UC Santa Barbara Baseball Preview 2024

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 2024

Let’s move on to my Preseason #24 for the College Baseball 2024 season. Out of the 11 team Big West we have UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Their head coach is Andrew Checketts, he became head coach in 2011 and has an extension through 2028.

Let’s meet some of the Gauchos:

Aaron Parker- catcher. He is a junior at 5’9” and 200 lbs. In 2023, All-Big West Honorable Mention and started 49 games at catcher. He was ninth in the big West Conference in slugging percentage at .551 along with being in the top five for his team batting average with a .321 average. Caught 11 runners stealing and posted a .989 fielding percentage behind the plate …
He hit two home runs in a game twice. They were against Oregon and UC San Diego.

Ivan Blethrowr is a junior outfielder that finished with a .314 batting average for third best on the team in 2023. He had 46 starts and was All big West conference First Team selection. The Olathe Kansas native also had the second-most multiple-hit games (17) and the second-longest hit streak (11 games) on the team this past season.

Matt Ager is a 6’6” 225lb junior and right handed pitcher that is getting serious looks from the major league teams with the upcoming draft.

 Ranked second in The Big West with 92 1/3 innings pitched and 115 strikeouts … Started all 15 of his games, appearing in every weekend series for the Gauchos … Made quality starts in 11 of his 15 outings, including eight of his first 10 games, finishing the season with a 3.12 ERA … Struck out a career-high 13 batters against UC Riverside on May 5, helping Santa Barbara set a team record for total strikeouts in a game (18) … Pitched three scoreless outings, striking out nine in six innings at Oregon (February 25), fanning nine again in a season-high 7 2/3 innings at Cal State Fullerton (April 6), and striking out eight Mustangs over seven innings against Cal Poly (May 19).ed pitcher that is getting serious looks from the major league teams with the upcoming draft.  

Hudson Barrett- Left-Handed Pitcher 6’5″ 225 lbs sophomore. D1Baseball Freshman All-America Second Team selection … College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year Semifinalist … ABCA All-West Region First Team selection … Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year … All-Big West First Team honoree … USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp participant … UC Santa Barbara Male Newcomer of the Year … Led all qualified Division-I freshmen and ranked fifth among all qualified D-I pitchers with a 1.92 regular-season ERA … Led all D-I freshman relievers and ranked third among all D-I freshmen with 82 strikeouts … Earned five wins and six saves, both team highs, across 21 appearances (four starts) … Pitched 40 of his 61 innings and 17 of his 21 games out of the bullpen, allowing only three runs in those innings for a 0.68 ERA as a reliever … Did not allow a run in 21 consecutive innings, from March 5 to April 14 … Earned his first career save in his collegiate debut, pitching 1 1/3 hitless innings with a strikeout against Minnesota on February 17 … Earned his first career win on March 12 in the second game of the non-conference doubleheader against Cal Poly, going three no-hit innings in relief, striking out six Mustangs … Set a career high with eight strikeouts in his first career start at UC San Diego on April 22, working five scoreless innings for the win … Matched his career high with eight K’s at Long Beach State on May 13, again in five scoreless innings, but this time out of the bullpen.

Gauchos in 2023- They completed the season with a 35-20 record and were 18-12 in the conference. They had a ten game win streak in March and another streak of six wins later but finished the season with three straight losses with two to Hawaii and one to Cal Poly.

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