UCLA Baseball to Play in NCAA Regional Final Tonight at Blair Field
June 3, 2007
BRUINS ADVANCE TO REGIONAL FINAL
UCLA will play in the NCAA Regional Final against the winner of today's game between No. 1 seed Long Beach State and No. 4 seed Illinois-Chicago. A win will propel the Bruins to their first Super Regional appearance since 2000, when UCLA swept three games in the Oklahoma City Regional. Left-hander Tim Murphy will take the hill for UCLA at 6 p.m. tonight at Blair Field.
UCLA - Tim Murphy (LHP) vs. Long Beach State or Illinois-Chicago
ON THE AIR
UCLA's NCAA Regional games will be broadcast live online at no cost at uclabruins.com. Danny Lee and Tim Wilhelm will call the action live from Long Beach State's Blair Field. Each game can be followed online via CSTV's GameTracker at UCLA's website, uclabruins.com. A live video stream can also be accessed via uclabruins.com from the baseball schedule web page.
LONG BEACH REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, June 1
3 p.m. - Game 1: UCLA 7, Pepperdine 3
7 p.m. - Game 2: Illinois-Chicago 4, Long Beach State 1
Saturday, June 2
3 p.m. - Game 3: Long Beach State 6, Pepperdine 3
7 p.m. - Game 4: UCLA 3, Illinois-Chicago 1
Sunday, June 3
2 p.m. - Game 5: Long Beach State vs. Illinois-Chicago
6 p.m. - Game 6: UCLA vs. Winner Game 5
Monday, June 4
6 p.m. - Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (if necessary)
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
UCLA has posted a 32-26 record and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 14-10 mark...the Bruins have not played in a Regional Final contest since 2000, the last season in which UCLA advanced to the Super Regionals (swept three games at the Oklahoma City Regional)...Tim Murphy assumed the Bruins' 'Saturday' starter role six weeks into the season when he started at Ole Miss (March 10) in UCLA's 7-6 victory...Murphy has twice recorded nine strikeouts and registered a career-high 14 strikeouts at Arizona State (May 12)
ALSO OF NOTE...
Cody Decker belted a three-run homer Friday in UCLA's 7-3 win over Pepperdine; Decker has hit 7-for-17 (.411) with one home run, two runs and four RBI in five career postseason games...Ryan Babineau is hitting 5-for-5 with three sacrifice bunts in UCLA's two regional games...in 52 NCAA Regional contests, the Bruins have recorded a 31-21 record; overall, UCLA has recorded a 31-27 mark in postseason play, including trips to the College World Series in 1997 and 1969...UCLA has advanced past the NCAA Regionals on three occasions - 2000, 1997 and 1969.
UCLA opened the season with an 8-14 mark before winning 19 of its next 23 games. The turnaround began March 25 against Pacific, as UCLA used a 14-run eighth inning to overcome an 8-1 deficit and win the contest, 15-8. The following weekend in the team's Pac-10 opening series at Stanford, third baseman Jermaine Curtis returned to the lineup and became the spark UCLA needed. The Bruins won 12 of their first 14 games with Curtis in the lineup and eventually soared to a 28-19 mark with a 4-1 victory at Pepperdine on March 8. UCLA raced to a 12-2 Pac-10 record by early May, as the Bruins won their first five conference games and eight of their first nine Pac-10 contests.
Freshman Gabe Cohen has posted an 11-game hit streak, the longest such streak of any Bruin this season. Previously, Cohen and Brandon Crawford had each posted hit streaks of 10 (Crawford with two 10-hit streaks). The Pac-10's Co-Newcomer of the Year, Cohen leads all Bruins with a .352 batting average, and his total of 10 home runs ranks second-highest on the team.
The Bruins' postseason victories have been bolstered by the success of starting pitching. Senior Tyson Brummett cruised through eight scoreless innings Friday before exiting the game with a 7-3 lead with two outs in the ninth inning. Freshman Gavin Brooks struck out seven in his second complete game in as many starts yesterday evening, leading UCLA past Illinois-Chicago, 3-1.