February 6, 2014

Gaucho Classic I to Feature No. 11 Texas A&M, Dayton, CSU Bakersfield

The Schedule 
Friday, February 7, 2014 at 10 a.m. 
UC Santa Barbara vs. Dayton

at Campus Diamond
All-time record vs. Flyers: First Time  

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 2 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 11 Texas A&M
at Campus Diamond
All-time record vs. Aggies: 1-1
Last Time: L, 5-1 (2/27/1999) 
Radio: KCSB 91.9 FM
Online Audio: KCSB.org 

Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 1 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara vs.Texas A&M
at Campus Diamond
Online Audio: KCSB.org  

Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 1 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara vs. CSU Bakersfield
at Campus Diamond
All-time record vs. Roadrunners: 19-9
Last Time: W, 4-3 (8) (4/10/2012)
Online Audio: KCSB.org  

*Live Stats for all games can be found at UCSBgauchos.com

Gaucho Classic I
For the first time since 2009, UCSB will open the new season at Campus Diamond in the Gaucho Classic I. The tournament features No. 11 Texas A&M along with Dayton and CSU Bakersfield. KCSB 91.9 FM will be broadcasting Friday's Texas A&M locally and online at kcsb.org, while Saturday's and Sunday's games will also be featured online. 

2013 Recap
The Gauchos finished the 2013 season witha  31-24 record, which marks their second 30-plus win season in a row. The team finished fourth in the Big West standings behind Hawai'i (1), Long Beach State (2), and Cal State Fullerton (3). Five Gauchos were named to the all-conference team, as Jessica Soria and Shelby Wisdom made the second-team while Lauren Boser, Keilani Jennings, and Alex Pingree were honorable mentions. Jennings finished last season as UCSB's all-time home runs leader with 31.

Preseason Poll
The 2014 Big West Preseason Coach's Poll showed little change at the top of the conference as the top four teams voted were also the top four finishers from a year ago. Hawai'i was the favorite  after receiving four first-place votes for 59 points overall. Long Beach State is right behind the reigning conference champs with 55 points and three first-place votes. UCSB landed the fourth spot, while Cal State Fullerton was third and also picked up a first-place nod.  

Familiar Faces
After graduating just two starters, UCSB will start the 2014 season with its top-two pitchers (Wisdom, Pingree) and three of its best five hitters (Palomares, Wisdom, Boser) who made up 37 percent of its runs from a season ago. Boser led the team in conference play with a .290 batting average, while Palomares made an immediate impact as a freshman, finishing with 50 runs.

Wiz Kid
With Shelby Wisdom, the Gauchos return their number one pitcher from the past two seasons entering 2014. As a freshman, Wisdom was named the Big West Freshman of the Year and was an all-conference first teamer after compiling a 24-14 record with a 2.31 ERA. In her sophomore campaign, she led the Gauchos with 136 strikeouts, which was more than the other three pitchers combined. Last season, Wisdom showed improvement in her offensive game by leading the team with both a .545 slugging percentage and 41 RBI. Her 13 doubles were also the most on the roster. 

In the Circle
Along with Wisdom, Alex Pingree will be returning to circle for UCSB this season. The sophomore led the Gauchos last year with a 1.85 ERA in 23 appearances which included four complete games. Her 26 earned runs were also the fewest among UCSB pitchers with 10 or more starts. Perhaps her most dominant display as a freshman came in the stretch when she pitched three complete game shutouts in one week. She earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors after picking two wins over UC Davis and one at Cal Poly. The Mustangs never reached scoring position, while the Aggies only had seven hits through their two games.  

Analyzing the Aggies
Texas A&M enters the first week of the 2014 season as the No. 11 team in the country. Last season, the Aggies reached the NCAA Super Regionals after downing Baylor 8-0 in five innings to clinch their regional title. Their season ended at the hands of the eventual national champion Oklahoma in back-to-back eight run losses. The Aggies return All-American catcher Cali Lanphear who led the team last season in nearly every batting category including batting average (.362), RBI (58), and home runs (21).      

Dueling with Dayton
UCSB will be facing Dayton for the first time in program history this weekend. The Flyers finished seventh in the Atlantic 10 lst season and they return three players who made the College Sports Madness 2014 Preseason All-Conference Team: pitcher Kayla English and infielders Tiffany Ricks and Kasi Vasquez. English led the team with nine wins last year and also delivered the most strikeouts on the club with 174. Vazquez was the only Flyer to hit over .300 last season with her .333 mark and also was the team's co-leader in home runs with eight. Ricks is coming off a season when she hit .288, second-best among returning players. 

Wrangling the Roadrunners
This weekend will feature the first of many games played between UCSB and CSU Bakersfield this season. The Roadrunners will be led by senior shortstop Shay Fryer who topped last year's team with a .439 slugging percentage while also hitting a solid .309. She was the only Roadrunner to hit double-digit extra base hits (10 doubles, a triple) in the team's 2013 campaign. In the circle, Kelsie Monroe will look to build on her 11-win season that included 16 complete game efforts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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