After a 3-0 sweep at San Jose State this past weekend, the UCSB baseball team finishes its road trip with a game against Fresno State this evening. The Gauchos outscored San Jose State 11-5 on the road and look forward to taking on a Fresno State team that has won four of five games at home so far this season.
“Our pitching was great [this weekend],” senior outfielder Joey Wallace said. “We threw strikes, made them put the ball in play and played good defense.”
The Gaucho offense was superior as well, compiling 25 hits over the three-game course, including 11 total hits in the first game of the series. It was the second-largest number of hits in a game for UCSB so far this season.
The second game of the series saw freshman lefthander Andrew Vasquez and senior righthander Jeremy Peterson combine for the strongest pitching effort of the weekend. The two pitchers struck out 11 batters, seven for Vasquez and four for Peterson.
UCSB’s strong pitching will be needed in today’s game against a Fresno State squad that has put up big numbers in the opening games of the season. The Bulldogs have scored nine, 17 and eight runs in three games so far this year and currently holds a .274 batting average, with 74 hits on the year and just one home run.
“I have no doubt we can slow down their offense,” Wallace said. “I think [senior righthander Matt] Vedo will be starting for us tomorrow; he’ll go out and pound the strike zone.”
Vedo, who as of press time was likely to start against FSU, has struck out 11 batters in seven innings during the three games he has appeared in so far this season. Holding a 3.86 ERA, Vedo currently averages more strikeouts per inning than any other Gaucho pitcher.
“Any time we throw him out there is a good chance we’re gonna be winning that game,” junior righthander Jared Wilson said.
The Gauchos’ previous series against No. 26 Oregon State proved that fielding errors could be costly in any arena, home or away. Against San Jose State, UCSB had clearly learned from its mistakes, all nine of them. The Gauchos committed just two errors against the Spartans, both coming during the second game’s 3-2 victory.
“Everything kind of clicked for us,” Wilson said. “We’re starting to execute things a little bit better.”
In their most recent game, the Bulldogs committed two errors and were out-hit 11-5, providing UCSB with added motivation to attack early.
“We gotta come out right away,” Wallace said. “We have to be aggressive early and try to get on the scoreboard first.”