April 10, 2001
UC Santa Barbara is off to a 25-8 start, its best record to open a season since 1984. Part of the reason has been its hitting, which ranks first in the country, according to the NCAA Division I leaders lists released yesterday.
The Gauchos lead the nation with a .357 batting average, one point ahead of Georgia Tech. UCSB is also sixth in runs per game, at 9.36, and 19th in winning percentage, at .758.
Two individuals rank among the nation's best hitters, senior third baseman Dave Molidor and junior first baseman Tyler Von Schell. Molidor is 28th in batting and leads the team with a .430 average, 52 points higher than his team-leading .378 in 2000. Von Schell's 48 RBI in 33 games rank him sixth at 1.45 per game, and his 14 home runs put him seventh, at 0.42 per game.
Senior lefthander Rylie Ogle, who leads the Gauchos with an 8-1 record and 2.97 ERA, is tied for sixth in the country with eight victories.
UCSB will play at ninth-ranked USC today and will travel to Cal State Northridge Thursday to open its Big West Conference season with a three-game series.