Baseball Continues Homestand With Three-Game Set Against Texas State

Thomas Rowan (photo by Tony Mastres)
Thomas Rowan (photo by Tony Mastres)

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• The Schedule
Friday, Mar. 9 at 2:00 p.m. PT vs. Texas State (7-4)
Saturday, Mar. 10 at 2:00 p.m. PT vs. Texas State
Sunday, Mar. 11 at 12:00 p.m. PT vs. Texas State
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
All-time record vs. the Bobcats: first meeting
UCSB home record / Texas St. away record: 3-1 / 0-1
UCSB Streak / Last 10:  Lost 1 / 4-6

TXST Streak / Last 10:  Won 4 / 7-3

Wednesday, Mar. 14 at 3:00 p.m. PT vs. Dartmouth (2-4)
at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
All-time record vs. the Big Green: 5-0
Last meeting: UCSB outscores Dartmouth 27-3 over two home wins, Mar. 21-22, 2015

• The Week Ahead
This weekend, UCSB continues a six-weekend homestand with a three-game set against Texas State starting on Friday at 2:00 p.m. This is the first-ever baseball matchup between UCSB and Texas State. The Gauchos are in the midst of a span that sees them play 21 of 22 games at home, and the team will not leave the state of California for the remainder of the regular season. All three games this weekend will have live audio and video broadcasts available through 

• The Week in Review
UCSB followed up a Wednesday night loss at Fresno State last week by taking two of three against visiting Penn State in the team's first home series of the year. The Gauchos took advantage of five PSU errors in a 10-4 Saturday afternoon victory, then clinched the series the next day with a 4-0 win headlined by a combined one-hitter from starter Noah Davis and Chris Clements, who finished the game off with a three-inning save. Penn St. salvaged the series with an 8-7 Monday win, but had to hold on for dear life as the Gauchos rallied from a six-run deficit to make it a one-run game late.

• Non-Conference, No Problem
UCSB has traditionally excelled against out-of-league competition, posting a 102-47 record against non-conference opponents since the beginning of 2014, good for a .685 winning percentage. 

• Home Cooking
The Gauchos have fared extremely well at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium under Andrew Checketts, crafting a .689 winning percentage (124-56) at home, nearly 20% higher than their road winning percentage over that same span (.482, 67-72). Over the last seven years, UCSB has dropped just three non-conference series at home (SDSU in 2017, Oregon in 2015, Oregon State in 2012). Heading into the weekend, UCSB is hitting .307 in home games (nearly 100 points higher than their opponents: .219) and has an ERA nearly two runs lowers than visiting teams (3.25 to 5.18). 

• Gauchos Toss One Hitter vs. Nittany Lions
Sunday's win over Penn State featured the first Gaucho one-hitter since Mar. 19, 2011 against Nevada. It was also UCSB's first shutout since Mar. 25 of last season against New Mexico State. 

• Grab Some Pine, Meat
After struggling in the strikeout department on both sides of the ball over the first two weeks of the season, UCSB has begun to turn it around. The Gauchos have now had more defensive than offensive strikeouts in four of the past five games, and UCSB is 4-0 in those contests. Gaucho pitchers have posted a season-high 14 strikeouts in back-to-back games, and the offense averaged just six Ks in the Penn State series after picking up double-digit strikeouts in five of the first eight games of the year. UCSB now leads the Big West Conference with 9.4 pitching strikeouts per nine innings, led by standout rates from weekend rotation members Ben Brecht (16.88 K/9) and Noah Davis (11.42 K/9). 

• 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
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 groups ranked among the top-20 nationally.