UCLA Travels to UC Irvine For Midweek Matchup With Anteaters
May 9, 2005
UCLA first-year head coach John Savage will be making his first trip back to Anteater Field Tuesday evening since taking over as the Bruins' skipper last summer. Savage was the head coach at UC Irvine from 2002-2004. His Bruins will be embarking on a four-game road trip which will see them play the second of two games this season against UCI and then travel north to take on Pac-10 rival Stanford for three games. UCLA (11-33, 1-14 Pac-10) is coming off a 1-3 week, in which the Bruins defeated the University of San Diego, 8-5 last Tuesday before being swept by No. 4 Oregon State last weekend.
Savage Closing In:
He's been close for a while but now UCLA Head Coach John Savage is just one win away from notching career victory No. 100. Savage is in his fourth year as a head coach and first at UCLA.
Fighting the Good Fight:
BoydsWorld.com, a statistics-based college baseball website currently ranks UCLA's 2005 strength of schedule as the fourth toughest in the country. The site also lists the Pac-10 Conference third in Iterative Strength Rating (ISR) and fourth in Psuedo-RPI.
Streaking On Campus:
UCLA right fielder Chris Jensen currently boasts a 15-game hitting streak. The junior joined the Bruin lineup full time on April 15 after essentially missing the first two months of 2005 with a hamstring injury. Since then, Jensen has played in and recorded a hit in every game while batting .441 (26-for-59) with nine RBI and three home runs. He struck out in two pinch-hit at bats earlier in the season before making his full time return. His overall average is .426.
Sophomore left-hander Brian Schroeder, Tuesday night's expected starting pitcher, has been an absolute work horse for UCLA in 2005. He has appeared in 24 of 44 games this season, including 11 outings in the last 16 contests. Schroeder has made two starts for the Bruins and currently has a 3-6 record and a 5.86 ERA. From April 26 to May 3 (four games, one week) Schroeder went 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 relief innings. He allowed just one run on four hits in that span.
Denove Firing On All Cylinders:
Junior catcher Chris Denove has thrown out the last four and six of the last eight would-be base stealers attempting to swipe an extra bag. In Baseball America's preseason rankings, Denove was listed as having the best arm and defensive skills of any catcher in the Pac-10 Conference. The Agoura Hills native has also been getting hot at the plate, raising his average almost forty points over the last ten games. Since April 24 at Arizona State, Denove is batting .313 (10-for-32) with five RBI.
Standing with an 8-28 record entering its April 26 game against UC Irvine, UCLA had not won a single game in which they had been trailing. Since then, the Bruins have pulled off three come-from-behind wins, starting with the contest against the Anteaters. UCLA fell behind the Anteaters 1-0 in the first but scored three unanswered runs in the game's final eight innings for its first comeback win of the season. Five days later against California, the Bruins scored three times in the eighth to take a 4-2 contest from the Golden Bears for their second comeback win in four games. Then on May 3 against the University of San Diego, the Bruins overcame multiple deficits, including the Torero's two-run first inning, to complete the 8-5 comeback victory.
April 26 vs. UCI:
Brett McMillan's two-run home run in the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie and Sean Carpenter added two hits as UCLA held off UC Irvine for a 3-1 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium exactly two weeks ago. Bruin ace right-hander Hector Ambriz earned his first career save by shutting down the Anteaters for the final 1.2 innings of the game. The win was also UCLA's first over UCI in 15 years since the Bruins defeated the Anteaters 15-5 on April 17, 1990. UCLA had lost five straight to Irvine, including the last four in a row since Irvine reestablished its baseball program in 2002 with Savage at the helm.