April 3, 2002
* (Game #32) Friday April 5, 7:00 p.m. - vs. UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark.
* (Game #33) Saturday April 6, 6:00 p.m. - vs. UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark.
* (Game #34) Sunday April 7, 1:00 p.m. - vs. UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark.
The Gauchos are come into the Irvine series with a 14-17 record. They are 1-2 in Big West Conference action after losing two of three against Cal State Northridge last weekend. UCSB is batting .292 as a team, which is seventh out of nine teams in the Big West. The pichting staff has a team ERA of 6.35, which is the worst in the conference.
UC Irvine is 19-15 on the season. They are 2-1 in Big West games after taking two of three from Pacific. The Anteaters are in their first season of action since 1992. The baseball program was dropped due to budget cuts but was reinstated this year. UC Irvine is batting .282 as a team with an ERA of 3.65, which is second best in the Big West. The Anteaters are led offensively by Matt Anderson (.379, 2HR, 31 R) and Jon Horwitz (.368, 19R, 13 RBI). The pitching staff is led by Glenn Swanson (6-1, 2.71), Sean Tracy (4-3, 2.54) and Paul French (3-4, 4.08). The Gauchos lead the all-time series against UC Irvine 35-26.
As has been the case for most of the season, the Gaucho pitching staff has not been up to par. UCSB surrendered 31 runs over the weekend against Northridge. The Gauchos have given up ten or more runs eight times this season compared to five times during the regular season last year. Only two pitchers, Matt Vasquez (3.08) and Jared Edrosolan (3.27) have ERA's under 4.00. The pitching staff's problems are furthur complicated due to injuries to regular starters James Garcia (shoulder) and James Dayley (back). In addition, Edrosolan may not be available for the Irvine series due to shoulder troubles. The good news for the Gaucho staff however, is that Garcia has resumed throwing in practice and may be back for the Irvine games.
Blair Havens has been the spark plug that makes the Gauchos go. Since being inserted into the starting lineup eight games ago, the junior right fielder has gone 15-for-33 (.454), scoring 11 runs. Havens helped the Gauchos defeat Cal State Northridge 5-4, by smacking a two-run double to give UCSB their first Big West win.
Gaucho Probable Starters
1B * Josh McCanne * Has hit safely in his last nine games and is now batting .300. 2B * Chris Malec * Has driven in at least one run in 20 games this season. SS * Dave Licht * Third on team with 25 runs scored. Also has five doubles. 3B * Nate Sutton * After starting the season 5-for-38 (.132) has gone 26-for-71 (.366) since. LF * Blair Havens * Has reached base 78% of the time (14-18) when leading off an inning. CF * Andy Campanella * A beaning away from tying the school record with 14 HBP. RF * Ryan Spilborghs * Leads Big West with five triples and 37 runs scored. C * Taylor Vogt/Nic Rodriguez * Vogt has started nine games, Rodriguez in 11. DH * Matt Wilkerson * Team leader and third in Big West with ten HR. SP * Matt Vasquez (4-3, 3.08), Saturday and Sunday TBA.
Center fielder Andy Campanella isn't going into accounting any time soon, but he is about to go into the Gaucho record books. The senior from Toluca Lake currently leads the team with 13 hit-by-pitches and is one off the school record of 14, set by Greg Braunwalder back in 1982. Campanella wore three pitches last weekend against Northridge.
Freshman Chris Malec and Matt Wilkerson have made the transition from high school to division-I baseball with relative ease. Malec, the Gauchos second baseman is batting .323 with six home runs. He also leads UCSB with seven doubles and leads the Big West with 38 RBI. Malec has already had two six-RBI games this season. Wilkerson, the Gauchos designated hitter leads the Gauchos and is third in the Big West with ten home runs. Wilkerson hit two homers in the Gauchos 15-9 loss to Northridge last Saturday and has also slugged three against UCLA on February 26. Wilkerson is currently batting .295 with 28 runs scored and 28 RBI. Another interesting fact about these two is that they both played together last year as seniors at Santa Margarita High School in Santa Margarita.
Brothers Don't Shake Hands, Brothers Hug!
This isn't the movie Tommy Boy where brothers Chris Farley and Rob Lowe greet each other, but about the Miller brothers reuniting. Gaucho right fielder and left-handed pitcher Kevin Miller will be playing against his twin brother Chris Miller, a catcher for UC Irvine. Last season, the Miller brothers were both JC All-Americans at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo leading the Cougars to the California JC Baseball "Final Four". Kevin is currently 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA as a pitcher and is batting .190 with a home run five RBI in spot duty in left-field and at DH. Chris is currently batting .316 with six homers and 33 RBI.
What About Bob?
Bob Brontsema returns for his ninth season as Gaucho skipper. He owns a career record of 230-225 (.506). Brontsema is coming off his best coaching season at UCSB guiding the Gauchos to a 40-17 record, good for the best single season winning percentage (.702) at UCSB since 1986. The 40 wins were the most by a UCSB team since 1990. For his efforts, Brontsema was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Brontsema has posted three straight over-.500 campaigns, the school's first such achievement since 1992.
On The Horizon
Following the Irvine series, the Gauchos will take on Long Beach State from April 12-14. UCSB then returns home April 19 when they host Cal State Fullerton for three games.
The Bottom Line: Hitting and Pitching Leaders (2002)
Havens .396, Spilborghs .390, Malec .323
Wilkerson 10, Spilborghs 9, Malec 6
Spilborghs 35,Wilkerson 28, Licht 25, Sutton 23
Malec 38, Spilborghs 37, Wilkerson 28, McCanne 20
Vasquez 3.08, Edrosolan 3.27, Thompson 4.41
Vasquez 52.2, Thompson 34.2, Garcia 31.0
Moran 13, Thompson 13, Edrosolan 11
Vasquez 38, Dayley 26, Garcia 25
Big West Standings
Conf. Overall Long Beach State 6-0 18-9 Cal State Northridge 2-1 20-11 Cal State Fullerton 2-1 18-10 UC Irvine 2-1 19-15 Pacific 1-2 16-11-1 Cal Poly 1-2 16-19-1 UC Santa Barbara 1-2 14-17 UC Riverside 0-3 19-12 Sacramento State 0-3 13-13
More News And Notes
* Ryan Spilborghs is the lone returning starter from2001 on the field for the Gauchos. UCSB had nine players drafted off last years 40-17 team.
* Sophomore Matt Vasquez leads the Gauchos pitching staff with a 4-3 record and 3.08 ERA. Opposing batters are hitting only .221 against him.
* UCSB scored in every inning in their 16-5 win over Westmont. The last time that happenned was against Chapman College in 1985.
* The Gauchos scored 12 runs in the fifth inning against Creighton, in a 23-10 win on Feb. 23. UCSB also had 25 hits in that game.
* Josh McCanne hit a walk-off grandslam with two outs in the ninth, in the Gauchos 8-4 victory over Loyola Marymount, for their first win of the season on February 1.
* Ryan Spilborghs had a 35-game hitting streak in 2001. Earlier in 2002, Spilborghs had a 12-game streak. Spilborghs leads the Big West with five triples and 35 runs scored.
* In 2001, James Garcia became the first Gaucho to win 10 games since Santa Clara pitching coach Tom Myers did so for UCSB in 1991. Despite Garcia's 6.39 ERA, opposing hitters are batting just .230 against him this year,
* Three teams (UCSB, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State) made the NCAA regionals from the Big West last year, with Fullerton advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.
* Nine Gauchos were drafted off the 2001 team. Jared Schumaker (5th, St. Louis), Jim Bullard (9th, Chicago, AL), Jamie Gonzales (12th, Detroit), Dave Molidor (14th, Cincinnati), Tyler Von Schell (15th, San Francisco), Jeff Bannon (18th, Cincinnati), Chad Peshke (33rd, Cleveland) and Jed Stringham (36th, Detroit).
* Oakland Athletic Barry Zito pitched his freshman season at UCSB before transfering to Pierce JC and then finishing at USC. Current Texas Ranger second baseman, Mike Young, was a teammate of Zito's at UCSB in 1997.