June 6, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. - UC Santa Barbara right-handed pitcher Mike Ford was named a 2007 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, it was announced Wednesday. Ford is the first player at UCSB to earn that distinction since Chris Valaika garnered Freshman All-American honorable mention honors in 2004.
A hard-throwing righty with a fastball that consistently reached the low 90s, Ford appeared in 17 games and started a team-high 13 for a Gaucho squad that finished 23-31 overall and 9-12 in the Big West in 2007. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native led all freshmen in the conference with 82 innings pitched and a total of 68 strikeouts, which ranked 10th among Big West pitchers overall. With 23 more strikeouts than UCSB's next closest pitcher, he became the first freshman to lead the team in that category since Barry Zito did so in 1997.
Ford finished the season with a record of 2-2 and ranked third on the team with an ERA of 5.05. His best outing of 2007 came against No. 26 TCU April 1, when he took a perfect game into the seventh inning. Ford allowed just one earned run with four strikeouts against Cal Poly in his final start of the season May 25.
"We were very pleased with Mike's performance this year," head coach Bob Brontsema said. "He is very deserving of the honor. Mike has a great future here at UCSB and we expect many more accolades to follow."
The Freshman All-American honor comes a day after Ford was selected by his teammates as the 2007 Pitcher of the Year at the Gauchos' annual postseason banquet.