next 15 games at home.

• At the Polls
In the annual Big West preseason poll, UCSB was tabbed to finish sixth in the conference while Cal State Fullerton was picked to win the league crown.

• Gauchos Again
UCSB has a pair of pitchers on its staff who were drafted but decided to wear the blue and gold again. Right-hander Matt Vedo was selected in last June's amateur draft in the 49th round by the Los Angeles Angels while left-hander Kevin Gelinas has been drafted twice in the past three seasons but each time returned to UCSB.

• Pitching In
UCSB's team ERA in 2011 was 3.65, which served as the Gauchos' lowest since posting a 3.24 clip all the way back in 1984. In fact, no Gaucho team between those two seasons has had an ERA lower than 4.00.

UCSB Quick Fact
UCSB has never played Rhode Island, marking the sixth straight season the Gauchos will square off with a brand new opponent – in 2011 it was La Salle; 2010 was Northern Illinois; 2009 was CSU Bakersfield; 2008 was Marist; and 2006 was Lamar.

By the Numbers
25 – Number of errors UCSB has committed this season, an average of 1.6 per game. The Gauchos have allowed 92 runs, but only 67 have been earned – a difference of 25.