Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gaucho Marks - March 4th edition

Andrew Calica
The University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos had a stellar week last week, upsetting a ranked opponent (UCLA) in their own house, and then sweeping a three game home set against Princeton. Our soon-to-be very own Andrew Calica was once again a solid contributor as he maintained his .400 batting average by going a combined four for ten, collecting five walks against three strikeouts and scoring six runs. He also had a number of firsts for the season - first extra base hit, first stolen base and first caught stealing.

These lofty numbers reflect the Gauchos offensive explosion against Princeton where they put up 38 runs in three games, while allowing only eleven. Calica's big numbers are only good enough for fifth - second among regulars - on a team that is just hammering the ball right now.

(not that) Venus Flytrap
Calica maintained his perfect fielding percentage and is now error-free in 20 chances, also notching two assists since the start of the season. I know it is early, but so far Mr. Calica looks like a solid outfielder who should fit in nicely at the friendly confines of Royal Athletic Park. It will be interesting to watch as the season progresses to see if he can maintain a decent average, while hopefully increasing his power numbers a bit and continuing to play the role of Venus flytrap (not the WKRP one...the one that catches anything near it) as he patrols the outfield in Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos have an interesting event later today as they host the Waseda University team from Japan for a rare in-season exhibition game. To make it even more interesting, the teams will put the aluminum down and use wooden bats. Given this is a rarity for NCAA baseball, the players are supposedly pretty excited to truly bring out the heavy lumber. Stay tuned to see how our own lad handles the change in a sneak preview of what he will experience this summer.

  • Hunting for other 'Cats across the NCAA, Gabe Clark over at Oregon State is hitting a lofty .462 in seven games so far this season. Clark has an other-worldly OPS of over 1.200 while playing DH and spotting at 1B
  • Another future HarbourCat - the 6'3", 215 RHP Bret Helton - is also off to a fine start on the bump, having pitched 16 and 2/3 innings so far and allowing only two earned runs off eight hits while collecting seven K's and walking nine. In the Robby Nesovic mold, Helton also plays LF and DH, most recently going two for three on March second. I am sensing a "starter with benefits"
    • As you may already know, Helton has a fine athletic pedigree as his dad - Barry Helton - was a member of two Superbowl winning teams while punting for the '49ers
  • Speaking of Nesovic, the ex-HarbourCat who also plays for the Gauchos...he is off to a good start as well, sitting in a tie with Calica in the batting race sporting a .400 average
  • Also on the Gauchos, ex-Cats Joe Record and David Schuknecht have yet to see any action, but we'll keep you posted

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