UCSB Hosts UC Irvine in Final Home Stand of the Season

May 19, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Schedule
Games No. 51, 52, 53• UC Irvine
Friday, May 20, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
• All games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
• Santa Barbara, CA

On Deck For This Weekend
This weekend, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team hosts UC Irvine for a three-game set beginning Friday, May 20 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Anteaters travel to Santa Barbara boasting a 28-21 overall record and a 7-8 conference record. The Gauchos are 22-28 and 4-11 in conference. UCSB is in the midst of finishing-up its season by playing 18-straight Big West games.

Gauchos On Kist
All three games this weekend will be broadcast live on KIST 1340 AM in Santa Barbara. In addition, all games carried on KIST will be linked to the Gauchos' Official Website at www.UCSBgauchos.com. They will be part of the CollegeSports Network's College Sports Pass.

2005 Record
UCSB enters its match-up with UC Irvine holding a 22-28 record. Last weekend, the Gauchos lost two out of three games at UC Riverside. UCSB won their only Big West Series on the weekend of May 6 when they took two out of three from Long Beach State at home. Before that Santa Barbara was swept in consecutive weekends by Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. The Gauchos dropped their first conference series of they year to Pacific way back on the weekend of April 1.

A Look at Last Weekend
The UC Santa Barbara baseball team lost two out of three games last weekend at UC Riverside. On Friday, the Gauchos outlasted the Highlanders in 12 innings 10-9 before getting pounded 14-1 and 13-4 in the remaining two games of the series. In the series opener, the Gauchos improved to 3-0 in extras as senior designated hitter David Figoni drove in the winning run in the top of the 12th with his two-out double down the left field line. Senior closer Alex McRobbie, although he blew the save in the bottom of the ninth inning, stayed in the game and picked-up his second victory of the season. McRobbie ended up tossing 4.0 innings allowing three hits and one run (earned) while striking out six. On Saturday, the UC Riverside bats caught fire. The Highlanders put together 14 runs on 15 hits. Junior starting pitcher Michael Martin dropped his sixth game of the year as he allowed seven hits and five runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings of work. The Gaucho bullpen faired no better giving up nine runs in the final three innings. Santa Barbara's lone run came on a RBI-single by freshman third baseman Matt Aidem. UCR continued to swing red-hot bats in Sunday's series finale. The Highlanders exploded for 13 runs on 20 hits. Sophomore starting hurler Andy Graham left the game after three innings, giving up 10 hits and six runs (all earned). For a second straight game, UC Riverside pitching held the Gaucho bats at bay. Freshman Alden Carrithers was the lone bright spot in the UCSB offense. Carrithers tallied at least two hits in every game of the series.

The Brontsema File
2005 marks the 24th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 12th season as head coach, after ten years as an assistant and two as a player. With a 6-1 victory over San Jose State on Sunday Feb. 13, Brontsema became the third coach in school history to collect career victory No.300. The Gaucho skipper currently owns a record of 318-318. 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 tourney 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 win no. 300 in 2005.

Probable Gaucho Starters
C - Matt Kalafatis - Batting .311 with five 2B in BWC play.
1B - Bill Rowe - Second on team with 37 RBI.
2B - Matt Stevens -17 hits, three doubles and two HR this season.
SS - Alden Carrithers - Riding a six-game hitting streak.
3B - Matt Aidem - Pacing the team with a .342 batting avg.
LF - C.J. Cook - Batting .333 in Big West Conf. play.
CF - Matt Emerick - 5-for-7 in stolen bases this season.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Team leading 11 HR, 44 RBI and 99 TB.
DH - David Figoni - Second on team with 54 base hits.

UCSB Flame Throwers
Although the Gauchos dropped two out of three at UC Riverside, pitching coach Tom Myers has decided to not to make any changes in this weekend's rotation. In Friday's series opener, junior right-hander Steve Morlock (5-7, 6.59 ERA) will get the start against UC Irvine. On Saturday, junior Michael Martin (5-5, 4.64 ERA), boasting a team-high 92.0 innings pitched, will be looking to pick-up his sixth victory of the season. In Sunday's series finale, sophomore Andy Graham (4-6, 6.20 ERA) is penciled-in to make his 14th start of the campaign.

The Six Pack Shop
Enough cannot be said about the emergence of freshman Alden Carrithers. Forced into a starting role because of the season ending injury to sophomore shortstop Chris Valaika, Carrithers has shinned this season. Playing either middle infield position, Carrithers has plagued opposing pitchers with his ability to get on base. Recently, the Portland, Ore., native has not had any problems getting aboard as he's riding a six-game hitting streak into this weekends match-up with UC Irvine. During the streak, Carrithers is 11-for-27 (.407) with six runs scored. In last weekend's Big West series at UC Riverside, Carrithers was the lone bright spot in the Gaucho offense as he batted .500 (7-for-14) with one double and four runs scored. Carrithers leads UCSB with a .423 on base percentage.

Extra! Extra! Extra!
With the 10-9 victory over UC Riverside in 12 innings last Friday, the Gauchos improved to a perfect 3-0 in extra innings this season. Their other two overtime victories came in the beginning of the season when UCSB defeated Pepperdine 12-9 in 11 innings on February 5 and outlasted SJSU 5-4 in 12 inninngs on February 12. All three extra inning victories have come on the road.

Wilkerson Watch 2005
With no home runs this weekend against UC Riverside, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson remains in the second spot on UCSB's career home run list with 40. Wilkerson is now only the second Gaucho to hit 40 home runs and is currently one homer shy of catching current home run king Dave Willis (19-94-97). With one RBI this weekend, Wilkerson remained in the No. 5 slot on the all-time UCSB career RBI list with 179. He is six RBI shy of catching Rich Haar (1984-87) for the fourth position. The Santa Margarita, Calif., native is 25 RBI short of becoming UCSB's RBI king.

The Final Home Coming
This weekend, seven Gaucho seniors will be putting on their home jerseys for the last time. On Sunday, UCSB fans will say good-bye to right fielder Matt Wilkerson, closer Alex McRobbie, catcher Matt Kalafatis, pitcher Loren Fraser, designated hitter David Figoni and utility man Matt Stevens. Senior infielder Chris Malec is not expected to play this weekend as he is undergoing the second round of chemotherapy for testicular cancer. The Laguna Niguel, Calif., native does plan to be back in the Gauchos' final series of the season at Cal State Northridge beginning Friday, May 27.

Anteater Announcements
Entering Friday's match-up, UC Irvine holds a 28-22 record (7-8 conference), having just swept UC Davis last weekend. Catcher Mark Wagner is leading the Anteaters with 68 hits, nine doubles, four triples and 94 total bases. First baseman Jaime Martinez is batting .347 and has a team-leading four home runs and 43 RBI. Friday's starting pitcher Chris Nicoll is 6-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 15 starts this season. He leads the team with 101 strikeouts this season. In Sunday's series finale, right-hander Justin Cassel (8-3, 3.28 ERA) is penciled-in to get the nod for the Anteaters. Saturday's starter is still to be determined.

Series Record
UC Irvine leads the all-time series record over UCSB 33-32. Last year, the Anteaters took two out of three games from the Gauchos at Anteater Ballpark.