The mound has also been a bright spot for UCI, which came in with lingering questions on the bump after losing All-Americans Danny Bibona, Eric Pettis and Christian Bergman to the professional ranks, as well as top 2010 freshman Evan Brock to a season-ending injury.
Entering Wednesday, UCI had compiled a staff earned-run average of 2.62 with more strikeouts (128) than hits allowed (123) in 144 1/3 innings.
But with sophomore Kyle Hooper faltering slightly (2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts) and junior Crosby Slaught (3-0, 2.75 ERA) missing his turn last weekend with shoulder soreness, Gillespie said he is having a devil of a time establishing a regular starting rotation.
It's a good problem to have, of course, as freshman Andrew Thurman (1-1, 3.54), sophomore Andy Lines (1-0, 1.54) and junior Nick Hoover (1-0, 2.08) have all shown they are worthy of starting assignments to go with Friday starter Matt Summers (2-1, 2.00).
"It really is nice to have so much depth," Gillespie said after Saturday's doubleheader split at Loyola Marymount. "The dilemma now, is what to do with the starters. "I don't know quite what the answer is yet."
Hooper started Wednesday and Lines, who won his first start Saturday against LMU, was scheduled to start Saturday at Gonzaga. Sunday's starter has yet to be determined.
Slaught, who may be ready to go on Sunday, is 11-0 as a starter in his career.
With junior Tommy Reyes returning from injury and performing solidly at second base, the lone lineup question remains center field, where sophomore Scott Gottschling is pushing junior Christian Ramirez for the starting role.
Gottschling is hitting .471 with two runs batted in in 17 at-bats. Ramirez, who Gillespie points out has been making hard contact, is hitting .161 in 31 at-bats with five RBIs.
Gottschling is, Gillespie said, a pleasant surprise.