UCSB Hosts No. 4 Cal State Fullerton in Three-Game Series

May 5, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

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The Schedule
Games 41-43
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. No. 4 Cal State Fullerton
Friday, May 5, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Saturday, May 6, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Sunday, May 7, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium

This Week
UCSB (19-21, 5-7) will take on No. 4 Cal State Fullerton (33-11, 10-2) in a three-game conference series over the weekend. Game one is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., game two is slated for 1 p.m. and Sunday's series finale is scheduled to be played at 1 p.m.

A Look Back at Last Week
UCSB is coming off a weekend in which it captured a 2-1 conference series victory over Cal State Northridge. UCSB took game one by a count of 4-2 before downing CSUN 8-4 on Saturday. Friday starter Andy Graham lasted eight and a third innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out six to earn his fourth win of the season. The Gauchos went for their first series sweep on Sunday, but were unable to muster a real offensive attack, falling to the Matadors 4-0. Matador starter Edwin Quirarte lasted all nine innings, surrendering no runs while scattering four hits and not walking a batter en route to his third win of the year.

Gump the Gamer
Freshman Brian Gump has quietly made his presence felt on the diamond for the Gauchos. The Westminster, Calif. native has played in 37 of the 40 games, starting twenty-six. Before becoming an almost everyday starter, he led the team in games off the bench early in the season. Gump, who took part in the Gauchos' High School Baseball Camps as a prep, is currently batting .281 with four doubles, fourteen runs scored and fourteen RBI. Not only did Gump earn his playing time from the beginning, he also is one of the Gauchos' top team players, successfully laying down ten sacrifice bunts--tops amongst all Gauchos in the category. When he is not sacrificing himself, Gump also does a great job of finding a way on base. He ranks first on the squad with four hit-by-pitches and third on the team with 12 walks. Once on the bags, Gump ranks third in stolen bases with four.

The Guns
Three Gaucho pitchers had outstanding stuff over the weekend against CSUN. Right hander Andy Graham got the ball rolling on Friday, tossing eight and a thirds innings, surrendering two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six to earn his fourth win of the season. For Graham, it was his fourth eight or more inning start and his eleventh consecutive start with at least five innings pitched. Left-hander Jeff Braun also turned in good numbers last week- end, lasting six innings and giving up two runs on two hits while striking out two. For Braun, Saturday was his third consecutive game in which he earned a no decision. The Valencia, Calif. native leads all Gaucho starters with a 2.67 ERA. Junior submariner Justin Segal continued his good work out of the Gaucho bullpen, getting an appearance in all three CSUN games. Segal threw four and a thirds innings in the series, giving up no runs and five hits while striking out two. He also earned his fifth win of the season after dealing two and two-thirds innings on Saturday. The Calabasas, Calif. native leads the team in ERA (1.90), wins (5), saves (4), appearances (25), games finished (21), games in relief (25) and runners picked off (2).

Probable Gaucho Starters
C - Chris McMurray - Batted three-for-four with a run scored and two RBI on Saturday
1B - Robbie Blauer - Batted 3-9 with two runs scored and four RBI against CSUN
2B - Alden Carrithers - Currently riding an eleven game hit streak
3B - Shane Carlson - Had two RBI in series against CSUN
3B - Matt Clark - Batted two-for-three in his only start against CSUN
SS - Chris Valaika - Leads the Gauchos in hits (56) and RBI (40)
LF - Brian Lee - Batted one-for-three with a double and a run scored on Saturday
CF - Matt Emerick - Has a hit in four of his last five games
RF - Mario Lewis - Came off the bench in two of the three CSUN games
OF - Brian Gump - Started all three games in right field against CSUN
RHP - Andy Graham - 4-5, 5.25 ERA
LHP - Jeff Braun - 1-1, 2.67 ERA
RHP - Brian Tracy - 2-7, 5.34 ERA

Scouting the Titans
No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, coached by George Horton, is 33-11 overall and 10-2 in the Big West. The Titans are coming off a 2-1 conference series victory over UC Riverside last weekend. The Highlanders came up with the eleven-inning 9-7 upset victory of then No. 1 ranked Fullerton before falling 11-3 in games two and three on Saturday and Sunday. Leading hitters for Fullerton are junior Blake Davis (.359, 1 HR, 24 RBI), senior Justin Turner (.347, 3 HR, 29 RBI) and junior Evan McArthur (.338, 5 HR, 29 RBI). CSF's weekend rotation is slated to be sophomore right-hander Wes Roemer (8-1, 1.90 ERA), junior right-hander Lauren Gagnier (10-3, 2.62 ERA) and Sunday's starter is senior right-hander Dustin Miller (9-1, 3.26 ERA).

Series Record
CSF leads the all-time series between the two teams 81-30.

The Brontsema File
2006 marks the 25th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 13th season as head coach, after ten years as an assistant and two as a player. Brontsema's career record is 341-341 (.500). He has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1996 when he guided the Gauchos to a 32-20 record and an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, and in 2001, when he led the team to a 40-17 mark and another NCAA Tournament berth. The .701 winning percentage in 2001 was the best in school history. In 2004, Brontsema's Gauchos posted the second most overall wins in his career as head coach, going 33-21. Milestone dates in Brontsema's coaching career include win no. 100 in 1997, win no. 200 in 2001 and career win number 300 with the 6-1 victory over San Jose State on February 13th, 2005.

What's Up Next?
After the three-game series with CSF, UCSB will host UCLA for a non-conference game on Tuesday before visiting Long Beach State for a three-game conference series starting on Friday, May 12. Tuesday's match up with UCLA is scheduled to be played at 2 pm. Friday's game with Long Beach State is slated to start at 6:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday are scheduled to be played at 2 pm and 1 pm, respectively. Long Beach is coming off a 5-1 loss to No. 21 Pepperdine on Tuesday of this week. Before the loss, LBSU had tallied seven straight victories. The Dirtbags are currently atop the Big West standings with a 7-1-1 record.