Gauchos Head North to Face UC Davis in 3-Game Weekend Set

Chris Lincoln (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Chris Lincoln (photo by Eric Isaacs)

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• The Schedule
Friday-Sunday April 20-22 at 2:30 p.m. 2pm, 1pm
UCSB at UC Davis Aggies
at Dobbins Baseball Complex
All-time record vs. the Aggies: 22-17
The last meeting: May 7, 2017 - UC Davis 2, UCSB 0
• Projected Starting Pitchers
Pitcher....Record....Quick Fact
Fri RHP Chris Lincoln (2-1, 1.96) - Tossed 5.2 or more innings in last four starts with a 1.82 ERA
Sat. LHP Jack Dashwood (2-5, 4.94) - 3.1 ip last week at UCI was shortest outing this season.
Sun RHP Stevie Ledesma (3-2, 3.03) - Loss at UCI on 4/15 was his first defeat as a starter.

• The Gauchos' Record
UCSB enters its weekend series at UC Davis with an overall record of 17-15-1 and a Big West Conference mark of 3-3. Since their record fell to 4-9-1 after a 4-4 tie on Mar. 11 vs. Texas State, the Gauchos have gone 13-6. Included in the current run, were two wins over Cal State Fullerton and one apiece over USC and UC Irvine.

• The Week in Review
On Tuesday, the Gauchos won an 8-5 decision at USC, avenging an April 3 loss to the Trojans. Last weekend, UCSB dropped two out of three at UC Irvine. The Anteaters won on Friday (10-2) and Sunday (11-1) while the Gauchos won the Saturday game (9-4). 

• On the Road Again
After playing 21 home games over a span of 22 games overall, UCSB is finally getting its taste of the road. When they have completed their three-game series at UC Davis this weekend, the Gauchos will have played seven consecutive true road games. 

• Fisher Back in the Field
Clay Fisher and Tommy Jew are the only two UCSB players to have started in all 33 games this season. Last weekend, however, Fisher made his first starts in the field as he played second base in the final two games of the three game series at UC Irvine, recording three assists. Fisher, who was one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball in his first two seasons, was a 2017 Preseason All-American. But 15 games into his junior season, he suffered an elbow injury and had season-ending Tommy John surgery. In the first 30 games this season, Fisher started at designated hitter and he was back in that role at USC on Tuesday.

• The Kids are OK
The 2018 Gaucho roster is one of the youngest in school history. UCSB has 15 freshmen and eight sophomores, a total of 23 underclassmen on a roster of 32 players, 71.9%. Among field players, freshmen and sophomores have made 189 of 297 starts, 63.6%, and among pitchers, they have made 21 of the 33 starts, 63.6%.

• A Sixth Sense
UCSB has outscored its opponents in the first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings this season. The opposition holds the edge in the third, fifth, eighth and ninth innings. The Gauchos' biggest advantage is in the sixth where they hold a 37-12 edge. They have also outscored the opposition 25-9 in the fourth inning. Santa Barbara's opponents hold their biggest edge in the fifth inning where they have a 33-15

• Reversing Some Trends
Over the last several weeks, UCSB has started to turn around some of the trends that were hurting them early in the season. The Gauchos have won three straight one-run games after starting the year at 0-4 in those games. They have also been winning some low-scoring games. After winning just one game when they scored four or fewer runs from the beginning of 2017 through the end of February 2018, they have won three since the beginning of March.

• Offense on the Rise
After a slow offensive start to the season, UCSB's bats are starting the wake-up. After slashing .204/.309/.265 in February, the Gauchos put together a .274/.363/.425 slashline in March and a solid .282/.383/.416 in nine April games. In February games, they averaged 3.9 runs per game but since the start of March, they have tallied an average of 5.7 per game. Finally, after striking out 83 times in just eight February games, 10.4 per game, they have whiffed a total of 146 times in 25 games since, 5.8 per game.