SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— A trio of young Gauchos from No. 23 UC Santa Barbara Baseball have been named Freshman All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball, the publication announced Wednesday. Jordan Sprinkle, Zach Rodriguez, and Carter Benbrook received the honor.
Three Freshman All-America nods ties the program record as the Gauchos tallied three in both 1993 and 2002. The team's five total different All-Americans are the most in program history surpassing the four Gauchos that earned the honor in 2019.
After being named a Third Team All-American, First Team All-Big West, and Big West Co-Freshman Field Player, shortstop Jordan Sprinkle was featured in the yearly awards once again being named a Freshman All-American.
Sprinkle was effectively pesky all season leading the conference and ranking 16th in the country with 25 stolen bases during the regular season. The starting job became his 10 games into the season, and he immediately became a reliable source at the plate collecting at least one hit in 41 of the last 48 games. He ranked second in the conference with 77 hits, the 10th most by any Big West freshman all-time, as well as ranking third in runs (52), fourth in doubles (18), and fifth in batting average (.358).
All true freshman right fielder Zach Rodriguez did in his first season of collegiate ball was emerge as one of the top bats in the league ranking third with a .363 batting average in the regular season. He also ranked fourth in hits (74), third in RBI (51), second in HBP (19), fifth in total bases (109), and tenth in home runs (7).
He notched multi-hit games a team-best 24 times, had 14 multi-RBI games, and at one point held a team-best 18 game hit streak. He was named First Team All-Conference as well.
Another First Team All-Conference player is pitcher Carter Benbrook, who was the most reliable arm out the bullpen for the Gauchos. He consistently got UCSB out of jams and fired up the team with every roar after retiring the side. He was called upon in save situations, in middle relief, and in any situation that saw the opponent's best bats coming around in a game-changing scenario.
Benbrook posted a 7-1 record in his team-high 23 appearance during the regular season, and in 51 innings of work struck out 61 batters. His 2.82 ERA ranked second on the team and he led the team with five saves.