UCSB Wraps Up Non-Conference Play at USF
• The Schedule
Friday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. at San Francisco (24-26)
Saturday, May 17 at 1:00 p.m. at USF
Sunday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. at USF
All-Time Record vs. Dons: 15-10
2013 series: split 2-2
USF Streak/Last 10: Won 2/5-5
• Probable Starters
Friday: LHP Justin Jacome (6-2, 2.78 ERA) vs. RHP Grant Goodman (3-4, 4.27 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Austin Pettibone (3-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. LHP Christian Cecilio (5-7, 3.98 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Shane Bieber (2-4, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Abe Bobb (3-4, 5.21 ERA)
• Chance for UCSB History
With a 20-4-1 record in non-conference play this season (.833 winning percentage), UCSB is on the precipice of writing a new program record. With three non-league games left, the Gauchos will clinch the best non-conference record in program history with their next such win. The mark currently belongs to the 1984 team which went 31-10 in non-conference games for a .756 winning percentage. With one more non-league win, the Gauchos will finish with at least a .778 winning percentage.
• You Earn What You Get
As a staff, UCSB's pitchers allowed just one earned run over three games and 27 innings in last weekend's home series against Cal State Northridge. That figure is a program record for a 3+ game series.
• 30-Win Club
With another win, UCSB will clinch it's second consecutive 30-win season. This is a first for the program since the 1991-92 seasons. Andrew Checketts would be just the second head coach in program history to lead the Gauchos to consecutive 30-win seasons (Al Ferrer is the other, having picked up 30+ wins every year from 1982-87 and 1990-92).
• Vintage Pettibone Earns Big West Weekly Honors
After throwing an 85-pitch, four-hit complete game shutout of CSUN last Saturday, junior Austin Pettibone was named the Big West Pitcher of the Week, becoming the third Gaucho this season to earn conference weekly honors (Joey Epperson and Andrew Calica). In the masterful start, Pettibone retired all but one batter on four pitches or less and hurled a first-pitch strike to 22 of 30 batters. CSUN didn't get a runner into scoring position until the 9th inning when Mike Livingston took second on defensive indifference.
• Three Gauchos Land on National Watch Lists
Peter Maris (Brooks Wallace Award, top collegiate SS) and Dillon Tate (NCBWA Stopper of the Year, top collegiate reliever) were both added to watch lists for national awards late in April, joining Joey Epperson (Golden Spikes Award, top collegiate player) as Gauchos under consideration for NCAA honors.
• Get the Ice Packs Ready
Through 46 games, the UCSB offense has been hit by 89 pitches. This total leads the conference and is tied for seventh in the nation, while the team's 1.93 HBP-per-game ratio ranks fifth in the NCAA. Already the third highest total in team annals, the next UCSB HBP will give the program back-to-back 90-HBP seasons for the first time ever. The Gauchos are well on their way to topping last year's program-record mark of 97 hit batsmen. Woody Woodward (21) and Joey Epperson (13) rank 1-2 among Big West batters in HBPs.
• RPI Report
After going 2-2 over the last week, UCSB dropped 11 spots to No. 63 in the official NCAA RPI. The Big West has five teams among the top-70 in the RPI, ranging from Cal Poly at No. 16 to UC Riverside at 69. In 2013, UCSB occupied a similar RPI spot (No. 57) before receiving an at-large bid into the NCAA Tourney.
• Downshifting Schedule
Down the stretch, UCSB's two remaining opponents (San Francisco and UC Davis) have a combined winning percentage of just .460 and are just 12-27 (.308) against top-100 RPI teams. While this bodes well for the Gauchos' overall record, their RPI may not receive much of a boost, as both USF (157) and UCD (188) rank in the bottom half of the RPI.
• Let There Be Light
All six of UCSB's remaining games this season will be day games. The Gauchos have gone 24-11-1 so far this season in matinees.