Baseball Travels to Long Beach State For Midweek Non-conference Matchup
April 4, 2005
UCLA (7-17, 0-3) at No. 21 Long Beach State (21-10, 3-0)
April 5, 2005 - Blair Field, Long Beach, CA - 6:30 PM
Brant Rustich (1-2, 5.53 ERA) vs. Donnie Hume or Cody Evans
Projected Starters vs. LBSU
LF Will Penniall (5-11, 180, S/R, So.)
1B Brett McMillan (6-5, 225, L/R, Jr.)
2B Sean Carpenter (6-0, 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 Josh Roenicke (6-3, 185, R/R, Jr.)
CF Jarrad Page (6-0, 200, S/R, So.)
SS Tommy Lansdon (6-0, 165, R/R/ So.)
Leading Off: UCLA travels for a midweek non-conference matchup with Long Beach State Tuesday before heading down the road to arch rival USC for a three-game Pac-10 series this weekend. The streaking Bruins have not won since a February 25, 9-0 shutout over Pacific. In that span, the Bruins have been ousted by seven different teams and hold a collective team batting average of .238 while the piching staff has posted an ERA of 8.11. This week should prove no easier for the boys of Westwood as No. 21 Long Beach State has won four straight and 20 of its last 24 while USC is coming off a successful weekend against Pac-10 opponent Washington.
This Week on TV/Radio: Tuesday's game at Long Beach State can be heard on the Dirtbag's radio network KWRM 1370 AM with Rob Buska on the call. Saturday's contest against USC from Dedeux Field will be televised live by FSN West beginning at 2 p.m. The telecast marks the only scheduled televised game for the Bruins this season. For those unable to tune into the telecast, all three of this weekend's games will be broadcast live over the internet on uclaBruins.com with Danny Lee and Darren Preston on the call. As a third resort, fans and media can follow all the action live via CollegeSports' GameTracker through UCLA's official athletic website, uclaBruins.com.
A Look at Last Weekend: Arizona pitchers held UCLA to a collective .185 batting average last weekend as the Wildcats swept a three-game Pac-10 series from the Bruins by scores of 8-4, 11-0 and 12-2. Jordan Brown's go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning on Friday night spoiled an otherwise solid outing by senior right-hander Bryan Beck. The Bruins led 4-2 heading into the game's final three frames but Arizona outscored UCLA 6-0 from the seventh inning on in the the opener. On Saturday, Arizona's Kevin Guyette tossed a masterful one-hit, complete game shutout as the Wildcats rolled over the Bruins 11-0. Tommy Lansdon picked up UCLA's only hit in the second inning. In the finale, Arizona reliever Eric Berger tossed a nearly perfect final 5.2 innings, facing just one batter over the minimum in that span, as the `Cats rolled to a 12-2 win.
Bruins and the Beach: Since 1975, UCLA is 35-24 against the Dirtbags but Long Beach State has taken four of the last six contests since 2002. In 2004, the teams split a pair of games with UCLA claiming victory by a score of 11-1 at home on April 13 and Long Beach State returning the favor 2-1 at Blair Field on April 27. This week's meeting will be the only one of the year between the Dirtbags and Bruins. Of the ten Bruin hitters on the 2005 roster that have faced Long Beach State in the past, second baseman Sean Carpenter has been most successful, collecting three hits in 13 at bats (.231). Combined throughout their individual careers, current Bruins are hitting .130 against Long Beach State (8-for-61). Sophomore right-hander Brant Rustich, who is scheduled to take the game ball on Tuesday, has never faced the Dirtbags as a pitcher but is 1-for-1 as a hitter. However, Rustich will not hit for himself on Tuesday night.
Up Next: Battle For Los Angeles: UCLA and USC will play their only three games against each other this weekend at Deaduex Field. The winner of the three-game Pac-10 series will be awarded five Lexus Gauntlet Trophy points.
Bullpen Blues: While opponents' bullpens have posted a measly 2.90 ERA against UCLA this season, the Bruins' relief core has not faired so well. Bruins out of the bullpen have posted a 6.90 ERA against a 4.84 ERA by UCLA starters. However, Bruin relievers have been on call quite a bit this season, averaging over 3.1 innings of work per game.
No Repeat: The last time UCLA opened Pac-10 play with a sub-.500 record was in 2002. In that season, UCLA entered conference action against California with a 13-17 mark and ultimately finished 26-35 (9-15).
Hector's High Honors: All-America candidate Hector Ambriz has lived up to his billing so far this season. The sophomore, one of several players added to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List in March, is leading UCLA on the mound and at the plate. Ambriz is batting .355 with 27 hits and has posted an equally impressive 2.88 ERA through seven starts. He is averaging six innings per start while also contributing six multi-hit games at the plate. His .473 on-base percentage also tops the squad.
Will the Thrill: UCLA had no clear lead off hitter entering the season but sophomore Will Penniall has accepted the role with open arms. The left fielder is hitting .330, leads the team with two triples and has reached base in 18 of 39 lead off at-bats (.462). The sophomore from La Canada also leads the Bruins with ten stolens bases in 11 attempts. Penniall has also displayed finesse in left field as he has posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 39 putouts through 24 games played.
Crowd Pleasers: UCLA is averaging 1,478 fans through its first 24 games (home and road). In comparison after 24 games in 2004, UCLA was averaging just 427 fans (home and road).