UCSB Hosts Cal Poly For Three, Sunday Finale Moved Up to Noon

Billy Fredrick (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Billy Fredrick (photo by Eric Isaacs)

Full release in PDF format

• The Schedule
Friday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m. vs. Cal Poly (23-27, 11-7)
Saturday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m. vs. Cal Poly
Sunday, May 21 at 12:00 p.m. vs. Cal Poly
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
All-time record vs. the Mustangs: 93-70-1
Record vs. CP in Checketts era: 7-12
UCSB home record / CP away record: 15-11 / 9-17
2016 series: Cal Poly sweeps UCSB in San Luis Obispo
UCSB Streak / Last 10:  Won 1 / 4-6
CP Streak / Last 10:  Lost 1 / 5-5
UCSB / CP RPI: 112 / 122 (as of May 18)

• Series Finale Moved Up
The finale of the UCSB-Cal Poly series on Sunday has been moved up one hour to 12:00 p.m. to mitigate any potential crossover with the Extravaganza music festival taking place at Harder Stadium. Sunday is also Senior Day, and eight members of the Gaucho program will be honored in their final Sunday game.

• Gauchos Over the Air
UCSBGauchos.com will carry live audio and video broadcasts of all three games against the Mustangs this weekend. Gerry Fall will provide play-by-play duties for the video broadcast alongside former UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema, while Kevin Cannon will man the mic for the audiocast. Links to all broadcasts can be found on the UCSB baseball schedule page.

• Projected Starting Pitchers
Friday: RHP Noah Davis (6-3, 4.33 ERA) vs. RHP Erich Uelmen (2-8, 3.32 ERA)
Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Spencer Howard (6-1, 2.24 ERA)
Sunday: TBA vs. TBA

• The Week in Review
UCSB has gone 2-2 over the last week, losing two of three in a Big West series at No. 14 Cal State Fullerton before rebounding for a 6-5 win at USC on Wednesday. Big innings doomed the Gauchos in Friday and Sunday losses to the Titans, who put up a decisive four-spot in the seventh of the series opener and then went on to score eight runs in the third inning of the Sunday finale. Austin Bush hit two homers to lead UCSB in Saturday's win, while Shea Barry earned a six-out save. Bush went yard again at Dedeaux Field to provide key insurance for UCSB, which eked out a 6-5 win in the team's final road midweek of 2017.

• Checketts Lands Milestone 200th Win
UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts earned his 200th career victory on May 5, becoming the fourth Gaucho coach ever to do so. He is the second-fastest to reach that milestone behind Al Ferrer.

• Managing the Mustangs
Though UCSB's overall record against Cal Poly in the Checketts era is a mediocre 7-12, the home team in the series has really held the upper hand every year. The Gauchos are 6-2 against the Mustangs at home and have won both series at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium under Checketts (2013 and 2015).

• Bush on a Tear
UCSB first baseman Austin Bush is in a groove at the plate right now, clubbing five homers over the last five games to extend his conference lead to 15 roundtrippers on the season. He was named the Big West Field Player of the Week on Monday for the second time in his career after hitting four homers against St. Mary's and Cal State Fullerton, including his second two-homer outing of the year on Saturday. Bush has now gone yard against eight of UCSB's last nine opponents, and he has the most homers by a Gaucho since Matt Wilkerson had 16 back in 2002. His 15 bombs are tied for sixth-most in UCSB single-season history while his 29 career homers rank eighth all-time in school history. Bush is the first Gaucho since Tyler Von Schell in 2000-01 to notch double-digit home runs in back-to-back seasons and just the fourth in program history to hit 11 in consecutive years (most recent: Jeff Bannon, 1999-2000).

• Stellar Start
UCSB freshman righty Liam Steigerwald has had a near-spotless start to his college career, as the San Ramon native sent down the first 20 batters he faced in succession before ceding a bloop single at USC on Wednesday. Steigerwald logged a career-high four innings and 65 pitches at USC, earning his first career win in the process.

• Sluggers
Thanks in large part to the exploits of Bush and Sam Cohen, who has eight roundtrippers on the year, UCSB paces the Big West in both home runs (43) and slugging percentage (.415). Not just big boppers, the Gauchos also rank second in the league with a .274 team batting average.

• Happy to be Home
After a four-game spell on the road, UCSB – and particularly the team's pitchers – will be happy to return to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium this weekend. The Gauchos' winning percentage is 273 points higher at home this year than on the road, and historically UCSB has been successful at home going 119-52-2 (.696 winning percentage) in the Checketts era. The starkest difference in the home-road splits for UCSB has been pitching, as the Gauchos have a 3.45 team ERA at home compared to a 6.62 mark in away contests.

• On the Upswing
UCSB is coming off the two most historic seasons in program history., going to the College World Series last year and winning a team-record 43 games against D-I opponents. In 2015, UCSB was a No. 1 seed and regional host while a program-record 10 players were drafted, including No. 4 overall pick Dillon Tate.