Oct. 6, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Highlighted by a season-opening road trip to Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego, the 2004 UC Santa Barbara baseball schedule also includes a five-game home stand against Cornell and a mid-season stretch of nine consecutive games against three different 2003 NCAA tournament participants.
The schedule, which was released late last month, features 54 games, 28 of which will be played at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Santa Barbara will open its season on February 6 at San Diego State and begin Big West play on April 8 before concluding the season on the road, May 23.
After their second straight season-opening series against head coach Tony Gwynn and San Diego State, the Gauchos will remain on the road to take on Big West opponent Cal State Northridge in a non-conference contest before kicking off their home schedule on February 13. UCSB will host San Jose State, Westmont, Pepperdine and Fresno State to close out the season's first month.
For the first time since 1974, the Gauchos will not face national power USC. After the Trojans narrowly squeaked by UCSB twice in 2003, the schools scrapped plans to compete again in 2004.
Santa Barbara will still make the trip to Westwood to face UCLA on March 2 before making its only scheduled out-of-state trip to New Mexico for a three-game set on March 5-7. The Gauchos will return home to play Loyola Marymount and Cal Poly in non-conference games heading into the school's spring break.
On March 21, Cornell will ride into town for five games in seven days as the two schools meet for the first time ever.
An away game at Loyola Marymount and a three-game series at Sacramento State will lead the Gauchos into their April 8, Big West Conference opener at UC Irvine. Before continuing its Big West schedule, UCSB will again take on Cal State Northridge and Westmont in non-conference match-ups on April 13 and 14.
Then Santa Barbara will begin its toughest stretch of the season as it takes on conference powerhouses Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State, and nationally-ranked UC Riverside, all of whom competed in the 2003 NCAA post-season. The Gauchos will take on the Highlanders at Caesar Uyesaka on April 16-18 and then host Fullerton the following week. The Titans, who swept the Gauchos in 2003, finished last year ranked third in the nation by Baseball America. To round out the stretch, UCSB will travel to ninth-ranked Long Beach State before its final home stand of the year against Northridge on May 7-9.
Santa Barbara finishes its 2004 schedule on the road against Big West opponents Pacific and Cal Poly.
NCAA Regionals are scheduled for June 4-6. The College World Series is set for June 20-30 in Omaha, Nebraska.