May 22, 2001
Irvine, Calif. -
Head coach Bob Brontsema was named 2001 Big West Coach of the Year and nine Gauchos were selected All-Big West, the league announced on Tuesday.
Brontsema, who guided UC Santa Barbara to a 39-15 overall record and second-place finish in the Big West at 12-6, earned the award for the second time. He was also selected Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches following the 1996 campaign. Brontsema has led his Gauchos into all three national polls and, most importantly, into the NCAA Tournament as a number two seed in the regional at South Bend, Indiana.
Brontsema was not a lonely UCSB recipient on Tuesday. He was joined by nine of his players, five of whom were named First Team All-Big West.
The five first-team selections included senior second baseman Chad Peshke (.389, 18 doubles, 57 runs scored, 50 RBI), senior third baseman Dave Molidor (.387, ten home runs, 17 doubles, 51 runs scored, 65 RBI), sophomore center fielder Jared Schumaker (.395, 16 doubles, three triples, 59 runs scored, 94 hits, 41 RBI, 19 stolen bases), sophomore right fielder Ryan Spilborghs (.386, ten doubles, 76 hits, 52 runs scored, 39 RBI, 18 stolen bases and an active school-record 33-game hitting streak) and junior starting pitcher James Garcia (10-2, 2.63 ERA, 95 hits in 116.1 innings, 105 strikeouts and only 39 walks, and five complete games).
The four second-teamers included junior first baseman Tyler Von Schell (.315, school-record 18 home runs, 47 runs scored, 14 doubles, 61 RBI), junior left fielder Jed Stringham (.361, 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 37 runs scored), senior designated hitter Mike Kolbach (.367, 32 runs scored, 24 RBI) and senior starting pitcher Rylie Ogle (10-2, 3.65 ERA, 92 hits in 93.2 innings, two complete games).
The nine players on first and second team all-conference equaled the school record set in 1986, when the Gauchos also placed nine players on the first two teams.
UCSB, which is ranked as high as 21st in the current national polls and seeded second at their regional, opens NCAA Tournament play on Friday when they take on Florida International at South Bend, Indiana. The winner of the UCSB-Florida International contest will take on the winner of the game between the other two teams at the regional, top-seed host Notre Dame, and fourth-seeded Wisconsin-Milwaukee.