|Collegiate baseball announced its 2022 Preseason All-Americans Tuesday morning, naming a trio of Gauchos to its ranks. Jordan Sprinkle, Cory Lewis and Carter Benbrook, of the No. 17-ranked UCSB baseball team, were all named Third Team All-Americans.|
Sprinkle, a sophomore, earned an opportunity early on in the 2021 season to become the team’s everyday shortstop and made the absolute most of the opportunity, growing into one of the top Gauchos on both sides of the ball.
By season’s end, he was named Co-Big West Freshman Field Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference while earning an invitation to play for the 2021 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
He led the conference all season long and was in the Top 20 in the country with 26 stolen bases on the 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 44 of the last 52 games. He ranked second in the conference with 83 hits, the ninth most by any Big West freshman all-time, as well as ranking third in runs (55), fourth in doubles (18) and fifth in batting average (.353).
Lewis, a right-handed pitcher, was a pleasant surprise for the Gauchos in 2021, becoming a mainstay in the weekend rotation. In 10 startsm the righty went 7-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 86 strikeouts, which ranked third on the team.
Early on in the season he held a sub-2.00 ERA, which ranked in the top 25 in the country, thanks to a season-opening stretch where he allowed just three earned runs in five appearances.
Lewis came up big for the Gauchos in the postseason earning a start in the team’s elimination game against No. 23 Oklahoma State. He tossed eight innings of one-run ball and struck out five to put the Gauchos in the championship round. He was also named a Big West All-Conference Honorable Mention.
Benbrook, a left-handed pitcher, was a force out of the bullpen for the Gauchos in 2021, becoming the most reliable reliever on staff. He finished the season with an impeccable 7-1 record and led the team with 25 appearances and five saves. His 3.02 ERA over 53.2 innings of work and 62 strikeouts were enough to earn him First Team All-Conference honors by the Big West.
Benbrook brought high energy to every outing and was constantly called upon in tight situations. He more often than not came through for his team in those moments, including a game against Cal State Bakersfield where he came in and logged a double play on his first pitch.
Daniel Moebus-Bowles works in communications/media relations at UCSB.