May 27, 2008

Eight Gauchos Earn 2008 Big West All-Conference Team Accolades

May 27, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Eight UCSB Gauchos earned 2008 Easton Big West All-Conference Team accolades for their spectacular performances this year. Mike Zuanich, Chris McMurray, Patrick Rose, Shane Carlson, Mike Ford, Michael Martin, and Eric Oliver were all selected, as UCSB's redshirt freshman Mario Hollands stole the show, winning Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors.

Hollands finished his redshirt freshman campaign with a 7-3 record and 4.03 ERA. In 14 starts, the El Cerrito, Calif., native fanned 61 while walking only 26. Holland's 82.2 innings pitched were good for third on the Gauchos. In addition, Hollands ranked within the top five in the Big West Conference in triples allowed, home runs allowed, and sacrifice flies allowed. The southpaw's best outing of the year came on May 3rd as he pitched a four-hit complete game against the No. 9 Cal State Fullerton Titans.

Zuanich had a spectacular senior year, and was the only Gaucho to be awarded First Team honors. He led the Big West Conference in home runs with 14. In addition the Torrance, Calif., native placed second in the Big West in RBI (57), and fifth in slugging (.588). Zuanich's 14 long balls place him in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Gauchos' single season record books. Zuanich stands with Jed Stringham (2001) and Rich Haar (1993) in UCSB lore.

Five Gauchos received Second Team All-Conference awards including McMurray, Rose, Carlson, Ford, and Martin.

McMurray started in 46 of the Gauchos' 56 games, hitting at a .312 clip. In addition, the Mission Viejo, Calif., native placed second on the team with eight home runs and a .545 slugging percentage. McMurray's .990 fielding percentage was good for eight in the entire conference.

Rose was easily the Gauchos' hottest hitter down the stretch. The third baseman led UCSB with a .357 average, including 11 doubles, five triples, one home run, and 29 RBI. The senior also led the Gauchos with a .435 on-base percentage, to go along with 41 runs scored.

Carlson provided consistentcy to the Gaucho lineup, playing in all 56 games. The shortstop placed second on the Gauchos with a .349 batting average, 14 doubles, and 53 RBI. His 53 RBI were good for fifth in the entire Big West. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native tallied an 18-game hit streak to begin the year, with eight of those 18 games coming as multi-hit performances.

Ford's 6-4 record doesn't properly reflect the kind of year the flame-throwing righty had. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native ended the year with a stingy 2.96 ERA, good for fourth amongst all Big West pitchers. In addition, he ranked second in batting average against (.227), sixth in innings pitched (94.1), and eighth in strikeouts (76). In his 14 starts, Ford amassed four complete games. Not to mention, in 12 of his 14 starts, the sophomore lasted at least six innings. In his last six starts to end the season, Ford tallied three complete games, while pitching a minimum of seven innings in each of those starts.

Martin was a very valuable piece to the puzzle for the Gauchos this year. He led the team in appearances with 22, 10 of which were starts. The Red Bluff, Calif., native was the Gauchos weekday starter, in addition to one of the team's most reliable arms out of the bullpen. His 49 games started in his career at UCSB place him second on the all-time list behind only David Uris, and Steve Lane, both with 52. Martin's ammasesed a 6-3 record with a 3.82 ERA on the year. This past Friday, Martin carried the Gauchos past UC Irvine, coming one out away from a complete-game.

The eighth Gaucho to receive Big West Conference honors was Eric Oliver. An honorable mention selection, the first baseman and three-hole hitter played in all 56 games this year. Oliver's 55 runs scored place him third in the entire BWC. The Irvine, Calif., native hit .315 on the year, while leading the Gauchos in runs scored, doubles (15), and walks (25).

UCSB Athletics would like to congratulate these eight individuals, along with the entire 2008 UCSB Baseball team for their outstanding accomplishments this year.