UCSB Wraps Up Regular Season with Three-Game Set Against No. 9 UC Irvine

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May 19, 2008

The Schedule
Games No. 54, 55, & 56

Friday, May 23 - 6:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at UC Irvine
at Anteater Ballpark

Saturday, May 24 - 5:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at UC Irvine
at Anteater Ballpark

Sunday, May 25 - 1:00 p.m. (PDT)
UCSB at UC Irvine
at Anteater Ballpark

On The Mound
Friday -
Mike Ford (6-4) vs. RHP Scott Gorgen (10-2)

Saturday -
Mario Hollands (7-2) vs. RHP Bryce Stowell (6-2)

Sunday -
Chuck Huggins (8-2) vs. LHP Daniel Bibona (7-3)

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara (33-19, 13-8) takes on the UC Irvine Anteaters (36-15, 12-9) in the final series of the 2008 regular season. Last year, the Anteaters took two of three from the Gauchos, winning the first game 10-5, and the finale 7-6. UCSB won the second game of the series, 6-5. The Gauchos hold the all-time series advantage 41-38 heading into this weekend's three-game match-up.

This Week
UCSB takes on Irvine for the 74th time in the two program's histories. The Anteaters took two of three from UC Davis over the past weekend. All three contests were closely contested, with Davis winning the first game, 3-1, and Irvine taking games two and three, 4-3, and 5-3, respectively. Irvine sits in a fourth place-tie with UC Riverside, while the Gauchos maintain sole possession of third in the Big West. The winner of the three-game series could very well get a bid for postseason play, while the loser might have to stay home.

The Week That Was
The Gauchos started the three-game set with UC Riversid in stellar fashion, pouding the Highlanders, 13-2. Backed by another complete game from Mike Ford, UCSB scored 13 runs on 14 hits. In game two, Mario Hollands hurled eight solid innings, providing the Gauchos with another amazing pitching performance. In the 10-4 win, Mike Zuanich hit his Big West-leading 14th home run of the season. Sunday's finale was a wild one, as Riverside burst out for an eight-run third inning. UCSB was undaunted, however, roaring back for 12 runs in the final six frames, sweeping the Highlanders with a 14-8 come-from-behind win.

The Rotation
In the regular season finale, the Gauchos turn to their strong starting rotation of Ford, Hollands, and Huggins to do what they've done all year long. Sophomore ace Mike Ford (6-4) gets the ball in the series opener on Friday. Last Friday, Ford tossed his fourth complete game of the year, and second consecutive CG in the win. He struck out five and walked only two to earn his sixth win of the year. Redshirt freshman Mario Hollands (7-2) gets the nod in game two. The El Cerrito, Calif., native threw eight innings of four-hit ball on Saturday, picking up his seventh victory. Hollands eight-inning effort was the second longest outing in his young career. Senior Chuck Huggins (8-2) mans the bump in the series finale. In his last outing, the Redwood City, Calif., native got roughed up, allowing seven earned runs in 2.1 innings. The Gauchos winningest pitcher over the last two years, looks to resume his dominant form in the season finale.

Senior Day Success
Sunday's Senior Day against Riverside was a raging success. Senior Michael Martin tossed six innings of scoreless relief to pickup the win. In addition, seniors Chris Fox, Mike Zuanich, Patrick Rose, and Matt McColgan went a combined 10-for-18 at the plate, with nine runs scored, six RBI, and two stolen bases.

Potential Starters - Notes
C - Chris McMurray- Hitting .333 against lefties and .325 with runners on.
1B - Eric Oliver- Leads the team in walks (24) and runs scored (54).
2B - Gunnar Terhune- Hitting .349 in 109 at-bats, with six doubles.
3B - Patrick Rose- Hit .642 (9-for-14) with four runs scored and six RBI vs. UCR.
SS - Shane Carlson- Red-hot .353 average, after an 8-for-12 weekend.
LF - Mike Zuanich- BWC Player of the Week: 9-for-12, 10 runs, eight RBI, two HR.
CF - Chris Fox- Third on squad with .341 average, second in hits (71) and steals (23).
RF - Brian Gump- Ranks sixth in hits (75) and runs scored (50) in the entire BWC.
DH - Jon DeAlba - Reaches base safely 50% of the time when leading off an inning.

Fantastic Ford
Mike Ford is 6-4 on the year, having al lowed only 30 earned runs in 93.2 innings of work. Ford's 2.88 ERA is good for fifth among all BWC pitchers. The flame- throwing right-hander has struck out 76 batters on the year, an average of nearly six a game. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native has pitched at least seven innings in his last six starts, including two eight inning efforts, and three complete games. On the year, Ford has thrown four CGs, as batters are hitting a lowly .222 against.

Super Mario
Redshirt freshman Mario Hollands has blossomed as the Gauchos' No. 2 starter. In Saturday's 10-4 win over Riverside, Mario tossed eight solid innings, allow ing four runs, while striking out nine and walking only three. In 13 starts the southpaw is 7-2 with a sterling 3.57 ERA. The El Cerrito, Calif., native places ninth in the BWC in ERA, and fourth in home runs allowed (3). In addition, Hollands is sporting an impressive 60-to-24 strikeout to walk ratio. Amazingly, only 23 of the 83 hits allowed by Mario have been for extra bases.

Offensive Assault
UCSB ranks first in the Big West Conference in six different offensive categories: Batting average (.323), slugging percentage (.487), runs (400), RBI (370), home runs (54), and total bases (916). In addition, the Gauchos are second in the BWC in two other categories: hits (608), and at-bats (1882). The Gaucho attack has scored 400 runs on 608 hits in 53 games played, an average of 7.5 runs per game, and 11.5 hits per game. Remarkably, UCSB has scored 10 or more runs 16 times this season, including 23-run and 25-run outbursts.

#18 Mike Zuanich - Easton Big West Player of the Week (5/19)
Senior Mike Zuanich earned Easton Big West Player of the Week accolades for his stellar three-game performance this past weekend. The left fielder went 9-for-12 (.750), with 10 runs scored, eight RBI, one triple, two home runs, and two walks. The Torrance, Calif., native ranks 1st in the Big West in both home runs (14), and RBI (57). In addition, the clean up hitter ranks 3rd in sacrifice flies (6), 5th in slugging (.588), 6th in total bases (117), and 10th in walks (23). Against Westmont on 4/15 Zuanich had a career day, launching three home runs in a 4-for-6 effort, with four runs scored and six RBI. Mike is hitting .322 overall, and a ridiculous .419 with runners on.

Shane Brings The Pain
Shane Carlson has arguably been the Gauchos most consistent hitter this sea son. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native had an 18-game hitting streak from Feb. 22 to Mar. 16. In eight of those 18 games, Carlson had multi-hit performances. In the three-game set against UCR, Carlson went 8-for-12 with four runs scored, and six RBI. In addition, the silky shortstop is second on the squad with a .353 batting average, 71 hits, and 52 RBI. Shane is destroying left-handed pitching at a .472 clip in 53 at-bats.

Orange Oliver
Orange Coast College transfer Eric Oliver has been a key piece to the Gauchos' success. The Irvine, Calif., native has started all 53 games for the Gauchos at first base, while hitting out of the three hole. He ranks within the top five on the team in 10 different offensive categories. Oliver is third in the BWC in runs scored (54), seventh in at-bats (210), and ninth in walks (24). The Irvine, Calif,. native has also fielded his position with ease as his .990 fielding percentage places him ninth in the BWC, in 496 chances (1st).

The Steal Curtain
UCSB is third in stolen bases in the Big West with 78. An impressive feat consid ering UCSB recorded only 45 successful swipes all of last year. In addition, the Gauchos stolen base success rate has increased dramatically thus far, with a 79% (78-99) success rate in 2008, com pared to a 64% (45-70) rate in the 2007 campaign. Combined, the top two hitters in the lineup (Gump & Fox) are 47-for-58 (81%).

Huggy Bear
Senior Chuck Huggins is the best Sunday starter in the conference. Although he struggled in his most recent outing, the senior southpaw owns an 8-2 record, good for fourth place in the BWC. Against USC on 4/20 Huggins tossed a complete game shutout, striking out seven and walking only three. The Redwood City, Calif., native owns a 74-to-25 strikeout to walk ratio thus far. Huggins is also sixth in opponents batting average (.247), and seventh in strikeouts (74). Left-handed hitters are batting .216 in 97 at-bats against Huggins, and .236 with the bases empty.

Gump The Great
Junior Brian Gump has been invaluable to the Gauchos, batting out of the leadoff spot and playing in the outfield. The sweet-swinging lefty ranks within the top ten in the Big West Conference in an astounding six different offensive categories: 1st in both plate appearances and at-bats, 2nd in stolen bases, 6th in hits, and runs scored, and 10th in total bases. In addition, Gump's .991 fielding percentage is good for seventh among all BWC fielders. On 5/27 against Cal Poly Gump led a thrilling come-from-behind win by smacking a two-out grand slam in the top of the ninth inning. The speedster is batting .337 against righties and .435 with runners on.

Three's Company
The starting rotation of Ford, Hollands, and Huggins is 21-8 on the year in 39 starts with a combined ERA of 3.26. The threesome owns an extraordinary 210-to-86 strikeout to walk ratio. Not to mention, the trio has pitched at least six innings of work in 29 of their 39 starts thus far, including six complete games: four from Ford, and one each from Hollands and Huggins. Six complete games places the Gauchos in a tie for first in the BWC with Long Beach, and just ahead of UC Davis (4), and Pacific (4).

Fox Facts
Senior Chris Fox, an All-Big West Honorable Mention selection in 2007, has picked up where he left off last season, providing speed and power out of the two hole for the Gauchos. Fox is second in hits (71), steals (23), and triples (4) on the Gauchos. The lefty also ranks within the top ten in the BWC in each of those categories. With runners on, the Redondo Beach, Calif., native is batting a red-hot .416. The center fielder is feasting upon right-handed pitching, batting a solid .358 in 184 at-bats.

Red-Hot Rose
Senior third baseman Patrick Rose is the leader of the Gaucho infield, and he showed why over the weekend. The Laguna Niguel, Calif., native went 9-for-14 (.642), with four runs, six RBI, two doubles, and two triples. Rose leads the team in average (.368), triples (5), and on-base percentage (.446). In total, he has 10 doubles, five triples, and 29 RBI. While manning the hot corner, Rose has recorded 17 multi-hit games, includ- ing five three-hit perfomances, one four-hit effort, and most recently a four RBI game against UCR on 5/16.

The Bob Brontsema File
2008 marks the 27th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 15th season as head coach, after ten years as an as sistant and two as a player. He has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, first in 1996 when he guided the Gauchos to a 32-20 record and an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, and again in 2001, when he led the team to a 40-17 mark and another NCAA Tournament berth. The .702 winning percentage in 2001 ranks third highest in school history. In 2004, Brontsema's Gauchos posted the second most overall wins in his career as head coach, go ing 33-21. Milestone dates in his coaching career include April 27, 1997, marking his 100th career win with a 16-4 victory over the University of Pacific and April 7, 2001, a day that saw him earn career win number 200 with a 7-2 victory over UC Riverside. The 6-1 victory over San Jose State on Feb. 13, 2005 marked yet another milestone for Brontsema, career win number 300. Victory number 344, which pushed him past Dave Gorrie and into the No. 2 spot in career wins, came May 12, 2006 in an 8-6 win over Long Beach State. Most recently, Brontsema earned his 400th career vic tory at UCSB with the thrilling 5-3 win over Cal Poly on April 27th.

Get The Door, It's DeAlba
After winning MVP of the Western State Conference with the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros in 2007, junior transfer Jon DeAlba has paid immediate dividends. The talented lefty has 31 hits in 35 games played.

Guns Blazin'
Gunnar Terhune has taken over duties at second base, and the sophomore from San Diego, Calif., has taken advantage of the role. In his last five games, Terhune is 9-for-18 (.500), with six runs scored, and five RBI. Gunnar is batting .349 with six doubles and 11 RBI on the season.

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