UCSB's Chris Valaika Named Big West Player of the Week

May 9, 2006

Irvine, Calif. - UCSB's Chris Valaika was named the Big West's Player of the Week Monday after a punishing performance in the Gauchos' series versus No. 4 Cal State Fullerton over the weekend. The Valencia, Calif. native was simply dominant in Santa Barbara's last two games of the series, plating eight runs on five hits and ten at bats.

In UCSB's 8-2 win over the Titans on Saturday, Valaika blasted a three-run homerun to give the Gauchos a 4-2 lead, then stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on and delivered the knockout blow in the form of a two-run single.

On Sunday, Valaika helped the Gauchos push one of the nation's best teams to the brink, contributing a game-tying single in the seventh with two outs. Valaika finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored. On the weekend, he had a direct play in 10 of the Gauchos' 16 total runs scored.