Baseball Begins Three-Game Set with UC Santa Barbara Friday

Feb. 5, 2002

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Santa Clara vs. UC Santa Barbara
The Broncos and Gauchos have met nine times over the past five seasons, all of which were played in Santa Barbara. The Broncos hold a 5-4 advantage over the Gauchos during that time span, but dropped two of three last year, and four of the last six overall. The last successful weekend that Santa Clara posted over UCSB came in 1997 when the Broncos defeated the Gauchos 21-8, 11-10 and 8-2 in a three-game set at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Sizing Up the Gauchos
UC Santa Barbara enters Buck Shaw Stadium with a 2-2 record after last weekend's season opening series with Loyola Marymount and Monday's game with BYU. The Guachos lost the season opener against LMU by a score of 5-0, but rebounded for an 8-4 victory in game two of the series. The rubber match between UCSB and LMU was won by the Lions who held off the Gauchos by a score of 7-5. UCSB is led by junior outfielder Ryan Silborghs who went 4-for-8 with two doubles and four runs scored through the first three games of the season. Senior right-hander Matt Moran has made two appearances out of the bullpen for the Gauchos, throwing 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief, including Saturday's game in which he picked up the victory. The Gauchos evened their 2002 record with a convincing 12-5 win over BYU. Chris Malec went 4-for-4 on the day with three RBI in the victory. UC Santa Barbara enters the 2002 season with 20 letterwinners returning from the 2001 team that finished with a 40-17 record. Head coach Bob Brontsema is in his eighth year at the helm of the Gauchos, posting a 217-208 record during that time span.

UCSB Ties
Santa Clara's first-year pitching coach Tom Myers will see a lot of familiar faces this weekend when UC Santa Barbara invades Buck Shaw Stadium. Myers served as the pitching coach at UCSB for four seasons following his career in professional baseball. Under the guidance of Myers, the 2001 Gaucho pitching staff was considered one of the best in the history of the program. The staff maintained a 3.96 ERA during the regular season en route to a NCAA Regionals appearance and 40-17 overall record. For the first time in UCSB history the staff produced two ten game winners. Myers is also a graduate of UCSB, earning All-Big West honors for the Gauchos in 1991.

O'B Picks Up First Win at Division I Level
Mark O'Brien picked up career win No. 1 at the Division I level Saturday afternoon when Santa Clara handed No. 11 Fresno State an 8-4 loss. Grant Feichtmeir struck out Bulldog second baseman Carl Lipsey for the historic win.

Flexing His Muscle
Senior Joey Gomes flexed his muscles over the weekend against No. 11 Fresno State. The right fielder from Petaluma, Calif., went 5-for-12 (.417) in the series with a home run, double, two runs scored, five runs batted in and a .750 slugging percentage. Santa Clara men's basketball coach Dick Davey saw Gomes' home run in the season opener and said it is one of the longest home runs he has ever seen at The Shaw. Buck Shaw Stadium measures 350 feet down the left field line, and Davey believes the ball traveled at least 75 feet beyond the left field fence. Gomes' two-run double in the third inning hit the fence in left center that is 385 feet from home plate.

How Do the Broncos Spell Relief? B-U-L-L-P-E-N
Santa Clara's pitching staff pitching staff pitched very well against a highly potent Fresno State ball club over the weekend. The Broncos' staff limited the Bulldogs to a .225 batting average over the three-game set, including the final two games in which Fresno State managed only seven hits per contest. The biggest boost on the mound came in the form of the Bronco relievers. During the three-game span, four Santa Clara relief pitchers made appearances in which they threw a combined 11 1/3 innings of work, allowing only three runs on five hits, striking out nine and walking only one batter.

Freshmen Step It Up
Ryan Chiarelli, Shawn Epidendio, Ryan Pierpont and Bobby Wiginton all made valuable contributions to the Santa Clara squad in their first weekend of collegiate baseball. Chiarelli started all three games for the Broncos and went 4-for-10 (.400) with a double and two runs scored. Pierpont went 2-for-5 (.400) in the two games he started, with a triple and one run scored. Epidendio got the starting nod twice at first base, while Wiginton made a pinch hitting appearance. Both Chiarelli and Wiginton got base hits in their first at-bats of their collegiate careers.