UCSB Hosts USC in Home Finale, Closes Out 2017 at Hawaii

Austin Bush (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Austin Bush (photo by Eric Isaacs)

Full release in PDF format

• The Schedule
Tuesday, May 23 at 3:00 p.m. vs. USC (20-31)
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
All-time record vs. USC: 42-59-1
Record vs. USC in Checketts era: 7-2
UCSB home record / USC away record: 15-14 / 5-17
UCSB Streak / Last 10: Lost 3 / 2-8
USC Streak / Last 10: Lost 1 / 1-9

Thursday, May 25 at 9:35 p.m. PT vs. Hawaii (26-22, 8-13)
Friday, May 26 at 9:35 p.m. PT vs. Hawaii
Saturday, May 27 at 9:35 p.m. PT vs. Hawaii
at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii
All-time record vs. the Rainbow Warriors: 13-17
Record vs. UH in Checketts era: 7-5
UCSB away record / UH home record: 7-16 / 18-14
2016 series: UCSB sweeps Hawaii in Santa Barbara
UCSB Streak / Last 10:  Lost 3 / 2-8
UH Streak / Last 10:  Lost 5 / 3-7

• Projected Starting Pitchers
Tuesday: LHP Ben Brecht (3-2, 4.18 ERA) vs. RHP Mason Perryman (2-1, 4.25 ERA)
Thursday: RHP Noah Davis (6-4, 4.88 ERA) vs. RHP Brendan Hornung (6-5, 2.88 ERA)
Friday: LHP Kyle Nelson (6-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. LHP Dominic DeMiero (4-4, 2.65 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Chris Clements (1-7, 6.89 ERA) vs. RHP Jackson Rees (5-1, 3.77 ERA)

• The Week in Review
UCSB went 1-3 last week, earning a 6-5 midweek win over USC before suffering a three-game sweep at home to Blue-Green rival Cal Poly over the weekend. UCSB scored six unanswered runs at Dedeaux Field to take a 6-3 lead over USC Tuesday, then held on for the one-run win. JJ Muno and Austin Bush were the biggest factors in that victory, as both homered and drove in multiple runs. Erich Uelmen shut out UCSB for eight innings in an 11-2 Friday loss, another Austin Bush homer wasn't enough in a 7-4 Saturday loss, and a pair of three-run homers from Cal Poly DH Elijah Skipps spelled defeat for the Gauchos on Sunday.

• Hanging With Hawaii
UCSB rides into this weekend's series having won four straight and five of its last six against Hawaii. In the team's last two visits to Les Murakami stadium, the team has taken two out of three (2015) and dropped two of three (2013).

• Power Surge
The Gauchos enter the week with 46 home runs as a team, a figure which leads the Big West and is the most hit by a UCSB squad in the Andrew Checketts era (since 2012). Should UCSB remain at the perch of the conference's homer rankings, this will be the second straight year that the Gauchos have led the Big West at the of the season. Last year's squad hit a league-high 32 bombs. UCSB also paces the conference this season with a .407 team slugging percentage, which if the season ended today would be the first time a Checketts-led Gaucho squad finished the year over .400.

• Playing for Pride
Sitting one game over .500 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium this season, UCSB's home finale on Tuesday against the Trojans will be the deciding factor in whether or not the Gauchos keep alive a lengthy streak, as the program has recorded a winning record on its home turf every year since 2010.

• Bush Teeing Off
The driving force behind UCSB's power surge has been junior first baseman Austin Bush, who is tearing the cover off the ball this month. In his last eight games, the Turlock, Calif. native has clubbed seven home runs and he is slugging .895 in the month of May. His 17 roundtrippers this season lead the Big West by a wide margin (CSUN's Albee Weiss is No. 2 with 11) and are tied for the second most in Gaucho single-season history. He needs just one more over the team's final four games to tie Tyler Von Schell's school-record 18 home run campaign of 2001. Meanwhile, Bush's 31 career dingers are tied for fifth most in the UCSB annals. Not just a big bopper, Bush is hitting a career-high .291 this season with a Big West-leading 52 RBIs.

• The Magic Number
Six runs has been the magic number for UCSB this season, as the Gauchos have gone 21-5 when hitting that mark. The Gauchos have plated six or more runs three times in May, and they are 3-0 in those 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 for the first time ever while a program-record 10 players were drafted, including No. 4 overall pick Dillon Tate.