April 25, 2013

Gauchos Head South to Take On UC Riverside

Full Release in PDF Form

• The Schedule
Friday, Apr. 26 at 6:00 p.m. vs. UC Riverside (17-19, 6-6)
Saturday, Apr. 27 at 6:00 p.m. vs. UC Riverside
Sunday, Apr. 28 at 1:00 p.m. vs. UC Riverside
All-Time Record vs. UCR: 20-24
All games at the Riverside Sports Complex

• Power Surge
After hitting just 10 home runs over their first 34 games, the Gauchos have exploded in the power department, blasting five round-trippers over the last five games. UCSB entered last week ranked sixth in the Big West in team home runs, but have now jumped up to the number three spot heading into the weekend. Brandon Trinkwon (two), Jackson Morrow, Robby Nesovic, and Tyler Kuresa have all cleared the fence for the Gauchos in the past week.

• Checketts Returns to Riverside
This weekend, UC Santa Barbara head coach Andrew Checketts will be coaching at UC Riverside for the first time since his departure from the Highlanders baseball program in 2007. Checketts was an assistant coach at UCR for seven years, guiding the pitching staff to national recognition with a 3.68 ERA and 8.0 K/9 rate in 2007. The Highlanders were also crowned Big West Champions in 2007, the first time a UC school had won the outright conference championship in 20 years. After his success in southern California, Checketts was hired at the University of Oregon in fall 2007.

• Runners Beware
Would be base-stealers, you've been warned. UCSB catcher Jackson Morrow has displayed that he is one of the premier defensive backstops in the conference, particularly when it comes to gunning down runners. The junior from Torrance ranks first in the conference in both runners caught stealing (17) and runners picked off (5). His pick off number paces all pitchers in the conference as well. Overall, Morrow has caught 44% of his attempted base-stealers this season.

• Closing it Down
After entering the season with a crowded back end of the bullpen, freshman Dylan Hecht has emerged as one of the most dependable closers in the conference despite his youth. With the second most saves in the conference, Hecht has helped the Gauchos to the top spot in the team saves ranking. He has allowed a run just five of 19 appearances, and through 23.0 innings has allowed just 12 hits, two extra base hits, and six runs while striking out 30. The righty has experienced a heavy workload as well, ranking second in the conference in appearances and fifth in games finished.

• Preseason Publicity
Following their stellar 2012 seasons, a pair of Gauchos were selected as Preseason All-Americans. In December, sophomore LHP Andrew Vasquez was named to the Second Team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, while junior shortstop Brandon Trinkwon was named to the Baseball America Second-Team. Brandon was also noted as the top defensive infielder in college baseball. In addition, the current UCSB freshman class was ranked as the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation by Baseball America, tops among all Big West schools and the first time the Gauchos had appeared on the list in school history. Perfect Game also pegged the recruiting class as No. 18 in the country.

• Gauchos Over the Air
UCSB Athletics and the Santa Barbara News-Press radio will broadcast a majority of UCSB baseball's games this season, with 30 games being carried over the air by AM 1290 and online through UCSBgauchos.com and another 17 games airing exclusively online. All three games of the UC Riverside series can be heard on AM 1290 and on UCSBgauchos.com.