UCLA Baseball Heads To Riverside For Midweek Match-Up
Feb. 3, 2003
February 4, @UC Riverside, 3:00 p.m., Riverside Sports Complex
February 7, @ Hawaii, 6:35 p.m., Rainbow Stadium
February 8, @ Hawaii, 6:35 p.m., Rainbow Stadium
February 9, @Hawaii, 6:35 p.m., Rainbow Stadium
After a tough 8-6 opening day loss, the Bruins rebounded to post 30 runs over two games to edge the Matadors 2-1 in the series. UCLA hit six home runs over the course of the weekend to lead them to victory. Billy Susdorf and Preston Griffin each hit two home runs, while Ryan McCarthy and Chris Denove both hit the first home runs of their collegiate careers.
On Saturday, left-handed starter Mike Kunes allowed only one earned run in five innings of play to post his first win of the season. The Bruin attack was not as kind on the Matador staff as Northridge used seven different picthers during the 17-6 Bruin victory. Freshman right-hander Adam Simon took the mound for the first time, striking out four in four innings to notch the save.
Sunday was the most productive day for the Bruin offense, posting 13 runs on 19 hits. Starter Casey Janssen recorded 10 strikeouts in 4.2 innings, while reliever Doug Silva only allowed two hits in 4.1 innings of work. Freshman third baseman Sean Carpenter led the UCLA hitters, going three-for-four with an RBI double and three stolen bases.
The 2003 Bruins defeated the Bruin Professionals, 3-1, in the annual Alumni Game, which took, place this afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Led by freshman right-handed pitcher Hector Ambriz, the Bruins shut down the pros with three no-hit innings to finish the contest. The professionals struck early with Ryan McGuire's two-out double. Adam Melhuse brought McGuire home with a single to put the pros ahead 1-0. Senior outfielder Chad Concolino got even with the pros, blasting a lead-off home run in his first at-bat in a Bruin uniform. Even at 1-1 in the bottom of the second, the Bruins padded their lead with a sacrifice fly from Ryan McCarthy that brought Casey Janssen home after getting on base with a walk. After two innings of work from Adam Simon, the Bruins brought in Ambriz, who shut down the pros allowing no hits and striking out four over the course of the final three innings. The Bruins tacked on their final run of the contest in the fifth when Brandon Averill blasted a double, bringing in Kevin Conlin who reached base on a single. Playing on the Bruin Professional team were: Josh Arhart, Eric Byrnes, Josh Canales, Ben Francisco, Casey Grzecka, Ryan McGuire, Adam Melhuse, Rashad Parker, Eric Reece, Jack Santora, Bill Scott, Randall Shelley, and Chase Utley Prior to the start of the Alumni Game, former Bruin Adam Berry won the home run contest, over Bill Scott, with a home run in each round of competition.
Talented But Inexperienced Bruins
The Bruin roster features 25 players who are freshman or sophomores this year. Of the 10 opening day starters, eight were sophomores or freshman, including true freshman Sean Carpenter at third base and redshirt freshman Chris Denove behind the plate. The Bruins lost six seniors and two juniors from the 2002 season, including six position starters. Seven players from the 2001 roster are now playing professional baseball. The youth of the starting lineup is balanced by a pitching core of experience. The four-man starting rotation includes a senior, two juniors and a sophomore who had 13 starts in 2002. Beyond the starting rotation, the relievers are led by seniors Doug Silva and Kevin Jerkens, who have over 175 innings of work between them. However, the bullpen also has a host of fresh faces with five freshman and four sophomores.
Mike Kunes and Warren Trott have been named captains for the 2003 season. Kunes led the Bruin pitchers last season with seven wins and a 3.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Trott, a redshirt senior, is a skilled utility player who can play in the infield and behind the plate.
The Highlanders opened 2003 last weekend with a sweep of San Francisco. AJ Shappi notched a win on Sunday allowing one run on three hits, while striking out six batters. Junior outfielder Ryan Harvey got off to a hot start with eight hits, including two home runs, eight runs scored, and seven RBI. Head Coach Jack Smitheran is in his 29th year at UC Riverside. He has a 903-668-3 record with the Highlanders and 1,026-729-3 overall mark.
Top Returners (2002 Stats)
Brian Wahlbrink, (Sr., OF) .307, 25 SB, 33 RBI - Anaheim, CA (Orange Coast College)
Tony Festa, (Jr., 3B .345, 6 HR, 35 RBI- Danville, CA (Chabot College)
Austin Shappi, (So., RHP) 4.34 ERA, 81 K- Yorba Linda, CA (Esperanza HS)
Randy Blood, (Sr., 2B) .301, 15 2B, 28 RBI- Costa Mesa, CA (Calvery Chapel HS)
Matt Thiessen, (Jr., LHP), 5.42 ERA, 6-1, 78 K- Riverside, CA (Arlington HS)
Jeff Crinklaw, (Jr., C), Dublin, CA (Ohlone College)
Kevin Mangels, (So., 1B), Danville, CA (Chabot College)
Chad Decker, (Fr., LHP), Moreno Valley, CA (Valley View HS)
Tuesday: Jayme Torres (RHP)
Head Coach Gary Adams UCLA's All-Time Winningest Baseball Coach
UCLA head coach Gary Adams enters his 29th season at the helm of one of the most successful and respected collegiate programs in NCAA history. Adams is the all-time winningest head baseball coach in UCLA history, a feat accomplished on March 2, 1997 with win #748 coming at the Metrodome against Minnesota. Less than two months later, Adams cemented a place in collegiate baseball legend as career victory #1,000 was reached on March 13 at Arizona. He enters 2003 in 10th place on the list of winningest active Division I coaches at 1,110 wins. Adams has guided the Bruins to regional appearances seven times since 1990. During his tenure as the UCLA head coach, his teams have reached the regional finals six times and the College World Series once. The UCLA baseball program has enjoyed unparalleled success in sending athletes to major league organizations. Led by Phillies' first-rounder Chase Utley, the Bruins set a collegiate record with 12 players selected in the 2000 amateur draft. In all, 17 student-athletes have been chosen in the first round. Adams played second base for the Bruins in 1959-60 and '62. In 1960 he formed UCLA's double play combination with his twin brother, Gene. After missing the 1961 season due to a knee injury, Gary was the team captain and MVP as a senior in 1962, leading the squad with a .265 batting average. He returned to Westwood in the fall of 1974, following five seasons at UC Irvine. In those five seasons, the Anteaters won 73 percent of their games under Adams and captured the 1973 and 1974 NCAA Division II Championships. Adams was named District 8 Coach of the Year both seasons and was selected Division II Coach of the Year in 1974.
Pac-10 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. USC (6) 60
2. Arizona State (2) 55
3. Stanford 46
4. Cailfornia (1) 42
5. Arizona 34
6. UCLA 31
7. Washington 25
8. Oregon State 15
9. Washington State 9