UCSB Baseball Earns NCAA Regional Berth

Photo by Tony Mastres
Photo by Tony Mastres

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – For the first time since 2001, the Gauchos will be heading to the NCAA Regionals.

UCSB was named to the Corvallis, Ore. Regional as a No. 3 seed after receiving one of the 34 at-large bids. They will open up against No. 2 seed Texas A&M, who went 32-27 on the year and finished sixth in the seven-team Western division of the SEC. Rounding out the regional bracket are host Oregon St. and No. 4 seed UTSA.

After a late season hot streak, the Gauchos finished with one of their best seasons in recent history. The Gauchos won their final six series of the year and finished second in the Big West Conference standings, both are firsts since 2001. UCSB's 34 wins are its most since 2008.

"We're really excited to get the opportunity to participate in the regionals," said head coach Andrew Checketts. "We're grateful to the selection committee for recognizing how well we have played over the last two months, and now we'll prepare and get ready to play the best baseball that we can."

Key offensive performers for the Gauchos included first baseman Tyler Kuresa, who paced the team with a .469 slugging percentage and 45 RBIs, and Robby Nesovic, who emerged as a freshman to lead all batters with a .343 batting average. Friday starter Austin Pettibone (9-3, 3.11 ERA) and closer Dylan Hecht (eight saves, 1.93 ERA) anchored a strong pitching staff.

Conference-mates Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly also earned regional berths, marking the first time since 2009 that the Big West has had three entrants into the regionals.

The Gauchos sport a 6-17 all-time record in NCAA tournament play.

First pitch between the Gauchos and Aggies is set for 12:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The game can be streamed live via ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app, while the Santa Barbara News-Press Radio will have a radio feed on AM 1290 and on UCSBgauchos.com.

All-session tickets will be made available to the general public beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday (online only until 9 a.m.). Infield reserved tickets are $100 while outfield general admission seats are $75 and student outfield seats cost $56. All-session tickets guarantee the holder to all six games of the regional, and a seventh if necessary game.

Single-game tickets will be made available on each day - pending availability - and cost $20 for infield reserved seats, $15 for outfield general admission and $12 for student outfield seats. The ticket office at Goss Stadium will open at 10 a.m. on the first day of the regional and two hours prior to the first game's first pitch each subsequent day.

Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-GOBEAVS (466-2387), going online at BeaverTickets.com or in person at Gill Coliseum, which is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased through the UCSB Ticket Office by calling 893-UCSB.