League-Leading Gauchos Carry Winning Streak In To Busy Week
Big West Baseball Release - Week 4
A Look Ahead: No. 24 UC Irvine, who has won five of the last six contests, entertains No. 16 Michigan in a midweek showdown before hosting St. John’s for a weekend series. The Titans of Cal State Fullerton, who fell out of the rankings this week, have a chance to earn their way back in as they host No. 17 Arizona State in a pair of weekday contests before visiting New Mexico this weekend. Also battling the Top 25 for the third week this season is Long Beach State. Tuesday they welcome No. 16 Michigan to Blair Field before hosting No. 23 TCU Friday-Sunday. Other Big West schools remaining home this week are Hawai’i and Cal Poly. The Rainbow Warriors host Oregon and Columbia heads to San Luis Obispo.
Against The Rest: UC Davis ranks 12th in the nation in double plays with 12, while Cal Poly has turned 11 DPs to rank 23rd...The Aggies have belted 28 doubles to rank seventh...UC Santa Barbara owns a .987 fielding percentage to hold the eighth spot and Cal State Fullerton sits 23rd (.982)...CSUN’s 16 home runs places the Matadors sixth...Paced by Laine Huffman, LBSU has produced 10 sacrifice bunts to grab the 13th spot...The Aggies have stolen 24 bases to rank 16th...The Gauchos’ strike-to-walk-ratio of 4.36 places them eighth...UCSB is the second-best team in the country in triples with seven...UCI’s Brandon Lewis ranks 20th with six doubles and 10th with five home runs...CSUN’s Wesley Moore allows just 2.29 hits per nine innings, ranking him 12th in the country...Tommy Jew leads the nation in triples with three...Hawai’i’s Dallas Duarte is 17th toughest player in the country to strike out.
Streaking Gauchos: UC Santa Barbara enters the week riding a five-game win streak to sit atop the Big West standings with a 7-2 record. The Gauchos visit Pepperdine Monday for a makeup game from last weekend’s rainouts and then travel to the Big Easy to battle Tulane in a three-game weekend series. With a 3.30 earned run average, the Gauchos currently pace the league.
Home Sweet Home: CSUN wraps up a 13-game, season-opening homestand Tuesday when it hosts St. Johns. While the Matadors embark on their first road trip of the year to Washington State this weekend, Hawai’i continues its 20-game homestand to kick off the year with Oregon coming to town. The Rainbow Warriors first road game is March 21 when they visit to Ohio State for a four-game series.
CSF, UCSB Showcase Top 40 Recruiting Class: Cal State Fullerton’s incoming 2018 recruiting class has been ranked as the 13th-best in the nation according to D1 Baseball. Fullerton’s recruiting class was ranked 16th in the country by Baseball America and 33rd according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. UC Santa Barbara was also recognized by Collegiate Baseball with a ranking of 39th.
A New Era Begins At UC Irvine: Ben Orloff, former Anteater shortstop and Big West Player of the Year, begins his head coaching career in 2019 as the ninth head coach in program history taking over for Mike Gillespie who led the program to 393 of his 1,156 career wins. He is assisted by former UCI teammate, Daniel Bibona, who enters his seventh year as the Anteaters’ pitching coach and J.T. Bloodworth, who joins the staff this year after spending six seasons at UC San Diego.
Big West’s 50/35: The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s. Did You Know - MLB player and former Dirtbag Jered Weaver earned 13 Big West Pitcher of the Week accolades during his time donning the black and gold to pace the conference. The top spot for Big West Player of the Week goes to Cal State Fullerton’s Shane Costa and Nevada’s Lyle Overbay, who both claimed five accolades.