Gauchos Open 11-Game Homestand vs. Northern Illinois on Friday

Gauchos Open 11-Game Homestand vs. Northern Illinois on Friday

March 11, 2010

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• The Schedule
Friday March 12, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday March 13, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.
Saturday March 13, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday March 14, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Northern Illinois (3-6)
at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)
Series record vs. the Huskies - First-ever meeting
Note: The second game of Saturday's doubleheader will start 30 minutes after completion of the first game.
All games available on Gametracker

• Get Your Season Seats!
Baseball season tickets are now on sale with prices starting at just $50! And with every purchase, fans will get a UCSB hat, just like the new ones the team is wearing this season. Purchase your tickets today by clicking here.

• Look Like the Gauchos!
Earlier this year UCSB revealed a new look and the baseball team is sporting some new logos and uniforms on the field. Be sure to come to the baseball team's home games to outfit yourself in the new gear! Click here to take a look at the new logos and uniforms the Gauchos are wearing. All new gear is available for purchase at UCSB home baseball games.

• Let's Talk Some Gauchos
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.

• Great Scott, Marty!
Senior catcher Marty Mullins, who was an All-Big West Honorable Mention last season, went 7-for-14 with two home runs, six RBI, five runs scored and a double in four games last week. For his efforts, Mullins was named to's Team of the Week. The Los Gatos, Calif. native, who opened the season 1-for-10, hit a grand slam in the first inning of Sunday's win over Stanford - his second career slam at UCSB - and has now raised his average to .333. Mullins leads the team with three homers and his .448 on-base percentage is third on the team amongst regulars.

• Gimme Me Some Meaux
Weekday starter Jesse Meaux accomplished a rare feat last week, but was sterling in doing so. After pitching seven scoreless innings and earning the win on Tuesday against LMU, Meaux came in on Sunday and earned his first career save vs. Stanford. His start at LMU was the best of the junior's career as he allowed four hits and a walk while striking out two. The Glendale, Calif. native needed just 80 pitches to get through the seven frames. On Sunday, he pitched 1.2 perfect innings, while inducing an inning-ending double play ball when he entered in the eighth. Meaux is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA on the year.

• For Starters ... Or Should It Be Four Starters?
Through the Gauchos' eight games this season, the starting pitching staff has done a tremendous job. Mario Hollands, Nick Loredo, Nick Capito and Jesse Meaux - all juniors - have combined for a 3.57 ERA (21 earned runs in 53 innings pitched), while striking out 24 hitters and walking just 15. UCSB's team ERA of 3.42 leads the Big West.

• Viva Valaika
Matt Valaika, who ended last season with hits in 10 of his last 11 games, has started this year with hits in seven of the Gauchos' eight games and 26 of his past 29 games. The Valencia, Calif. native went 9-for-19 last week with six RBI and five runs scored. He leads the team with 11 runs scored, nine RBI and 19 total bases. Valaika, who was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds but returned for his senior season, was an All-Big West Honorable Mention pick last season. He is the team's returning leader in batting average, slugging percentage, at-bats, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI and total bases.

• Brontsema Closing In
UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema is closing in on the school's all-time wins record and needs just seven more victories to pass Al Ferrer (1981-93) for the most ever by a Gaucho coach. Brontsema is already the school's record-holder for the most Division I victories and he is the Big West's active wins leader.

UCSB Quick Fact

Jesse Meaux's first two starts of this season are the junior's two best starts of his career. Not only did the seven innings in each game set career-bests, so did his 7 K's vs. Westmont and the four hits vs. LMU tied his career-low for a start.

By the Numbers


Average number of runs scored by the Gauchos per game this year while opponents are averaging 4.6 runs per contest.

• Ryan Can Rake
Sophomore Ryan Palermo has shown thus far in his Gaucho career that he swings a mean stick. He is batting .360 - second amongst teammates with at least 15 at-bats - and five of his nine hits have gone for doubles, which leads the team. Last year the Redwood City, Calif. native had six hits in 12 at-bats.

• Sir Lance-A-Lot
Sophomore outfielder Lance Roenicke was moved to the leadoff spot last Saturday and Sunday at Stanford and responded well. On Saturday he drew two walks and on Sunday he had two hits and a run scored. In four games this season, the Chino Hills, Calif. native is hitting .357 with a .471 on-base percentage.

• We're Loving Loredo
Nick Loredo, the Gauchos' Saturday starter who came to UCSB via San Jose CC, has pitched well in two starts thus far, but has little to show for it. Loredo has a pair of no decisions, but holds a 3.38 ERA while opponents are hitting just .235 against the right-hander. Last year at SJCC, Loredo went 11-5 with a 1.96 ERA, which was good enough for 10th in the state of California.

• Super Mario
Junior Mario Hollands is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts, limiting opponents to a mere .205 batting average. Hollands, who was rewarded with a Big West Pitcher of the Week award on March 1 after blanking San Jose State for eight innings, is second on the team with seven strikeouts.

• Right in His Wheelhouse
Junior Beck Wheeler, who transferred to UCSB from Orange Coast College, is making quite the impression thus far in the blue and gold. Wheeler is batting .538 (7-for-13) in four games this year with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. Last weekend at Stanford Wheeler went 4-for-7.

• Hammering Haddow
Junior rightfielder Mark Haddow has already hit two home runs this season, which isn't too far behind his output of five last season. Haddow has recorded hits in seven of the team's eight games this season and is tied for second on the Gauchos with eight runs scored.

• See You at CU
The Gauchos open an 11-game homestand this weekend with four games against Northern Illinois, and UCSB loves playing in the friendly confines of Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Over the past two seasons, and including one game this year, the Gauchos are 37-17 at home.

• Built Ford Tough
Right-hander Mike Ford already ranks in one of UCSB's top-10 career marks and has several others in his sights. Ford, a 2007 All-American, is 10th in school history in strikeouts with 176 (trailing Michael Martin, 2003-08, by six). The Scottsdale, Ariz. native needs six wins for 10th all-time in career victories, three more starts to crack the top-10 list and needs to throw just 23 innings to break into the top-10 in that category.

• Worth Noting
In 16 seasons under Brontsema, the Gauchos have reached 25 wins 11 times.

• Handing Out Some Hardware
Following successful summer league campaigns, some Gauchos were given high marks. Hollands was named the 55th best prospect in the elite Cape Cod League by Perfect Game Crosschecker after going 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA. Outfielder Mark Haddow hit .309 with five home runs, six doubles, 20 runs, and seven stolen bases in the Jayhawk League and was ranked the No. 2 prospect to come out of the league by PG Crosschecker. Meanwhile, Gelinas went 2-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 16 games in the California Collegiate League and was labeled the No. 1 prospect in the CCL by Baseball America.

• More Honors
Recently Perfect Game Crosschecker named several Gauchos as ones to watch this upcoming season. Gelinas was listed as the 19th top prospect in California and Hollands was named the No. 27 top prospect in the state. Right-hander Jesse Meaux came in at 71 while Haddow was 75th. Valaika was touted as No. 102 and Ford was listed at No. 116. Outfielder Lance Roenicke was also listed at No. 137. Others noted by the website were right-handed pitcher Greg Davis, outfielder Derek Eligio, pitcher Nick Loredo and catcher Bryce Tafelski.

•The Bob Brontsema File

The 2010 season marks the 29th year of Head Coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. With two years as a player, 10 as an assistant coach and now entering his 17th season at the helm, Brontsema has been involved in 856 Gaucho victories, far more than anyone in UCSB baseball history. In fact, he has participated in 60 percent of all UCSB victories in school history. Entering this year, Brontsema ranks second in career wins (just 10 wins shy of equaling the record), third in overall career winning percentage and third in career conference winning percentage. He also holds the record for most Division I wins in school history. His 17 years as Gaucho head coach give him the second longest tenure in UCSB baseball history, behind Dave Gorrie with 18 years.

The dean of Big West coaches, Brontsema currently ranks first in Big West career wins amongst active Big West coaches and number one in overall wins. In career conference wins, only five individuals throughout the history of the Big West surpass Brontsema. The Big West Conference is consistently ranked as one of the toughest baseball conferences in the country.

Brontsema has managed six former Gauchos who are currently playing in the Major Leagues (Cincinnati's Justin Lehr, St. Louis' Skip Schumaker, Colorado's Ryan Spilborghs, Pittsburgh's Virgil Vasquez, Texas' Michael Young and San Francisco's Barry Zito) and his 2009 squad tied a school record by having nine players drafted. Fifty-three of Brontsema's athletes have earned All-Big West honors and 10 of his Gauchos have been named All-Americans. Of the 69 athletes under Brontsema's tutelage selected into the professional ranks, only seven had been drafted before entering UCSB.

Probable Starting Lineup

No. Name Pos Quick Notes
3 Lance Roenicke LF 2 doubles, 1 HR part of his 5 hits
10 Sean Williams 2B Has drawn a team-high 7 walks
8 Matt Valaika SS Leads team with 9 RBI, 11 runs scored
25 Mark Haddow RF 16 total bases are third on the team
22 Beck Wheeler DH Hitting .538 in 4 games (3 starts) this year
26 Marty Mullins C Went 7-14 last week with 2 HR, 6 RBI
17 Ryan Palermo 3B 5 of his 9 hits are doubles
35 Trevor Whyte 1B Went 2-3 with 2 RBI on Sun. @ Stanford
5 Gunnar Terhune CF Was 3-5 with 3 RBI last Sun @ Stanford

Probable Starting Pitchers

Day No. Name Quick Notes
Fri 11 Mario Hollands Opponents hitting just .205 against him
Sat 23 Nick Loredo 0-0, 3.38 ERA in two starts
Sat 20 Nick Capito Nabbed first win at UCSB last Sunday
Sun 28 Jesse Meaux Pitched 8.2 scoreless inn. last week