Baseball Tries To Stay Dry, Host Pacific For Three Games Series

Feb. 23, 2005

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By February 23 the Bruins were supposed to have 14 games played under their belts, but because of the continuing downpour of rain in the Southern California area, UCLA has already lost four games to inclement weather this season. Beginning with a February 11 contest aginst Cal State Northridge, weather has gone to to cancel the final two games of the Utah series and the February 22 midweek matchup at UC Riverside. The Bruins will make up the CSUN rainout on March 8 and will play the lost UCR game on May 24 while the Utah games will not be replayed.

The skies should let up enought for the Bruins to host Pacific for three games this weekend.

On Deck

Pacific (6-5) vs. UCLA (6-4)

The Series: Tied 2-2

Last meeting: Teams split a two-game series in 2004; UCLA took game one 6-1 but lost the second game 7-0

The Schedule

February 25 - 6:00 p.m., Jackie Robinson Stadium
February 26 - 1:00 p.m., Jackie Robinson Stadium
February 27 - 1:00 p.m., Jackie Robinson Stadium

Projected Starting Rotation (Friday through Sunday)

Hector Ambriz, RHP, 1-0, 2.16 ERA
Bryan Beck, RHP, 1-0, 2.45 ERA
Brant Rustich, RHP, 1-0, 2.08 ERA

Jason Haar, RHP, 0-1, 2.41 ERA
Luke Massetti, RHP, 3-0, 3.42 ERA
Tyler McCready, RHP, 1-1, 5.02 ERA

What's Bruin
The Bruins are 2-2 all-time against Pacific... Last year the schools split a rain-shortened two-game series... In 2003, UCLA lost to the Tigers 8-4 and in 1987 the Bruins beat Pacific 8-3... All four contests have been played at Jackie Robinson Stadium... Streak Squad: The Bruins have three players with current six-game hitting streaks (Sean Smith, Hector Ambriz and Brett McMillan)... The trio began its streak on February 5 (an 8-4 loss to Fresno State)... Ambriz' Average: Even though right-hander Hector Ambriz was the only starting pitcher to actually pitch last weekend because of the rain, his ERA still did not change... With his 8.1 innings pitched and two earned runs allowed, Ambriz' ERA stayed steady at exactly 2.16... Head Coach John Savage enters the Pacific series with 94 career wins... Savage is 5-4 as a head coach against the Tigers... Westwood Consistency: Four positions have seen the same starter in each of UCLA's ten games this season (Brett McMillan at first base, Sean Smith and second base, Eric Taylor at third base and Chris Denove at catcher)... Since UCLA's fourth game of the season, the Bruins' No. 1-6 spot in the lineup has remained the same (Penniall, McMillan, Smith, Ambriz, Taylor, Denove)... Road Warriors: In four away games this season, UCLA is 3-1 on the road... After this weekend's three-game series with Pacific, the Bruins will play their next seven games on the road (Kia Bash, CSUN, Texas A&M) and will not return home until a March 29 game with defending national champions Cal State Fullerton.

This Week's Media Coverage...
Friday and Sunday's games will be broadcast live over the internet on with Danny Lee and Darren Preston on the call. Log on to to access the broadcast. A subscription to the Live Audio Service is required.

Projected Lineup vs. Pacific
LF Will Penniall (5-11, 180, S/R, So.)
1B Brett McMillan (6-5, 225, L/R, Jr.)
2B Sean Smith (5-11, 170, R/R, Jr.)
DH Hector Ambriz (6-2, 210, L/R, So.)
3B Eric Taylor (6-1, 200, R/R, Sr.)
C Chris Denove (6-1, 200, R/R, Jr.)
RF Anthony Norman (6-0, 180, L/L, Jr.)
CF Jarrad Page (6-0, 200, S/R, So.)
SS Tommy Lansdon (6-0, 165, R/R/ So.)

Continuing Rains Force Postponements, Utah Takes First and Only Game From Bruins
On a rain-soaked field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on February 18, UCLA blew a ninth-inning lead and eventually gave way to Utah 7-4 in eleven innings. The Bruins at one point led 4-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning but the Utes rallied for four unanswered runs in the game's final three innings en route to their first victory of the season.

Utah's Ryan Khoury delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly off of reliever Daniel Miltenberger with nobody out in the top of the eleventh and Tyler Kmetco and Trevor Eastman would later chime in with RBI base hits of their own to give the Utes the 7-4 lead. Bruin closer Adam Simon (1-1) suffered the defeat after allowing the eventual winning run to reach base in the final frame.

The final two games of the series, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, were cancelled due to rain.

Rustich Named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
Sophomore right-hander Brant Rustich has been named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for the week of February 8-14, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Tuesday, February 15.

Rustich, from El Cajon, Calif., was masterful on Feb. 13 against Cal State Northridge as he picked up his first win of the season with a complete game performance, allowing just one unearned run. Rustich struck out eight and needed just 113 pitches en route to his first career complete game. He got stronger as the game progressed, retiring seven of the last nine batters he faced. The right-hander was not scheduled to pitch in the game because of a rainout two days earlier, but due to Bryan Beck's sore pitching shoulder, Rustich was reinserted into the starting slot. Rustich lowered his season ERA over two full runs down to 2.08. Opposing hitters are now batting a meager .197 against him.

The Pitcher of the Week honor is the first ever for Rustich and the 37th selection all-time for UCLA.

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