After being swept on the first road trip of the season, the UCSB baseball team looks to get its first win away from Santa Barbara as the squad heads to Loyola Marymount for a three-game series this weekend.
“There are probably less distractions on the road,” senior reliever Andrew Schoneberger said. “Hopefully the new guys can get that first road win.”
The Gauchos (3-6 overall) were stifled by the stellar pitching of Cal last weekend and plated only two runs in the three games and were shut out twice. After registering at least 10 hits in each of the first six games UCSB was unable to reach the mark against the Golden Bears.
“I think we have to be more aggressive at the plate especially with two strikes,” Head Coach Bob Brontsema said. “We need to get more production from a couple of guys.”
Junior pitchers Andy Graham, Brian Tracy and Bryan Fleming will take the mound for Santa Barbara this weekend. The trio, along with the rest of the pitching staff, held Cal to nine runs over three games and seems to be past the control problems of the beginning of the season.
The staff is lead by Tracy and Fleming who each own an ERA under 3.00 and have filled in well for seniors Michael Martin and Steve Morlock who have been injured.
“[Tracy and Fleming] have been a huge lift because before the season started, neither of those guys were necessarily going to be in the rotation,” Brontsema said.
Loyola Marymount (4-10) is coming off a series win over San Jose State, a team who took two of three from UCSB earlier in the year. The Lions are 1-4 against Big West teams this year after dropping single games to Irvine and Riverside and two of three to Cal Poly.
“They are a well-coached team and play in a very offensive park,” Brontsema said. “I would anticipate more runs scored this weekend than last weekend. They challenge you with the bunts and hit and runs and double steals.”
The Gauchos hope to end their three-game skid before opening up Big West play next week.
“Its always important to play well,” Schoneberger said. “They were pretty tough losses at Cal and we played pretty well so it would be nice to come out with some wins.”