April 30, 2009

Gauchos Travel to Face No. 5 Fullerton

April 30, 2009

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• The Schedule
Friday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 2 at 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 3 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (23-15, 6-6) at No. 5 Cal State Fullerton (29-12, 9-6) at CSUF's Goodwin Field
Series record vs. the Titans - (34-86)
2008 season record vs. the Titans - (1-2)
Saturday's game broadcast live on KCSB 91.9 FM
Games available online through Gametracker
Streaming video available through bigwest.tv

• Coming Up
UCSB heads south to face No. 5 Cal State Fullerton this weekend at Goodwin Field. The last time the Gauchos played at Fullerton in 2007, they won the series, two games to one.

• Hey Joe
It has been five years since the Gauchos have had a pitcher open a season 6-0 as Joe Gardner has done this year. The junior is tied for fourth in the Big West in victories while his 3.51 ERA is seventh in the conference. Gardner's 60 strikeouts are second in the Big West after the Fremont, Calif. native tossed his first career complete game last Friday vs. Cal Poly while striking out eight. Opponents are hitting just .260 off Gardner, which is 10th in the Big West, while his 66.2 innings pitched are tied for seventh in the conference. UCSB is also 9-1 in games in which Gardner starts. The last UCSB pitcher to start a season 6-0 was Michael Martin, who did it in 2004. Martin is second all-time in victories at UCSB.

• Run, Gump, Run
Although senior Brian Gump had his 14-game hitting streak snapped last Sunday, he has still recorded at least one hit in 22 of his past 24 starts after going 3-for-4 on Tuesday and is second on the team with his .343 batting average. During his 14-game streak, Gump hit .400 (24-for-60) with 18 runs scored. Currently the Westminster, Calif. native is third in the Big West with 45 runs scored and the Gauchos are 18-6 in games in which he scores a run. Gump's 19 stolen bases are third in the Big West. In his 36 starts this season, Gump has failed to reach base just once, although he tallied an RBI with a sac fly in that contest.

• How They Rank
This season UCSB is 4-4 against ranked teams. On Feb. 24 the Gauchos defeated then-No. 9 ranked UCLA, 7-6, before splitting a pair of two-game series with then-No. 25 UC Riverside and then-No. 21 San Diego State. Last weekend, UCSB won one game of a three-game series vs. No. 12 Cal Poly. Last season UCSB was 4-10 against ranked teams.

• Captain E.O.
First baseman Eric Oliver has recorded an RBI in five of his last six games and has tallied 21 RBI in his past 18 games. His team-leading 38 RBI are fourth in the Big West and the senior has recorded at least one hit in 16 of his past 20 games, including six straight. In those 20 games, Oliver is hitting .358 (29-for-81) with 18 runs scored. Only four times this season - in 38 games - has Oliver either failed to reach base, score a run or have an RBI. The Irvine, Calif. native is also one of the toughest to strike out in the nation. His 21.0 at-bats per strikeout ranks 11th in the country.

• V for Valaika
During his current nine-game hitting streak, Matt Valaika is 13-for-35 (.371) with eight RBI, two doubles, two home runs and a game-winning, walk-off single. The junior is third on the team with his .321 batting average while his 33 RBI are tied for second. His 10 multi-RBI games leads the team.

• Annie, Get Your Gunnar
Gunnar Terhune has recorded at least one hit in 22 of his past 26 games - including eight straight. Since taking over as the team's leadoff hitter, Terhune is batting .314 (22-for-70) with 12 runs scored, nine RBI and five stolen bases in 17 games.

• Sunday, Bloody Sunday
After opening the season 5-1 on Sundays, the Gauchos have not won on the Holy Day in their past five Sunday games, getting outscored 45-24. UCSB's most successful day of the week is Friday where they are 6-2. A rundown of the other days: 1-1 on Monday; 2-3 on Tuesday; 2-0 on Wednesday; 1-0 on Thursday; and 6-4 on Saturday.

• RPI Report
In the latest RPI report, Santa Barbara's Ratings Percentage Index - through April 26 - is 77.

• Monster Mashers
UCSB's .304 batting average is fifth in the Big West while the Gauchos' .481 slugging percentage is second. UCSB's 142 extra-base hits are second in the conference to Cal Poly's 146 with the Gauchos leading in triples (14), second in home runs (40) and fourth in doubles (88).

• What a Relief
In four relief appearances spanning the past two weeks, junior Mike Ford has been stellar. In 8.1 relief innings, the Scottsdale, Ariz. native has allowed just three hits while striking out four. The four relief appearances ties his career-high, also done during his freshman season in 2007.

• Sugar Shane
Even though he's the Gauchos' returning RBI leader from the 2008 team, senior Shane Carlson recorded a career-high five RBI last Wednesday vs. Bakersfield (as did teammate Ryan Cavan). Last week Carlson raised his average 29 points by going 7-for-15 with six runs and seven RBI. Carlson is currently riding a six-game hitting streak.

• Get The Door, It's DeAlba
John DeAlba has hits in 13 of his past 15 games, hitting .318 (14-for-44) with 10 RBI in that span. DeAlba is hitting .314 this season, fifth on the team.

• Score First = Win
It seems like a simple formula that when you score first, you win. When UCSB scores in the first inning, they are 11-4. When the Gauchos score first in any game, they are 15-3.

• Run Amok
UCSB's 294 runs are fourth in the Big West and the team is averaging 7.8 runs per game, good for 59th in the nation.

Probable Starting Lineup

Batting No. Name Pos. Yr. 2009 Notes
1. 5 Gunnar Terhune LF Jr. 12 runs scored in past 17 games
2. 16 Brian Gump CF Sr. Hit in 22 of past 24 starts
3. 21 Eric Oliver 1B Sr. Has hits in 16 of past 20 games
4. 4 Ryan Cavan 3B Jr. Team-high .357 avg., .456 OBP
5. 8 Matt Valaika 2B Jr. Riding a 9-game hitting streak
6. 7 John DeAlba RF Sr. Hit in 13 of his past 15 games
7. 26 Marty Mullins C Jr. Thrown out 16 of 33 would-be base stealers
8. 22 Shane Carlson SS Sr. 5 HR are second on the team
9. 9 Steve Cook DH Sr. 4-14 (.286) in past 5 starts

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday 18 Joe Gardner RHP Jr. Gauchos are 9-1 in his starts
Saturday 11 Mario Hollands LHP So. 9 ER in past two starts - 11.2 innings
Sunday 12 Mike Ford RHP Jr. Slated to make first start since 4/11

• The Bob Brontsema File
The 2009 season marks the 28th year of Head Coach Bob Brontsema's involvement with the UC Santa Barbara baseball program. With two years as a player, 10 as an assistant coach and now entering his 16th season at the helm, Brontsema has been involved in 830 Gaucho victories, far more than anyone in UCSB baseball history. In fact, he has participated in over 60 percent of all UCSB victories in school history. Entering this year, Brontsema ranks second in career wins, 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 16 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, he currently ranks first in Big West career wins amongst active Big West coaches and No. 1 in overall wins. In career conference wins, only five individuals throughout the history of the Big West surpass Brontsema.

• BE Great
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

• The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."