Baseball Readies For Weekend Series At Cal
March 5, 2001
This Week In Gaucho Baseball (TWIGB)
Friday, March 9, 2 pm - at Cal Sat. - Sun., March 10-11, 1 pm - at Cal
Pocket Full Of Kryptonite
That's what it takes to stop Gaucho designated hitter Jed Stringham these days and, needless to say, kryptonite is tough to come by. Stringham, a junior transfer from Utah Valley State, has been nothing more and nothing less than the Gauchos' own Man of Steel thus far. He had a perfect day at the plate Saturday against Temple, going 2-for-2 with two walks, one intentional, a single and a three-run homer on a day when no other player hit a ball to the warning track. The blast was his team-leading seventh of the season, but it came in just his 28th at-bat. Stringham is hitting .429 (12-for-28) with a double, the aforementioned seven taters, and a team-high 17 RBI. The next closes run producers, Pehske and Von Schell at 16 apiece, each have at least 50 at-bats on the season.
Although not a British spy, senior lefty Rylie Ogle has been a dangerous man of late. Ogle got his team-best third win of the season Saturday when he beat Temple after giving up one run on five Owl hits in six innings. In his previous start, Ogle beat Loyola Marymount in a Big West Pitcher of the Week performance. The Seal Beach native leads the Gauchos with a 3-1 record and 2.13 ERA. Opponents have managed just a Mendoza-esque .210 batting average against him.
Tyler Von Schell, who plays first base and carries a big stick for UCSB, has been downright belligerent toward opposing pitching. Von Schell, hitting .420, is second among Gauchos with six homers and 16 RBI, and leads the team with 12 extra-base hits. The 2000 First Team All-Big West selection has had two two-homer games of the season, a feat matched only by Stringham. In his last big game, Von Schell hit two first-pitch solo shots at Loyola Marymount Thursday. The first was the second installment in a Gaucho back-to-back presentation, while the second put the exclamation point on a 15-4 UCSB road triumph.
Not To Be Passed Over
Gaucho leadoff man Jared "Skip" Schumaker is proving to be just the man for the job. The sophomore transfer from Loyola Marymount, who redshirted 2000 due to a shoulder injury, is hitting .407 and averaging an even 2.0 hits per game. He has also collected an impressive 13 ribbies from the No. 1 slot. Thursday, Schumaker antagonized his old team, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs, including a two-run opposite field homer. Schumaker has also seen time on the mound, making occasional appearances as the Gaucho closer. In his last outing, he threw a perfect ninth, striking out two, in UCSB's 8-3 win over visiting Westmont.
What About Bob?
Bob Brontsema returns for his eighth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 184-195 (.485). 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 play a three-game set at Cal this weekend. The Bears are 10-5 on the season, coming off a low-scoring split at Stanford over the weekend. Trevor Hutchinson, 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA, has been Cal's most effective starter. Rob Meyer is hitting .333 with two homers and 11 RBI.
The Bottom Line: Gaucho Hitting and Pitching Leaders
Bannon .469, Molidor .451, Stringham .429, Campanella .429, Von Schell .420, Ogle 2.13, Gonzales 4.22, Sugarman 4.66, Garcia 4.88.