In the midst of midterms, the last thing the UCSB baseball team wants is another test. However, a test is exactly what the Gauchos will get this weekend, as they travel to the Bay Area to play three at San Jose.
After a season-opening series win over Pepperdine last weekend, the Gauchos (2-1) go on their first road trip of the year to take on the Spartans (2-2) at Municipal Stadium in San Jose today.
“I think we’re definitely prepared for this road trip. We had a good week at practice,” senior second baseman Chris Malec said. “We also had a good weekend to build off of last week and we’re looking to go up there and win a couple games.”
The UCSB offense got off to a hot start last weekend, plating 28 runs over the three games. Malec and fellow senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson paced the Gaucho bats against the Waves.
Wilkerson drove in eight runs and scored five, while Malec batted .444 and scored six runs of his own. Junior first baseman Bill Rowe should continue to be a thorn in the sides of opposing pitchers this weekend after driving in seven runs against Pepperdine, including the first four of Sunday’s 12-2 win.
San Jose is coming off its second loss of the season Tuesday at San Francisco. Last weekend, the Spartans traveled to Cal Poly and took two out of three against the nationally ranked Mustangs.
Junior center fielder Travis Becktel leads San Jose State with seven runs batted in and six runs scored while batting .467 in the first four games of the season. Sophomore first baseman Brandon Fromm is right behind Becktel, batting .444 with six RBI.
“This is a great test for us. San Jose State is a good club. They went on the road and beat a very good Cal Poly team last weekend,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “Their park is a tough place to play. It will be a very good challenge for us to go on the road early in the season against a good team.”
After getting off to a shaky start last weekend, Gaucho Friday and Saturday starters, juniors Steve Morlock and Michael Martin will look to take advantage of Municipal Stadium’s large dimensions.
San Jose boasts six left-handed pitchers who could pose a problem for the Gauchos’ majority left-handed batting order. The Spartans have taken four of their last six against UCSB.