June 6, 2002
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Despite a subpar season for the UC Santa Barbara baseball team (22-33, 8-16 Big West), the future looks very promising.
Three freshman, led by right handed pitcher Eric Posthumus were named to the 2002 "Louisville Sluggers" Freshman All-American Baseball Team by Collegiate Baseball. Second baseman Chris Malec and outfielder Matt Wilkerson were named honorable mention.
Posthumus, a 6-5 right hander from Hart High School (Santa Clarita, Calif.), came on strong at the end of the season for the Gauchos, where he became the teams number two starter, leading the UCSB pitching staff in wins with an impressive 6-1 record. In 18 games pitched, Posthumus got the starting call nine times, striking out 47 batters while walking only 27, in 64 innings pitched.
Malec, a freshman out of Laguna Niguel, Calif., batted .328 with seven home runs, 17 doubles and 60 RBI. The 60 RBI is second all-time for freshman in the Big West and his 17 doubles and 15 hit-by-pitches is fifth all-time for frosh in the Big West, and second all-time in a season at UCSB.
Wilkerson, a 6-4 freshman out of Trabuco Hills, Calif., batted .312 with 16 home runs and 49 runs and 49 RBI. His 16 home runs is a Big West Conference record for a freshman, surpassing the previous mark of 14, formerly held by the San Diego Padres Phil Nevin, and is third all-time at UCSB.
Wilkerson and Malec were teammates last year as seniors at Santa Margarita High School.
In other Gaucho baseball news, Sean Tracy, a 6-5 RHP out of Claremont HS in Claremont Calif., who has signed a letter of intent to play for UCSBbaseball in 2003, was selected in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball draft by the The Los Angeles Dodgers. Sean is the son of current Dodger head coach Jim Tracy.