Baseball Looks To Turn Things Around Against Trojans

April 26, 2001

This Week:
Friday, April 27, UCLA @ USC, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 28, UCLA @ USC, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 29, UCLA @ USC, 1:00 p.m.

Next Week:
Tuesday, May 1, San Diego State @ UCLA, 6:00 p.m.
Friday, May 4, California @ UCLA, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 5, California @ UCLA, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 6, California @ UCLA, 1:00 p.m.

Bruins Struggle in Non-Conference, Hope To Turn Things Around Vs. USC: The UCLA Bruins look to turn things around as they face USC in a three game series this weekend. It is the second time that these two teams have faced each other this season, with USC winning the first series, 2-1. Friday's game will start at 6:00 p.m., while the two weekend games will begin at 1:00 p.m. All three games can be heard live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Jeff Blank will provide the play by play, with Brian Criss and Cassidy Olson doing the color. Sunday's game can also been seen live on Fox Sports West.

Six Games In Eight Days Not Kind To Bruins: UCLA started its long week on a high note, defeating Long Beach State 5-1 at home in a game shown live on Fox Sports West 2. The Bruins played their best defense of the year, and a combined pitching effort by Casey Janssen and Bobby Roe held the 49ers to just one run. The Bruins played well again at Cal State Fullerton, taking a 9-1 lead after five innings, but the high ranked Titans came back and forced the game to go to extra innings. Six hours and 14 innings after the game began, the Titans pulled out a 11-10 victory. The Bruins got on a plane the next day to go to Kansas State and played the Wildcats 12 hours after arriving in Manhattan. The long trip took its toll on the Bruins, as they committed four errors and allowed five unearned runs in the 8-5 loss. The defensive woes continued in game two. The Wildcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and the Bruin offense didn't get going until the seventh inning. The Bruins scored nine runs in the seventh through ninth innings to take a 12-9 lead in the top of the ninth. However, with two ours and two runners on, the game was called due to darkness. On Sunday, there were winds in excess of 40-50 mph that played havoc with the ball. The Bruins committed two errors in the bottom of the ninth, and with the bases loaded, a routine fly ball turned into a bases clearing, off the wall double that gave the Wildcats a 13-12 win. Kansas State kept the momentum in game three, winning 11-7 after the Bruins allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Back in California, things continued to be difficult for the Bruins. The Bruins committed seven errors in the 10-2 loss at Long Beach State, and could only manage five hits.

Bruins Drop Game One, Come Back To Win Series With Washington: Washington won game one of the three game series behind a complete game shutout by junior pitcher Shawn Kohn. The Bruins managed just four hits off of Kohn. Jon Brandt had his best performance of the season, pitching his first complete game of the season, and allowing just one earned runs, but errors caused the Bruins to give up three runs for the 3-0 loss. UCLA bounced back to defeat the Huskies on Friday night, 4-2. Josh Karp struck out 10 and allowed just one run in 7.0 innings to pick up his fourth win of the season. Brian Baron went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run to help the Bruins win. Offense was not a problem for UCLA on Saturday, as the Bruins crushed Washington, 11-3. The score was tied 2-2 after three innings, but the Bruins scored two in the fourth, and five in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Paul Diaz picked up his second win in a week as he allowed just two runs in 5.2 innings of work. Eric Reece went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run to go along with 2 RBI and three runs. Ben Francisco recorded four hits and Baron went 2-for-5 to keep his batting average at .500.

Bruins Hand Stanford Starter First Loss Of The Season, Win One in Palo Alto: UCLA split a doubleheader with No. 1 Stanford at Sunken Diamond on Saturday, winning game one 6-4, but falling in game two, 9-0. Brian Baron went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a sacrifice fly to lead the Bruins to the victory in game one. Josh Karp (3-0) pitched five shutout innings, allowing just five hits and striking out six, and UCLA handed Cardinal Jeremy Guthrie (7-1) his first loss of the season. The Bruins got on the board in the first, as Matt Pearl singled to start the game. Two batters later, Baron hit his second home run of the year, a bomb over the 400 sign in center field, to give UCLA a 2-0 lead. Josh Canales singled to start the fifth inning, and went to second on a Pearl single. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a Ben Francisco sacrifice bunt, and the bases filled up when Stanford intentionally walked Baron. Adam Berry drove home Canales on his ground out to second baseman Chris O'Riordan. The Bruins extended their lead to 5-0 in the seventh. Canales led off with another single, and two Cardinal errors allowed him to reach third. A Francisco double allowed Canales to score. Francisco stole third, and reached home on a Baron sacrifice fly. UCLA starter Karp looked incredible on the mound, allowing five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two, and was able to come up with some big outs when Stanford had runners on base. The Cardinal finally put some runs on the board in the seventh, scoring four runs, including a solo home run by O'Riordan. The UCLA lead was cut to one run after seven innings. Eric Reece gave the Bruins a little bit of breathing room with a solo home run in the eighth. Stanford threatened in the eighth, as reliever Kevin Jerkens allowed a single and a walk to put runners at first and second with two outs. However, Doug Silva came in to strike out Jason VanMeetren to end the Cardinal threat. Silva struck out two more Stanford batters in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season. Game two was a different story, as the Cardinal jumped all over UCLA starter Jon Brandt, and Stanford starter Jeff Bruksch shut down the UCLA offense. Brandt allowed seven earned runs on five hits, striking out two, but allowing four walks in three innings of work. After sitting down the side in order in the first, Brandt allowed three runs in the second, two in the third, and put two runners on base in the fourth before leaving the game. Casey Janssen relieved Brandt in the fourth, allowing two runs of his own before settling down. He allowed just those two runs in three innings, striking out two and allowing three hits. Game three started out similar to game two, as Stanford starter Mike Gosling held the Bruins scoreless until the eighth inning. Shelley hit a solo home run in the eighth to end 17 consecutive Bruin scoreless innings. Wade Clark suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs in 2.2 innings in the first weekend start of his career.

Late Inning Comebacks Lead Bruins Over Cougars: Things started well in Pullman for the Bruins. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead after three innings but the Cougars fought back and got the win with a run in the bottom of the ninth. UCLA pulled out two late inning victories in the last two games of the series with defeating the Cougars 13-10 in game one of the doubleheader, and 10-9 in game two. The Bruins jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Cougars answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Each team scored a run in the second, and the Bruins extended their lead to 7-5 in the third. But the Cougars scored four runs in the sixth to take a 9-7 lead. The Bruins tied it up in the seventh on a two RBI double by Josh Arhart. The charge continued in the ninth, as the Bruins scored four runs on four hits to take a 13-9 lead. Highlights include an RBI single by Preston Griffin, and a two RBI double by Josh Canales. The Cougars scored a run in the bottom of the inning, but winning pitcher Mike Kunes forced Evan Hecker to hit the ball to left field for the final out of the game. Griffin had a great game at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three RBI. Arhart finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBI, while Adam Berry went 3-for-6 with three runs scored. Game two started differently than the first two for the Bruins. Cougar starter Zach Fisher was able to quiet the Bruin bats, allowing only two hits through the first six innings. The Cougars jumped out to a 9-0 lead after six innings. The Bruins started their comeback in the seventh. UCLA scored seven runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter, to cut the Cougar lead to 9-7. The Bruins tacked on three more runs in the eighth. Freshman Casey Janssen had a double, while Josh Canales and Matt Pearl had RBI singles to give the Bruins their first lead of the day at 10-9. Wade Clark picked up his second win of the season by shutting the Cougar offense down. He went 5.0 innings, allowed just one unearned run and struck out three. Pearl, Canales and Brian Baron each had two hits for UCLA, while Shane Miranda had a two RBI single and scored in his first at-bat of the series.

Bruins Take One Game Against Wildcats: UCLA won game one of the three-game Pac-10 series with Arizona, but could not repeat the late inning heroics in the last two games. In Game one, Josh Karp pitched well, allowing only five hits and two unearned runs in eight innings. Ben Francisco played a part in all three runs, scoring two, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth, and driving in one. Adam Berry was up to his usual heroics, driving a ball through the left side of the infield that allowed Francisco to score from second. The Wildcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but only one of the runs was earned. The Bruins could not get any runs until the eighth inning when they scored four, but it was not enough. Preston Griffin and Josh Canales were both 2-for-3 and Francisco was 2-for-5. Jon Brandt suffered the loss for the Bruins, despite giving up only one earned run. Sunday's game ended with the same result as Saturday. The Bruins scored three runs in the first four innings, but the Cats put up five runs through six. Griffin hit a solo home run in the eighth to cut the lead to 6-4, but uncharacteristically, the relief pitching allowed three runs in the top of the ninth. Down 9-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Bruins just couldn't score more than Randall Shelley's two run home run.

Tentative Starting Rotation:
April 27, Paul Diaz (3-0, 4.13) vs. Mark Prior (11-1, 1.18)
April 28, TBA vs. Rik Currier (8-1, 2.08)
April 29, TBA vs. Anthony Reyes (1-3, 4.91)

Head Coach Gary Adams - UCLA's All-Time Winningest Baseball Coach: In his 27th year at the helm of the UCLA baseball program, head coach Gary Adams has firmly cemented his name at the top of the UCLA coaching record books. With a 12-3 victory over then-No.2 Georgia Tech on Feb. 6, 1999 at Jackie Robinson Stadium, Adams secured his 800th career victory as the skipper of the Bruins. Just over a month later, Adams became a baseball legend with all-time career victory #1,000 March 2 at Arizona. After the 2000 season, he was in 13th place on the list of winningest active Division I coaches with 1,054 wins. Adams is the all-time winningest head baseball coach in UCLA history, a feat accomplished March 2, 1997 with win #748 coming at the Hormel Foods Classic in the Metrodome in Minnesota. Adams has compiled a 891-717-7 (.555) record at UCLA. Thirty-six of Adams' former players at UCLA have reached the major leagues. Ten former Bruins have made their major league debut the past five seasons. In 2000, Eric Byrnes, Tom Jacquez, and Adam Melhuse all made their major-league debuts. In 1999, Dave Roberts made his major league debut with the Indians. In 1998, Troy Glaus and Jim Parque, who were teammates on UCLA's 1997 College World Series, reached the majors. Adams was the head coach at UC Irvine for five years before coming to UCLA and guided the Anteaters to back-to-back NCAA Division II national championships in 1973 and 1974. In 1974, Adams was named as the Division II Coach of the Year. Adams' career record is 1064-773-12 (.585). He played second base for the Bruins in 1959, 1960 and 1962. As a senior, he was selected as team captain and MVP.

A Look At....Josh Karp 4-1 2.77 65.0 IP 79K 20 ER/37 RThe Preseason All-American has been showing the scouts why he is projected as one of the top five draft eligible collegiate players. Against Washington, he put together his best performance of the season. He allowed just one run in 7.0 innings, striking out a season-high 10 batters. He improved his career Pac-10 record to 13-1, avenging his only Pac-10 loss, a 1999 decision to the Huskies. Two weeks ago against Stanford, he was incredible against the No. 1 team in the nation. He shutout the Cardinal in five innings, striking out six and allowing just five hits. He pitched himself out of some tough situations to help the Bruins hand Jeremy Guthrie his first loss of the season. In the Pac-10 opener against Arizona, he allowed only five hits through eight innings, his longest outing of the season. He struck out six and allowed only two unearned runs. Against Tulane, he allowed only one hit through six innings, and struck out eight batters. He did not allow an earned run. Against USC, he faced the biggest challenge of the season. He was matched up against Team USA teammate Mark Prior when the Bruins took on the Trojans. Although neither pitcher factored in the decision, Karp looked outstanding, giving up only three earned runs in six innings and striking out nine batters. Against UNLV, he picked up the first win of the season, going six innings and allowing only two unearned runs. He gave up just three hits and struck out eight UNLV batters. Karp is working his way up the UCLA career strikeout list. He currently has 249 strikeouts in 2-plus years, putting him in 9th place all time. He moved into a tie for eighth place with 22 career wins, and is in 6th place with 41 starts.

Jon Brandt 3-4 4.97 54.1 IP 44K 30ER/41RBrandt did not pitch last weekend after a back injury kept him out of action. UCLA is hopeful that he can return to action this weekend. After a few shaky starts, Brandt came out with his best performance of the season against Washington. He allowed just one earned run in his first complete game of the season, but was the tough luck loser in the 3-0 loss. He allowed seven runs in 3.0 innings against Stanford for his third loss of the season. In his first Pac-10 start against Arizona, Brandt allowed just one earned run through 5.2 innings. After the Bruins dropped game one to North Carolina, Brandt came out to limit the Tar Heels to four hits through eight innings. He struck out nine and walked only one. He had a solid outing against hot-hitting USC, but suffered his first loss of the season. He pitched 4.1 innings and allowed five earned runs and struck out six batters. Against UNLV, Brandt pitched eight innings and allowed only two earned runs. He struck out seven batters and only four hits. The senior right hander threw five innings against Hawaii to pick up his first win of the season. He gave up one earned run and struck out four in that game. Brandt is currently in 7th place in career strikeouts with 253. He is in 10th place with 281.0 innings pitched and 10th on the appearances list with 71. He should make his way onto the top 10 of several other career categories as the season progresses: wins, and games started.

Paul Diaz 3-0 4.13 28.1 IP 13K 13ER/13RDiaz will get the start on Friday night due to injuries to starters Karp and Brandt. He moved into the starting lineup with some strong starts over the past few weeks. He started his first game of the season on April 3 against Pepperdine, and pitched well, allowing just two earned runs in 5.0 innings. He earned his second start a week later at San Diego State, holding the Aztecs scoreless in 4.0 innings to pick up his second win of the season. He started his first Pac-10 game of the year against Washington, allowing just two earned runs in 5.2 innings, striking out five, to pick up his second victory in four days. He struggled against Kansas State, allowing five runs in 3.1 innings.

Brian Baron .480 84H 33R 36RBI 14 SO .594 SLG %The redshirt senior designated hitter is leading the nation in batting average as of April 23. In the latest Baseball America, Baron was named a midseason senior All-American. He's hitting a team and league -high .480 and leads the team and league in hits. He hit a home run off of Stanford's Jeremy Guthrie, the first that the Cardinal ace has allowed all year. He has been perfect in three games this season, going 4-for-4 against Hawaii (2/1) and Loyola Marymount (2/6) and 3-for-3 against Washington (4/13). He has reached base safely in all but one of the 35 games he has played and has had multiple hits in 23 of those games. He missed the first game against UC Riverside due to illness, but was 4-for-4 in his first game of the season against Hawaii. He hit his first home run of the season against UNLV, a solo shot to right field. He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 6-for-8 in games against Tulane and Pepperdine (2/28). He has struck out only 14 times in 175 at bats this season. Dating back to the 1999 season, Baron had a 21 game hitting streak that ended on March 13 against Cal State Northridge when he went 0-1 with three walks and a sac fly. He had a 12 game hitting streak snapped on April 12 with an 0-for-4 performance against Washington. He went 8-for-10 with 5 RBI in the two games against highly ranked Pepperdine. He has had seven four-hit games. He hit .500 (5-for-10) in the series against Stanford, one of the top pitching staffs in the nation. He is currently on an eight game hitting streak.

Eric Reece .280 46H 32R 35 RBI 12 2B .494 SLG %After a strong start, the senior firsr baseman has struggled at the plate over the last few weeks, but seemed to have turned the slump around with a 3-for-4 performance against Washington (4/13) and a 4-for-7 game against Cal State Fullerton (4/18). During the week of February 6, he was 7-for-15, with 10 RBI, five runs, four doubles, a triple and a home run. Against UNLV (2/10), he went 3 for 5 with 5 RBI. All three of his hits were extra base hits, as he finished the day with a double, a triple and a two run home run. Against LMU, he was 2-for-4 with four RBI and two doubles. His average was as high as .371 in early March, but fell to .265 on April 13. He leads the team in home runs with seven, including two in the last four games.

Josh Canales .362 54H 25R 15 RBI 6 SH .423 SLG%The senior second baseman has been having a great season at the plate, hitting .362 in 38 games this season. He had a career-high 15 game hitting streak snapped at Stanford on April 8. Since the time the streak started to now, he raised his average from .283 to .362. He went 3-4 against LMU and was a perfect 3-3 in game one of the UNLV series. He started the season at shortstop, but moved to second base for the North Carolina series and has been there ever since. In the weekend series with Arizona, he went 6-for-10 with a double. He has hit safely in 24 of the last 25 games and leads the team in sacrifice hits. He is currently on a nine game hitting streak, the longest on the team. He has 16 multi-hit games, including four of his last five games.

Preston Griffin .252 28H 22R 16RBI .360SLG % 3 HR 11HBPThe freshman shortstop has struggled in the field and at the plate after having a very successful stretch. He had four hits in the last five non-conference games he played in, and committed five errors in the last three games, including three at Long Beach on Tuesday. He was held hitless in the series with Washington and committed two errors in game one. He raised his batting average to a season-high .310 on April 3, but it has fallen to .252 in the past three weeks. He started three games before entering the lineup full time in North Carolina. He picked up his first collegiate home run against the Tar Heels, a grand slam in the 12-2 win. He had two hits in each of the final two games of the series with Arizona, including a solo home run. He had a 4-for-5 game at Washington State and a perfect 3-for-3 day against Pepperdine.

Randall Shelley .256 38H 31R 11RBI 22BB 10 2BThe junior third baseman has been a steady hitter all season, reaching base safely in 32 of the 42 games and picking up a hit in 23 of those games. Like Griffin, the usual solid Shelley has stuggled on defense in the past few games, committing five errors in his last three starts. He went 3-4 on opening day and recorded two hits against UNLV (2/11). He scored a run in 13 of the first 17 games. He is second on the team in walks. He went 3-for-3 with three runs in game 2 of the North Carolina series. He hit his first home run of the year against Atizona (3/11) and his second at Stanford (4/8).

Josh Arhart .333 29H 18R 23RBI .506 SLG%Arhart and Grzecka have split time at the catcher spot. Arhart has started 22 of the 42 games and has appeared in 29. He was 3-for-4 with five RBI and a home run in game two of the series at Kansas State. He went 3-5 with three runs and a double against Hawaii (2/2). He has hit safely in 16 of the 22 games he has started and has scored 18 runs. He scored the game winning run in the 14 inning, 6-5 win over UC Santa Barbara. He had a great game against Cal State Northridge (3/13) when he went 3-for-3 with three runs, three RBI and his first UCLA home run. He went 3-for-5 with four RBI against WSU (4/1) and 2-for-3 against Pepperdine (4/3). He was 1-for-2 with four RBI, including a three run home run against Washington (4/13). His average was at a season-high .363 after Kansas State (4/21).

Casey Grzecka .243 17H 6R 13RBI 4 2B 1 HRGrzecka has started 20 games and appeared in 24. He hit an RBI double in his first at-bat of the season at Hawaii. He has been close to perfect behind the plate, only committing one error in 158 chances. He hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning against UC Santa Barbara to make the score 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth before the Bruins would go on to tie the game and eventually win in the 14th inning. Against Tulane, he had two doubles and three RBI. He hit his first home run of the season against LMU (3/6), going 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI on the day. He was a perfect 4-for-4 in game one against WSU. After the WSU game, he was held without a hit until last weekend at Kansas State (4/20).

John Campanella .333 15H 9R 7RBI 1 HR .455 SLG%The junior transfer has moved into the left field position, starting six of the last seven games starting with the April 14 matchup with Washington. He has played well in his recent starts, going 10-for-19 with five RBI and five runs. He also has ahome run and a double in that stretch. He started three other games during the season, and has appeared in 26 games, mostly as a pinch hitter. The left handed batter has drawn 10 walks this season, including five in his last four starts.

Matt Pearl .311 57H 35R 30RBI 3 HR .426 SLG%The senior center fielder has been a solid in the top of the order all season. He has 19 multiple hit games. He went 3-5 against UC Riverside, 4-4 (2/2) and 2-4 (2/3) against Hawaii, 2-4 against LMU, 2-4 against UNLV (2/9) and 3-5 against UCSB (2/14). He hit a three run home run that gave the Bruins a 4-2 lead en route to their 6-2 win over the Rebels (2/9). He has reached base safely in 38 of 42 games and leads the team in walks (24). Against UCSB, he drove in three of UCLA's six runs, including the game winner in the 14th inning of the 6-5 win. After a five game slump in February, he broke out of that with a bang in North Carolina. In the two games against the Tar Heels, he went 5-for-8 with four runs, three RBI, two doubles and a home run. Against Cal State Fullerton, he was 4-for-7 with three RBI.

Ben Francisco .292 50H 37R 30RBI 9 SB 5 HRThe sophomore right fielder has provided the Bruins with some big hits. In game two against Hawaii, Francisco was a home run away from hitting for the cycle, after he went 4-5 with two doubles and a triple. He went 2-5 the next day with three RBI and two runs. He hit his first home run as a Bruin against Pepperdine, going 3-5 on the day with two runs and two RBI. He had an outstanding series against Arizona, going 7-for-14 with three runs, two RBI and two doubles. He played a role in all three runs in the 3-2 win over Arizona, scoring two, including the game-winner, and driving in another. He went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs in game one against WSU, and has hit safely in 18 of the last 23 games. He was hitless in the first two games of the Washington series, but rebounded with a 4-for-5 game in the series finale (4/14). He had another four hit game against Kansas State, going 4-for-6 with two RBI and two doubles (4/21).

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