Gauchos Trek North for Fresno State Midweek

Luke Andrews (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Luke Andrews (photo by Eric Isaacs)

Full release in PDF format

• The Schedule
Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 6:05 p.m. PT vs. Fresno State (7-2)
at Bennett Stadium in Fresno, Calif.
All-time record vs. Bulldogs: 38-29
Record vs. FSU in Checketts era: 9-2 (won six straight)
Last meeting: UCSB 7-2 FSU (2/21/18 @ UCSB)

Saturday, Mar. 3 at 2:00 p.m. PT vs. Penn State (3-3)
Sunday, Mar. 4 at 2:00 p.m. PT vs. Penn State
Monday, Mar. 5 at 2:00 p.m. vs. Penn State
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
All-time record vs. the Nittany Lions: first meeting
UCSB home record / PSU away record (2017) : 16-14 / 6-21
UCSB Streak / Last 10:  Won 1 / 2-5

PSU Streak / Last 10:  Lost 3 / 3-3

• The Week Ahead
This weekend, UCSB drives north to Fresno State for a rematch of last week's home opener at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, a contest in which the Gauchos emerged victorious 7-2 behind a standout start from Luke Andrews for the team's first win of the year. After that midweek clash, UCSB returns to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium to host Penn State – in the first-ever matchup between the two schools – for a three-game series starting on Saturday. All games are slated for 2:00 p.m. starts. 

• Projected Starting Pitchers
Wednesday: Jr. RHP Luke Andrews (1-0, 1.13 ERA) vs. Fr. LHP Nikoh Mitchell (1-0, 4.32 ERA)

• Gauchos on the Air will carry a live audio broadcast of Wednesday night's contest, with Kevin Cannon on play-by-play duties. Links to live stats and a video stream will also be available on (available at the top of this release or on the baseball schedule page).

• The Week in Review
UCSB last week traveled to Corpus Christi, Tex. to take part in the 2018 Kleberg Bank College Classic, hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Whataburger Field, home of the Double-A Hooks (Houston). The Gauchos opened with narrow losses to No. 21 Mississippi State on Friday and TAMCC on Saturday but recovered with an 8-6 triumph over Nicholls State on Sunday. Five Gaucho regulars hit over .300 for the tourney, led by outfielder/catcher Thomas Rowan's .385 mark, while UCSB starting pitchers held the opposition to one earned run or fewer in two of three games. 

• Last Time Out
UCSB put it all together in last week's victory over Fresno State, receiving a breakout debut start from Andrews and scoring a then-season-high seven runs. A Bakersfield College transfer, Andrews pounded the strike zone en route to his first D1 win, throwing 57 of 79 pitches for strikes including first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 25 batters he faced. His only blemish was a solo homer in the seventh, his final inning of work. Clay Fisher (3-4) was the top offensive performer as the Gauchos built a 7-0 lead by the sixth inning.  

• WHIP It Good
Thanks to his four-hit, no-walk outing, Andrews finds himself with the lowest WHIP (walks, hits per inning pitched) in the Big West at 0.50. He is also tied – with 69 other people – for the national lead in BB/9 (0.0)

• In Control
To this point of the season, the UCSB pitching staff has issued just 18 walks. That is the fewest free passes allowed through the first seven games of a season in the Checketts era. Last week, the Gauchos went two straight games (vs. Fresno St, vs. Mississippi St.) without walking a batter, a first in the Checketts era. The Gauchos have issued just six bases on balls in the last four games, just missing the program's best four-game stretch since 2012 (four: May 6-11, 2014 vs. CSU Bakersfield and CSUN). 

• Non-Conference, No Problem
UCSB has traditionally excelled against out-of-league competition, posting a 100-45 record against non-conference opponents since the beginning of 2014, a .690 winning percentage. 

• Program on the Rise
Though the Gauchos recorded a sub-.500 record last season – the first losing season in Checketts' six years at the helm – observers around the country still recognize that UCSB is a program on the rise, evidenced by the team's three trips to the postseason, first-ever College World Series berth (2016), and first-ever Regional hosting appointment (2015) in the past five seasons. Because of that, D1Baseball pegged UCSB as the No. 38 program in the country,  second-best in the Big West and fourth-best in California.

• Rolling on the Recruit Trail
While UCSB has experienced a golden age of on-field success over the past five years, the program has done equally well on the recruiting trail. This past offseason, recruiting coordinator Eddie Cornejo, Checketts, and the rest of the staff brought in the No. 19 recruit class (per Collegiate Baseball). The Gauchos were the only Big West program to appear in every major recruit class rankings this offseason. UCSB has put together a nationally-ranked recruiting class five of the past six seasons, including three top-20 groups. 

• UCSB Quick Fact
UCSB has 10 or more hits in three of its last four games. The Gauchos are 2-1 this season and were 21-6 in 2017 when reaching the 10-hit mark.