No. 6 Gauchos Take 10-Game Winning Streak into Hawaii

No. 6 Gauchos Take 10-Game Winning Streak into Hawaii

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The Schedule
Friday, May 17 at 9:35 p.m. PT at Les Murakami Stadium
Saturday, May 18 at 9:35 p.m. PT at Les Murakami Stadium
Sunday, May 19 at 4:05 p.m. PT at Les Murakami Stadium
UCSB Gauchos (41-7, 15-3) vs. Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (20-24, 8-10)
All-time record vs. the Rainbow Warriors: 17-20
2018 Series: UCSB won 2-of-3

Gauchos on the Air
UCSB Baseball will be available to stream all season long through BigWest.TV. An additional audio only broadcast, brought to you by assistant director of baseball operations Kevin Cannon, is also available on UCSBGauchos.com. 

Probable Pitchers
LHP Ben Brecht (9-1, 3.91 ERA) vs. RHP Cade Smith (2-0, 4.53 ERA)
LHP Jack Dashwood (8-1, 2.24 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Davenport (2-4, 4.01 ERA)
LHP Rodney Boone (7-0, 3.06 ERA) vs. RHP Logan Pouelsen (3-2, 4.50 ERA)

Last Week in Review
The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara baseball team rolled through last-place Long Beach State for its eighth series sweep of the season while improving to 9-0 in the Big West at home and a conference-leading record of 15-3. In Friday's series opener, Ben Brecht delivered another quality start while Eric Yang went 4-for-5 and Cole Mueller hit his first career home run in an 8-2 win. On Saturday, a lightning delay sparked the UCSB offense to a 13-1 rout behind home runs from Andrew Martinez, Thomas Rowan and Yang while Jack Dashwood was strong through five. On Sunday, the Gauchos capped off the sweep with an 8-4 win, propelled by six runs in the first inning and a Marcos Castanon home run. Tuesday's midweek win over Pepperdine brought the UCSB win streak up to 10, its third double-digit streak this season, and second longest active streak in the nation. 

Poll Position
After another 4-0 week, Santa Barbara saw another slight increase in all of the major polls, moving up one spot in the Collegiate Baseball Poll to match its highest ranking of the season at No. 6. The Gauchos also saw a one spot jump to No. 7 in Perfect Game,  while moving up two spots to No. 11 in both the USA Today/Coaches Poll and the NCBWA Poll. Baseball America has UCSB at No. 12 and D1baseball.com has the Gauchos at No. 14. The highest ranking in UCSB history was No. 5 back in 1986, the last time the Gauchos won the Big West Conference Title. 

Martinez Named Big West Player of the Week
Sophomore second basemen Andrew Martinez was named the Big West Field Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to a 4-0 week, including a sweep over Long Beach State over the weekend.The San Francisco, Calif. native hit .538 (7-for-13) with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored as the Gauchos outscored their opponents 35-10 during the week. In Tuesday's 6-3 non-conference victory over Saint Mary's, Martinez went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a stolen base before going 5-for-9 in three games over the weekend against the Dirtbags. After going 1-for-3 in Friday's series opening 8-2 win over Long Beach, Martinez went 2-for-3 in both Saturday's 13-1 rout and Sunday's 8-4 victory. On Saturday, Martinez contributed to the blow out with two runs, two RBIs and a solo home run while adding two more RBIs on a single and a double on Sunday.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
UCSB takes its 10-game winning streak into a road conference series at Hawai'i this weekend. The Rainbow Warriors hold a 20-17 advantage in the all-time series and so far in 2019 are 14-15 at home. The Gauchos, meanwhile, are 15-6 on the road, and 5-3 in night games, of which they will play two at Les Murakami Stadium. Hawai'i is led offensively by Daylen Calicden (.315 AVG, 1 HR, 19 RBI) and Scotty Scott (.311 AVG, 20 RBI) while Alex Baeza and Ethan Lopez lead the team with four home runs apiece. On the mound, reliever Dylan Thomas boasts a team-high 1.84 ERA to go along with a 4-3 record while Saturday starter Aaron Davenport has made the most starts (10) and is 2-4 with a 4.01 ERA to lead the starters. The Rainbow Warriors are coming off 4-1 win at Cal Poly on Sunday, but dropped the series to the Mustangs. Hawai'i is 8-10 overall in conference, having defeated UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton twice, and UC Irvine, UC Riverside, CSUN and Cal Poly once. 

National Leaders
With a 41-7 record, the Gauchos own the best record in the country with a winning percentage of .854 and also rank first in the nation with 39 sacrifice flies. UCSB is among the nation's leaders in a handful of categories including ranking second in triples per game (.58), third in triples (28), fourth in slugging percentage (.518), seventh in WHIP (1.19), 11th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.95), 13th in ERA (3.38), 14th in walks allowed per nine innings (3.13), 15th in home runs per game (1.31) and 16th in batting average (.303). 

What a Relief
The UCSB bullpen has been lights out for much of the season due in large part to freshman Michael McGreevy and junior Chris Lincoln. Mcgreevy has a team-high 26 appearances, and ranks third in the Big West with a 1.88 ERA. He has six saves to go along with 48 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Lincoln, a starter last season, leads the conference and is fifth in the nation with 13 saves, and is just one away from tying the UCSB single-season record. 

Swing for the Fences
UCSB is 34-1 when hitting at least one home run in a game and just 7-6 when failing to hit one. Long ago the Gauchos surpassed their home run total of 2018 (34) and have hit 63 to date, ranking 22nd in the nation. Thomas Rowan went on a tear to take over the team lead with 12 home runs while Tommy Jew and Armani Smith have each hit 11. Eric Yang and Andrew Martinez both have seven and 12 different Gauchos have hit at least one. 

Watch Out for Yang
Last week, it was announced that 14 catchers were added to the Buster Posey Award Watch List with UC Santa Barbara junior catcher among them. There are currently 91 catchers in the running for the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award with the semifinalists to be announced on May 17. Yang has enjoyed a breakout season for UCSB, currently leading the team with a .380 batting average to go along with seven home runs and 42 RBIs. Yang has been excellent behind the dish as well, throwing out 38.5 percent (10-of-26) of would-be-base stealers while boasting a .995 fielding percentage.