Baseball Opens Conference Play Against Anteaters of UC Irvine

April 3, 2003

Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team faces off against UC Irvine this weekend at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. UCI enters this weekend's conference opener with an overall record of 11-19. The Gauchos enter the series with an overall record of 17-13, and currently riding a four-game winning streak.

UCSB leads UC Irvine in head-to-head competition, 21-28. In 2002, the Gauchos dropped the first two games in a three-game series at Irvine, 4-3, and 3-2. However, UC Santa Barbara rebounded in the final game of the series, pounding out 17 runs and defeating the Anteaters, 17-6.

Last weekend, the Anteaters dropped two-of-three versus a talented Washington State team. UCI carries a sub-par .233 team batting average, however the Anteaters are only being outscored, 135-128. Senior outfielder Chris Klemm and freshman catcher Mark Wagner lead the Anteater offense. Klemm leads the team in average (.336), runs scored (24), hits (36), and triples (4). Wagner carries a .282 average and has added 13 doubles and 18 RBI in 2003. Junior infielder Matt Fisher has also contributed this season with 21 runs scored, and a team high 22 RBI in 29 starts this season.

Despite a mediocre offense start for UCI in 2003, the Anteater's pitching staff has been excellent. UC Irvine carries an impressive 3.66 team ERA and has held opposing hitters a .254 average this season. Most likely the Gauchos will see Anteater ace Brett Smith, left hander Glenn Swanson, and right hander Paul French in the starting rotation this weekend. Smith, a sophomore has been nearly perfect this season, posting a 6-1 record. He also carries a cool 3.81 ERA and has struck out 46 batters in 56.2 innings. Swanson has started eight games this season, accumulating a 1-4 record and 3.54 ERA. The southpaw is second on UC Irvine's staff with 35 strikeouts. French has only made two starts in 12 appearances, but sports a 3.44 ERA and is holding opposing hitters to a .239 batting average.

The Gauchos counter with Sean Thompson(4-3), Eric Posthumus(2-2), and Matt Vasquez(2-2). Thompson, winner of his last three starts carries a 4.47 ERA and has struck out 31 batters in nine starts this season. Posthumus struggled to begin the 2003 season, but has pitched solid as of late. Last weekend, the sophomore picked up the victory against defending Big West Champion Northridge, after pitching five strong innings. Vasquez has accumulated a 4.24 ERA in eight starts, and leads the Gauchos pitching staff with 35 strikeouts.

Game Times
Friday, 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.