UCLA Baseball Hosts Washington State For Pac-10 Home Opener

April 5, 2006

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Game Data:

UCLA vs. Washington State - Jackie Robinson Stadium, April 7 at 6 p.m., Hector Ambriz, RHP (4-4, 3.42) vs. Mike Wagner, RHP (3-4, 4.80)

UCLA vs. Washington State - Jackie Robinson Stadium, April 8 at 2 p.m., Dave Huff, LHP (3-2, 2.61) vs. Jared Prince, RHP (4-0, 0.36)

UCLA vs. Washington State - Jackie Robinson Stadium, April 9 at 1 p.m., Tyson Brummett (4-4, 4.04) vs. Wayne Daman, RHP (5-2, 2.84)

Get After It: The UCLA baseball team (16-13, 1-2 Pac-10) returns home to Jackie Robinson Stadium to host the Washington State Cougars (21-10, 3-3 Pac-10) for a three-game Pac-10 Conference series starting Friday, April 7 at 6 p.m. The Bruins are looking to win six-consecutive home games for the first time since 2001.

UCLA vs. UC Irvine: The UCLA vs. UC Irvine baseball game scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 at Jackie Robinson Stadium has been postponed due to heavy rain. The game will be rescheduled and played on Tuesday, May 23 at Jackie Robinson Stadium for a 6 p.m. start time.

Washington Recap: UCLA played its first Pac-10 Conference series of the season and walked away with one win in three games at Husky Ballpark in Seattle. The Bruins ran into an outstanding pitching performance by UW junior ace Tim Lincecum on Friday night in a 5-0 loss, but rebounded to top the Huskies, 3-2, in 11 innings on Saturday. UCLA dropped the rubber game on Sunday, 4-1.

About the Cougars: The Washington State University Cougars enter the weekend's Pac-10 series with a 21-10 overall mark and a 3-3 record in conference action. Wazzu has lost four of its last five games, but is 7-3 in true road contests. In fact, WSU is 17-5 in games away from Bailey-Brayton Baseball Field. At one point this season, the Cougars won 12-of-13 games, including a seven-game win streak. As a team, Washington State hits .325 (359-1103, second in the Pac-10) with 15 home runs, 207 RBI, 241 runs scored, and a Pac-10 leading 59 stolen bases in 81 attempts. The Wazzu pitching staff owns a 3.49 team ERA (second in the Pac-10) with 253 strikeouts in 276.0 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .255 batting average. Head Coach Donnie Marbut is in his second season at the helm of the WSU program.

The Washington State-UCLA Series: UCLA leads the all-time series with Washington State with a mark of 29-12. Since 1999, the Bruins have gone 15-6 against the Cougars. Last season, UCLA won two games of a three-game series (W: 4-3, L: 7-10, W: 4-1) at Washington State. The last time WSU played at Jackie Robinson Stadium in 2004, UCLA won two games of the three-game series, outscoring the Cougars 25-10 in the stint.

Cougar Delight: It seems that Bruins have quite the appetite for Cougars when it comes to baseball. UCLA has won the last three series it has played against Washington State, and six of the last seven since 1999. Last season, UCLA won two games out of three in Pullman, Wash., for its only Pac-10 series win of the season.

Punch First: UCLA is quite successful when making the scoreboard light up first in a game. So far this season, the Bruins are 7-1 when scoring in the first inning, and 12-2 when scoring before the opposition in a game. However, UCLA is 4-11 when opponents score first in a game.

In the Fridge: When UCLA has a lead late in the ball game, the Bruins are pretty consistent at sealing the deal. So far this season, UCLA is 15-1 when leading after six innings of play, and a perfect 18-0 when owning the lead after eight innings. On the other side of things, UCLA is 0-9 when trailing after six innings and 0-12 when behind after eight innings of play.

Contrasting Styles: UCLA and Washington State enter this weekend's series on opposite sides of two interesting stats columns. UCLA currently ranks second in the Pac-10 with 32 home runs, while WSU is tied for second-to-last with 15 jacks. However, Washington State leads the Pac-10 in both steals with 59 and attempts with 81, while UCLA is last in both categories with only 10 swipes in 24 attempts.

Pac This: The last time UCLA started the Pac-10 conference schedule with a 1-2 record after opening on the road was in 1999 when the Bruins won one of two games at Arizona. That Bruin squad went on to go 13-11 in conference play, good enough for a third-place tie.

Huff Stuff: Junior Dave Huff has emerged as one of the top hurlers in the Pac-10. Huff entered this week No. 1 in the conference in innings pitched at 62.0, fourth in strikeouts with 57, and sixth in ERA at 2.61. In his last outing, Huff went 9.0 innings allowing one earned run on 10 hits with seven strikeouts in a no decision.

Bring It: This season, UCLA isn't backing down from anyone which shows in the toughness of its schedule. The Bruins are set to play 32 games scheduled against teams that competed in the NCAA Regional Championships last season, with 11 teams listed in this year's preseason top-25 rankings.

UCLA will take on 12 teams that competed in the NCAA Regional Championships last year (Miami, Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, NC State, Ole Miss, UNLV, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Stanford, and Oregon State), and will have 18 games during the season against NCAA Super Regional participants (Miami, Cal State Fullerton, Ole Miss, Arizona State, USC, Oregon State).

The Bruins' tough schedule was noted with the No. 1 strength of schedule nod by Boyd's World, a baseball statistics internet site.

Up Next: UCLA will travel to Tucson, Ariz., for a three-game series against the Arizona Wildcats beginning Thursday, April 13.

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