Gauchos Add Quartet of Junior College Stars to 2006 Recruiting Class

Aug. 19, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball program has added four junior college players to an already outstanding recruiting class for the 2006 season, head coach Bob Brontsema announced today.

The Gauchos have added outfielder Mario Lewis, a native of nearby Santa Ynez, first baseman Robbie Blauer, catcher Matt Anderson and left handed pitcher Jeff Braun.

Lewis, who prepped at Santa Ynez High School, will come to UCSB after an outstanding two-year stint at Butte College. As a sophomore at Butte, Lewis earned First Team All-American and First Team All-State honors after batting .402 with 12 home runs, 44 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .732 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .462. In fact, Lewis, a right-handed hitter, paced his team in all offensive categories and led Butte to the Northern California Junior College Regional. Following the season, he joined the Santa Barbara Foresters for whom he hit .287 with two home runs and 32 RBI. He helped the Foresters to a second-place finish at the NBC World Series.

Blauer played two seasons at Orange Coast College. Following his sophomore season, OCC participated in the California Junior College State Championships, finishing second. He led the team in batting with a .362 average. In addition, Blauer had one home run, 37 RBI, an on-base percentage of .418 and a slugging percentage of .423. He was selected All-Southern California for his efforts.

Anderson is a right-handed hitting catcher from Consumnes River College. He batted .327 with five home runs, 40 RBI, an on-base percentage of .409 and a slugging percentage of .480. He is a steady catch-and-throw backstop who caught three teammates that were selected in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. Following his junior college season, he batted .309 in 52 at bats for the Santa Barbara Foresters.

Braun is a 6-foot-5 lefty out of Los Angeles' Pierce College. He has good command of the strike zone and has spent time as both a starter and a reliever. As a sophomore, Braun posted a 2-4 mark with a 6.33 ERA in 54 innings. He had a better than four-to-one strikeout to walk ratio. Pitching during the summer for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, Braun went 2-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 50.1 innings of work.

The quartet of junior college players will be added to a recruiting class that was already ranked among the top-25 in the nation by Baseball America. The Gauchos are scheduled to open the 2006 regular season on February 10 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium against San Jose State.