Oct. 4, 2005
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Fourteen teams that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament are slated to face the Gauchos in 2006.
UC Santa Barbara, who missed the Big Dance a year ago after advancing to postseason play for the first time ever in 2004, begins its season with the Campbell/Cartier Tournament in San Diego, Calif. February 9. In their first game, the Gauchos will face Sacramento followed by Massachusetts, UCLA, Cal and Oklahoma State. UMASS and OSU were both NCAA Regional teams in 2004, while UCLA and Cal qualified for the College World Series.
UCSB will then return home to host the second annual Commercial Capital Invitational beginning on February 17. They open the six-team event against San Diego State. The Gauchos will also see Rider, Tulsa and Big West foes Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge during tournament action.
Next, Santa Barbara will travel to Palm Springs, Calif. for the Palm Springs Invitational where they will play Ohio State followed by Oklahoma--who finished the 2005 season ranked 13th--on February 24. The Gauchos will then face LSU, Kansas and Texas Tech to wrap up the tournament.
UCSB will then compete in the Worth Invitational in Fullerton March 3-5 where the Gauchos will play Northwestern, Oregon State, Loyola Chicago, Stanford and Tennessee, a 2004 WCWS team. Santa Barbara will conclude its regular season tournament schedule March 8-11 with the University of Hawaii's Spring Fling Tournament in Honolulu, Haw. where the competition includes Detroit Mercy, Penn State, UNLV, host Hawaii and Longwood.
After bouts with Radford University, Loyola Marymount and the annual Alumni Game on March 26, the Gauchos travels to Los Angeles, Calif. to face National Runner Up UCLA in a double-header before entering league play.
Santa Barbara kicks off its Big West Conference schedule with a three-game set on the road against Cal State Fullerton April 1 and 2. The Titans finished third in the 2005 Big West Standings with a 14-7 conference record and went 30-21 overall to earn a birth in the NCAA Regionals.
Big West action continues with series' against Pacific, future Big West member UC Davis, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly, and UC Riverside. The Gauchos will face their seven conference opponents three times each as they try to win their first ever Big West crown.
UCSB concludes league play when they host two-time defending Big West champions Long Beach State May 12 and 13. The 49ers looked impressive in 2004 once again, finishing with a 19-2 conference mark and 39-16 overall on their way to their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
UC Santa Barbara finished the 2005 season with an overall record of 26-22 and went 9-12 in the ultra competitive Big West conference. The Gauchos return eight starting position players and the core of their pitching staff and look to return to post season play in 2006.
"Once again we have a very strong schedule this year," head coach Kristy Schroeder said. "We are scheduled to play a lot of teams that made it to the tournament last year and three of those teams played in the World Series. That along with playing in a conference that is solid from head to toe will give us the strong schedule that we will need to make it to post season."