Baseball Prepares For Five Games This Week

March 12, 2001

This Week In Gaucho Baseball (TWIGB)
Tuesday, March 13, 2 pm - USC
Thurs. - Fri., March 15-16, 2 pm - Columbia
Saturday, March 17, 6:05 pm - at Long Beach State
Sunday, March 18, 1 pm - at Long Beach State

The Rainmakers
With good weather here to stay, UCSB pitchers James Garcia and Rylie Ogle will have opponents praying for rainouts in no time. The two have been reasons one and two for the Gauchos' early success, combining to record seven of the team's ten wins, including five in the famed seven-game win streak. Garcia, a junior transfer from El Camino College and the Gauchos' Friday man, is 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA. He held Cal to two runs on seven hits in a complete game effort in the series opener. Ogle, a senior who came to UCSB last year from Long Beach City College, is 4-1 with a 2.14 mark. He allowed two runs on four hits in 8.1 innings at Cal, one week after being named Big West Pitcher of the Week for shutting down Loyola Marymount. The Duo is slated to throw Saturday and Sunday at Long Beach State this weekend.

Da, da, da...Senior shortstop Jeff Bannon gave his best rendition of the Onyx hit, breaking a scoreless tie in the sixth inning Saturday with a two-out grand slam, the first of his career. Bannon's shot to left proved to be just what the doctor ordered, holding up against three Cal runs in the bottom of the ninth. The home run was Bannon's second of the season and the 27th of his career, good for sixth all-time at UCSB. Bannon leads the Gauchos with ten doubles and 19 RBI on the season.

Still Celebrated
The Celebrated Gaucho Infield does not disappoint. Touted everywhere between here and Isla Vista as the greatest thing since pizza by the slice, the Von Schell-Peshke-Bannon-Molidor foursome is among UCSB's top five in every offensive category worthy keeping track of. Molidor's 18 runs and .500 on-base percentage, Bannon's ten doubles and 19 ribbies and Von Schell's seven homers are all tops among Gauchos. The Infield has remained intact through the first 15 games of the season, having made a combined 59 of 60 starts at the infield positions.

More Is More
Junior transfer Jed Stringham (Utah Valley College) hits home runs, and he hits them often. In 32 at-bats, stringham is hitting .375, and seven of his 12 hits have gone for the legal base limit. Until an 0-for-4 day Sunday, he was putting balls in the cheap seats at the rate of one every four at-bats. His 1.062 slugging percentage leads the team, 230 points higher than Von Schell's hefty .839 mark.

That's His Job, That's What He Does
Bob Brontsema returns for his eighth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 186-196 (.487). 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 face 12-8 USC, 0-7 Columbia and 9-7 Long Beach State this week. Over the weekend, the Trojans were swept at Stanford,the Lions were swept (five games) at Cal Poly, and the Dirtbags took two out of three at Wichita State.

The Bottom Line: Gaucho Hitting and Pitching Leaders
Molidor .435, Peshke .397, Bannon .393, Schumaker .389, Von Schell .387, Campanella .387, Ogle 2.14, Sugarman 3.55, Gonzales 3.97, Garcia 4.09.