June 23, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara senior pitcher Zach Samuels has signed a free agent deal with the Detroit Tigers, bringing the number of 2009 Gauchos associated with major league teams to 10.
A school-record nine UCSB players were drafted in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, held from June 9-11, a mark which also led the Big West. Joe Gardner was the conference's highest-selected player, chosen in the third round - 94th overall - by the Cleveland Indians. The Big West is a conference that had two nationally-ranked teams in the NCAA postseason and has featured at least one team in the College World Series in eight of the past 11 seasons.
The deadline for players selected in the draft - who have not exhausted their college eligibility - to sign with their teams is August 17.
The right-handed Samuels went 3-3 with a 6.14 ERA for the Gauchos and was one of the team's most utilized options. During the second half of the 2009 season, Samuels was UCSB's Sunday starter.
He pitched in 19 games, making six starts, and tossed 55.2 innings, third-highest on the squad. His 47 strikeouts were also third-best as the San Jose, Calif. native also notched two saves and combined on a shutout.
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.