UCSB Heads To CSUN For Three To Finish Off The Season

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May 26, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Schedule
Games No. 54, 55, 56• Cal State Northridge
Friday, May 27, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
• All games at Matador Stadium
• Northridge, CA

On Deck For This Weekend
This weekend, the UC Santa Barbara baseball heads to Cal State Northridge for a three-game set beginning Friday, May 27 at Matador Stadium. The Matadors, boasting an 18-33-1 overall record and a 2-16 conference record, host the Gauchos who are 23-30 and 5-13 in conference. UCSB is in the midst of finishing-up its season with 18-straight Big West games.

The Gauchos On KIST
All three of this weekends games 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 College Sports Network's College Sports Pass.

2005 Record
UCSB enters its match-up at Cal State Northridge holding a 23-30 record. Last weekend, the Gauchos lost two out of three games at home to UC Irvine. Santa Barbara also salvaged one game the weekend before at UC Riverside. UCSB's only Big West Series came on the weekend of May 6 when it took two out of three from Long Beach State at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Before that Santa Barbara was swept in consecutive weekends by Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. The Gauchos dropped their first conference series of the 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 at home against UC Irvine last weekend. The Gauchos won the first game, 4-3, but were beaten in the final two games of the series 12-3 and 9-5, respectively. In Friday's series opener, Santa Barbara took control of a 1-1 game with three runs in the seventh inning. Matt Wilkerson blasted a two-run shot (12) to help the Gauchos take the lead. Senior closer Alex McRobbie was once again lights-out as he shut the door on a late-inning Anteater rally to record his 12th save of the season. On Saturday, a six-run first inning for UC Irvine set the stage for a 12-3 victory by the Anteaters. In Sunday's series finale, sophomore starting pitcher Andy Graham allowed just six hits and four earned runs in 7.1 innings of work, but four Gaucho errors on the day led to three more UC Irvine runs. Santa Barbara had a total of 10 defensive miscues in the three-game set against the Anteaters. Santa Barbara tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks in part to an RBI-single by freshman second baseman Alden Carrithers and a double by senior shortstop Chris Malec. The Anteaters scored four runs in the final two innings. Closer McRobbie gave up three hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out four in 1.1 innings pitched. Seniors David Figoni, Loren Fraser, Matt Kalafatis, Matt Stevens, Alex McRobbie, Chris Malec and Matt Wilkerson all played in their final home game as a Gaucho.

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 319-320. 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 - Six doubles in Big West play.
1B - Bill Rowe - Second on team with 37 RBI.
2B - Alden Carrithers - Leads the team with a .411 OB%.
SS - Chris Malec - Hit .429 last weekend against UCI.
3B - Matt Aidem - Pacing the team with a .331 batting avg.
LF - C.J. Cook - Batting .273 with two HR in Big West play.
CF - Matt Emerick - 5-for-7 in stolen bases this season.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Tied school record with 41st career home run.
DH - David Figoni - Second on team with 58 base hits.

UCSB Flame Throwers
Although the Gauchos dropped two out of three to UC Irvine, 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 (6-7, 6.18 ERA) will get the start against Cal State Northridge. On Saturday, junior Michael Martin (5-7, 5.21 ERA), boasting a team-high 95.0 innings pitched, will be looking to pick-up his sixth victory of the season. In Sunday's series finale, sophomore Andy Graham (4-7, 6.07 ERA) is penciled-in to make his 15th start of the campaign.

An Ace In The Pen
Senior closer Alex McRobbie has been spectacular out of the bullpen for the Gauchos this season. In 37.1 innings hurled, McRobbie has only allowed 32 hits and 12 earned runs. He has struck out 46 while walking only seven, a strikeout to walk ratio better than 6 to 1. The San Anselmo, Calif. native has tallied 12 saves this season, which is tops in the Big West Conference and tied for 13th nationally. His 12 saves set a new UCSB single-season record. With his four saves in the two previous seasons, McRobbie has also set a new UCSB career saves record with 16. In his 12 save opportunities this year, McRobbie has allowed six earned runs while striking out 20 in 16.2 innings. McRobbie has recorded four saves of 2.0 innings or more. Overall in the 2005 campaign, McRobbie is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 28 appearances.

Comeback Of The Year
Since undergoing surgery for testicular cancer on April 14 and chemotherapy sessions in the weeks that followed, no one has shown more courage on and off the field than senior Chris Malec. Since returning on May 6th at home against LBSU as a defensive replacement, Malec has started all but one game and is batting .286 with three doubles, six RBI and one grand slam. Overall, the Laguna Niguel, Calif., native is second on the team with a .327 batting average, third in hits with 53, first in doubles with 12 and tied for second in home runs with five.

Wilkerson Watch 2005
With one home run this weekend against UC Irvine, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson now shares the top spot with Dave Wilis (1994-97) on UCSB's career home run list with 41. Wilkerson is now only the second Gaucho to hit 41 home runs and is currently one homer shy of setting a new UCSB record. With two RBI this weekend, Wilkerson remained in the No. 5 slot on the all-time UCSB career RBI list with 181. He is four RBI shy of catching Rich Haar (1984-87) for the fourth position. The Santa Margarita, Calif., native is 23 RBI short of becoming UCSB's RBI king.

Lucky Number Six
The weekend, as the Gauchos head to Cal State Northridge to complete the season, Santa Barbara needs to win just once and tally its sixth Big West Conference win to stay out of the record books. Since the creation of the Big West, the Gauchos have only finished with less than six wins only once in 1970 with a 4-7 record. Also, the sixth win assures that UCSB will not finish this season last in the Big West Conference.

Scouting the Matadors
Entering Friday's match-up, Cal State Northridge holds an 18-33-1 record (2-16 conference), having just been swept by UC Davis last weekend. Third baseman Alberto Quintana is leading the Matadors with a .346 batting average, 71 hits and 16 doubles. Center fielder Michael Paulk is batting .333 and has a team-leading 12 home runs, 43 RBI and 114 total bases. Friday's starting pitcher lefty Kyle Jean is 3-3 with a 6.91 ERA in 20 appearances this season. Scheduled to take the hill on Saturday is right-hander Peter Eberhardt. In 26 appearances this year, Eberhardt is 4-5 with a 4.55 ERA. In Sunday's series finale, right-hander Craig Baker (4-5, 7.83 ERA) is penciled-in to get the nod for CSUN.

Series Record
UCSB holds a 54-51-3 all-time record against Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos are currently riding a six-game winning streak over the Matadors, sweeping all five games last season after taking the final meeting of the 2003 season. Santa Barbara is one of just seven teams to have played 100 games against CSUN.

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