March 17, 2010

Gauchos Host New Mexico State for 3 Games This Weekend

March 17, 2010

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• The Schedule
Saturday March 20, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.
Saturday March 20, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday March 21, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. New Mexico State (9-6)
at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)
Series record vs. the Aggies - 21-8
Last win - 2000 (16-4, 5/7)
Last loss - 2000 (20-5, 5/6)
Last series win - 2000 (5/5-7, @ New Mexico State; 2-1)
Last series loss - 1995 (3/24-26, vs. New Mexico State; 2-1)
Last time out vs. the Aggies - W, 16-4 (5/7/2000)
Note: The second game of Saturday's doubleheader will start 30 minutes after completion of the first game.
All games available on Gametracker

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 7/10/12/13 UCLA (13-0)
at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium (1,000)
Series record vs. the Bruins - 34-52
Game available on Gametracker

• Gaucho Baseball On The Radio
New this season, UCSB baseball games will be broadcast on AM 1490 and streaming live online at UCSBgauchos.com beginning with the Saturday, Mar. 27 game vs. USF. Steve Wendt will handle the play-by-play duties with every Big West weekend series scheduled to air live on the radio and streaming live online. Click here for more information and a schedule of baseball games on the air!

• 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.

• Super Mario
UC Santa Barbara junior left-hander Mario Hollands tied the school record by striking out 16 batters in last Friday's 8-1 win. Hollands, who tossed a complete game while allowing just five hits, tied the record set by Walt Rehm (against Westmont, Mar. 26, 1970) and Barry Zito (vs. New Mexico State, Apr. 5, 1997). Hollands was given the Big West Pitcher of the Week award - his second in three weeks - one of the spots on the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger Team of the Week and was named to the College Baseball Foundation's weekly "National All-Star Lineup." Hollands is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA and opponents are hitting just .184 against him, which is third-lowest in the Big West.

• For Starters ... Or is it Four Starters?
While the Gauchos' team ERA is 3.11 - tops in the Big West - and the pitching staff allowed just eight earned runs in the four-game sweep of Northern Illinois last weekend, it has been the starting pitchers who have set the tone. Mario Hollands, Nick Loredo, Nick Capito and Jesse Meaux - all juniors - have combined for a 7-1 record and a 3.16 ERA. The quartet have struck out 48 batters compared to just 22 walks while allowing 81 hits in 82.2 innings pitched.

• Pitcher Perfect
Along with its conference-low 3.11 team ERA, UCSB has enjoyed other successes on the mound. The Gauchos have walked the least amount of hitters in the conference (34 total, or just 2.8 per game) and opponents are hitting a collective .251 against the Gauchos, which is the second-lowest mark in the Big West.

• Our Beck is Like the Musician - Nothing but Hits
You know you're having a bang-up start to the season when you go 6-for-15 in a weekend series and you're batting average actually goes down. Yup, Beck Wheeler experienced that after posting six hits in four games last weekend to go with four RBI. This season Wheeler, who transferred from Orange Coast College, leads the team with his .464 average.

• Brontsema Needs Three More
UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema might be able to celebrate following Sunday's game. Brontsema is closing in on the school's all-time wins record and needs just three 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 with 176 career conference victories.

• UCSB Quick Fact
Mario Hollands is the first UCSB pitcher since James Garcia in 2001 to garner two Big West Pitcher of the Week awards in the same season. Garcia, who was an All-American that year, captured the award twice that season.

• By the Numbers
1.00 - That is Mario Hollands' WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched). Last year the lefty's WHIP was 1.42.

• Gimme Some Meaux
While Hollands has been outstanding this season, junior Jesse Meaux has been even better, just without the national fanfare. Coming off a week in which he earned a win and a save, Meaux tossed seven strong innings on Sunday, allowing six hits and no earned runs. The Glendale, Calif. native's ERA of 1.59 is tops in the Big West amongst starting pitchers and Meaux is now 3-0 on the season. The three victories equals his total from last season and is one away from his previous career total entering 2010. In seven career decisions, Meaux is unbeaten.

• Great Scott, Marty!
Senior catcher Marty Mullins opened the season 1-for-10 but since then he has been the Gauchos' best hitter. The Los Gatos, Calif. native is 11 for his past 23 (.478) and leads the team with three home runs. His 11 runs scored are second and his nine RBI are tied for third-most. Mullins' .488 on-base percentage is third in the Big West and he's slugging .667 - tied for fifth in the conference.

• Mashin' Matt
Matt Valaika, who missed the first two games of last weekend's series with an injury, has been perhaps the most productive member of the Gauchos this season. He has at least one RBI in seven of his 10 games played and leads the team with 11 RBI. His 12 runs scored also pace the team and his .333 batting average is third among regulars. Valaika, who returned for his senior season after being chosen by the Cincinnati Reds last year, has a robust .458 on-base percentage.

• Rolling 300's
As a team UCSB is batting .304 and is averaging 7.6 runs per game. The Gauchos have five regulars - Wheeler, Valaika, Mullins, Mark Haddow and Trevor Whyte - all hitting over .300.

• Making His Mark
Junior rightfielder Mark Haddow leads the team with 26 total bases and is tied for the team lead with 15 hits. Haddow has hits in 10 of 12 games this season and is second on the team with 10 RBI. His .553 slugging percentage trails only Marty Mullins (.667) and Lance Roenicke (.636).

• See You at CU
With five wins in five home games this year, don't think that UCSB doesn't love playing in the friendly confines of Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Over the past two seasons, and including the five home dates this year, the Gauchos are 41-17 at home for a .707 winning percentage.

• Feeling Good, Feeling Strong
According to the website boydsworld.com, UCSB ranks No. 39 in the nation in Iterative Strength Rating, which is a combination of victories and strength of schedule. The Gauchos' strength of schedule, according to the site, is 43rd nationally. Click here to see the full list.

• Williams Watch
While Sean Williams' .267 batting average may not knock you over, one must look deeper into the junior second baseman's numbers. Williams, who came to UCSB from Irvine Valley College, leads the team with eight extra base hits (five doubles, three triples), has scored 12 runs (third on the team), has drawn a team-best 12 walks (tied for the most in the Big West) and has a solid .414 on-base percentage.

•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
5 Gunnar Terhune CF Has gone 8-20 (.400) in past 5 games
10 Sean Williams 2B Eight extra base hits leads the team
8 Matt Valaika SS Leads team with 11 RBI, 12 runs scored
25 Mark Haddow RF Had 6 RBI in final 3 games last weekend
22 Beck Wheeler DH Hitting a team-best .464
26 Marty Mullins C His .488 OBP is highest among regulars
35 Trevor Whyte 1B Went 6-15 last weekend; has started all 12
17 Ryan Palermo 3B Tied for team lead with 5 doubles
3 Lance Roenicke LF 4 of his 6 hits are for extra bases

Probable Starting Pitchers

Day No. Name Quick Notes
Sat 11 Mario Hollands Opponents hitting just .184 off him
Sat 23 Nick Loredo 3 starts, 3 ND, but a solid 4.58 ERA
Sun 20 Nick Capito 2-1, 4.50 ERA in 3 starts this year
Tues 28 Jesse Meaux Leads Big West SP's with 1.59 ERA