Sept. 16, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's baseball team, coming off a successful 2008 campaign, released their schedule for this upcoming season and it proves to test a veteran squad.
Forming a large chunk of the 53-game schedule will be 16 games spread among six teams who reached the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Fortunately for the Gauchos, half of those games will be played at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
"We have three weeks where we play five games," said UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema, "so we'll find out how deep our staff is."
The Gauchos open the year on February 20 in a competitive Minnesota tournament which will be played in the Metrodome and feature Minnesota, Washington and Hawai'i.
"We jump right into the fire with the tournament in Minnesota that presents a regional-type atmosphere," Brontsema said.
What will help continue that feeling is a game against UCLA which is the Gauchos' home opener on February 24. That is the first of eight straight home games that takes UCSB into early March.
The Gauchos open Big West play on March 27 with a three-game series at Cal State Northridge before a home-and-home series with San Diego State. UCSB's Big West home opener will be April 3 in a three-game set against Pacific.
Highlighting the 29-game home schedule - aside from the UCLA game - will be a three-game series with rival Cal Poly from April 24-26, a three-game series with Long Beach State beginning May 8 before the Gauchos finish the regular season hosting UC Irvine in a three-game set from May 22-24.
"This schedule is strong enough that if we can put together another solid season it should help our chances of getting a postseason bid," Brontsema said.