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Turlock's Austin Bush and Ryan Cumberland lead Gauchos to playoffs
Former Turlock High Bulldog Austin Bush is making his mark on the University of California, Santa Barbara baseball team as he ended the year being the home-run and RBI leader. - photo by Photo Contributed

UC Santa Barbara's baseball team, with rosters that feature two former Turlock High Bulldogs, is headed back to the postseason.

For the third time in the last four years, the Gauchos are going to the playoffs after finishing the year with a 37-18-1 record and have been selected as the No. 2 seed in the Nashville Regional hosted by Vanderbilt of the SEC.

The Gauchos will open up the regional tournament against Washington (32-21) and it wasn't without the help of some Bulldogs, especially Austin Bush, who led the pack in home-runs and RBI.

Bush finished the year with seven homers, drove in 43 and also batted .267. Ryan Cumberland batted .250 for the year. Bush also exceeded expectations on the defensive side, ending the regular season with a fielding percentage of .994.

"We're very excited to be a part of this Regional," said UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts. "Nashville is a great baseball town and it will be a good experience for the guys."

All UCSB postseason games will be broadcasted live on and all NCAA Tournament games will be televised by the ESPN family of networks, with the majority of games appearing on WatchESPN (ESPN3).

"Our guys did a fantastic job and so did our coaches working with a group that had a lot of inexperience," said Checketts. "We've had to overcome some injuries so our guys have done a good job hanging in there and getting to this point. This group has a lot of self belief and we're going to be taking that with us to Nashville."

The Gauchos are 8-6 all-time against Washington. Their last meeting with the Huskies came back in 2009 as UCSB won it 8-2 in Seattle.

Washington finished second in the Pac-12 and posted an overall record of 32-21.

The winner of the Nashville Regional will go on to face the winner of the Louisville Regional.

Each of the 16 regionals features four teams, playing a double-elimination format and the regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 3, to Monday, June 6 (if necessary).


UCSB's first game in the Regional will be against Washington at 12:00 p.m. Friday.