February 5, 2001

Baseball Readies For Home Opener With Oregon State

Feb. 5, 2001

This Week In Gaucho Baseball (TWIGB)
Saturday, February 10, 11 am - Oregon State (Doubleheader) Sunday, Febuary 11, 1 pm - Oregon State

It's The Numbers
With one three-game series in the books, the Gauchos have to be scratching their collective heads. The team hit .378 with 18 extra-base hits, including six homers (Von Schell 2, Stringham 2, Peshke, Warrecker), slugging its way to a healthy .655 percentage. UCSB's 10.80 ERA is barely higher than its opponent's 10.67 mark. So why did head coach Bob Brontsema's team go 1-2 in San Jose? UCSB made 12 errors to San Jose State's 1.

Told You So
In more than one preseason publication, and certainly in this one, the Celebrated Gaucho Infield was heralded as being the backbone of the 2001 team. After three games, nothing could be truer. The foursome, including three 2000 All-Big West selections, went 25-for-45 (.556) at San Jose State. First baseman Tyler Von Schell led the group, going 7-for-11 with two doubles, two homers, and a team-best six ribbies. Both he and third baseman Dave Molidor tallied three multi-hit games, while second sacker Chad Peshke scored a UCSB-high six runs and shortstop Jeff Bannon closed the series with a 4-for-4 day Sunday.

Who Are These Guys?
Junior transfers James Garcia (El Camino JC) and Jed Stringham (Utah Valley State) are good. Garcia turned in a quality start on the mound in the season opener, giving up four runs on seven hits while fanning seven and walking just one in seven innings of work to earn his first career win at UCSB. Stringham also shined in his first start as a Gaucho, pouring in five RBI on the strength of two toweringly towering homers in a 3-for-4 day.

The Man With The Plan
Bob Brontsema returns for his eighth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 177-193 (.478). UCSB's best record under Brontsema came in 1996, when it went 32-20 overall and 14-7 in Big West games, good for an NCAA Regionals appearance. With his 28-25 finish in 2000, Brontsema has posted two straight over-.500 campaigns, the school's first such achievement since 1992.

Gaucho Baseball: Who's Next?
It's not the California Lottery, but it's still pretty darn exciting. UCSB will open its home season this weekend with a double-dip with Oregon State Saturday and single game Sunday. The Beavers are 0-3 on the young season after suffering a sweep at Cal State Northridge by an average margin of 17-9. Brian Barden leads the team with seven RBI and is hitting .333. Ben Rowe was State's best option on the mound, giving up four earned runs in five innings (7.20) and taking the loss Saturday.

The Bottom Line: Hitting and Pitching Leaders
Von Schell .636, Bannon .556, Molidor .538, Peshke .500, Stringham .500, Schumaker .375, Ogle 1.80, Garcia 5.14.

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