No. 12 UCLA Baseball Gears Up for Games at Pepperdine, Washington
May 3, 2010
LOS ANGELES - No. 12 UCLA will play four road games this week, beginning with a non-conference game Tuesday at Pepperdine. Right-hander Garett Claypool will start on the hill for UCLA against the Waves. The Bruins return to Pac-10 play at Washington this weekend, playing three games at Husky Ballpark in Seattle (May 7-9).
Friday, May 7 (6 p.m.) - at Washington's Husky Ballpark
UCLA - Gerrit Cole, RHP, So. (6-2, 2.86)Washington - Geoff Brown, LHP, Jr. (1-3, 4.96)
Saturday, May 8 (2 p.m.) - at Washington's Husky Ballpark
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, So. (6-3, 2.81)Washington - Andrew Kittredge, RHP, So. (6-3, 5.40)
Friday, May 9 (1 p.m.) - at Washington's Husky Ballpark
UCLA - Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Jr. (6-2, 3.59)Washington - TBA
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
Listen to this Tuesday's game at Pepperdine online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. All home baseball games and select road games will be broadcast live online at UCLA's athletics website. UCLA's John Ramey will provide the play-by-play from Eddy D. Field Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. In addition, fans can follow the action online through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
HITTING THE ROAD
UCLA plays its next five games on the road, highlighted by a three-game series at Washington this weekend. The Bruins play a non-conference game at Pepperdine this Tuesday, finishing the two-game home-and-home series against the Waves. The five-game road trip marks UCLA's longest stretch away from home in 2010. Following the three-game series at Washington, UCLA will travel south to play at UC Irvine on Tuesday, May 11. The Bruins have gone 12-2 in 16 games played either on the road or at neutral sites this spring.
Senior Garett Claypool will start for UCLA at Pepperdine on Tuesday afternoon. The right-hander from West Hills, Calif., limited the Waves to one run (unearned) and two hits in 6.2 innings on March 30, as he recorded nine strikeouts and issued one walk to improve to 3-0 on the season. Claypool has gone 6-1 with a 2.09 ERA, collecting 56 strikeouts and 12 walks in 56.0 innings. Slated to make his 30th career start this Tuesday, Claypool has gone 12-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 68 career appearances (163 strikeouts in 181.0 innings).
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Pepperdine enters Tuesday's contest with a 13-22 record, having last played a game on Sunday, April 25 (no games due to spring semester finals). The Waves have won two of their last nine games and have gone 3-5 in the West Coast Conference. Washington has gone 24-19 this spring, posting an 8-7 record in Pac-10 play. The Huskies rank ninth in the Pac-10 in batting average (.281) and are 10th with a 5.35 team ERA. Last season, UCLA swept a three-game series against Washington at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla leads UCLA with a .354 batting average and is followed by sophomore Dean Espy (.351) and senior Blair Dunlap (.347). Rahmatulla stands as the team leader, through Sunday's action, in hits (52), runs (34), at-bats (147) and on-base percentage (.463). Espy leads the group with 33 RBI and a .579 slugging percentage, and Dunlap is currently leading all UCLA players with 16 doubles and is tied for fourth in the Pac-10 Conference with USC's Ricky Oropesa in that category.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
Slated to start Friday night at Washington, sophomore Gerrit Cole enters the week as the Pac-10 Conference's leader in strikeouts (95) and ranks third in opposing batting average (.190) and eighth in ERA (2.86). Cole struck out nine batters and walked four in a 5-1 loss to Arizona State last Friday. The right-hander from Santa Ana Calif., allowed two runs and six hits in seven-plus innings to absorb his second loss of the spring. Cole has tallied 10 or more strikeouts in three starts this season and accomplished that feat in three starts one year ago.
Sophomore Trevor Bauer ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference with 92 strikeouts, just three shy of teammate Gerrit Cole. Bauer and Cole have formed one of the nation's most potent 1-2 punches. Bauer enters the week having gone 6-3 with a 2.81 ERA. Prior to Tuesday's action, he ranks fourth in the conference with 73.2 innings. Last season, his most impressive start came in a 13-0 victory against Washington, as he fanned 13 batters while tossing UCLA's first one-hit complete game shutout since 2000.
Junior Rob Rasmussen has started each of UCLA's 11 weekend finales, going 6-2 with a 3.49 ERA. Rasmussen, who hails from Arcadia, Calif., has registered 78 strikeouts and 22 walks in 57.2 innings, limiting the opposition to a .236 batting average. Through Sunday's games, Rasmussen ranks fourth among Pac-10 pitchers with 78 strikeouts. Rasmussen earned the victory in six consecutive starts (March 14-April 18).
In the latest college baseball polls, five Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top-25 by at least one of four publications. Baseball America includes Arizona State (3), UCLA (12), Oregon (15), California (21) and Arizona (23). UCLA has gone 7-6 against teams ranked in the top-25 (week of game) by Baseball America.
Freshman Beau Amaral ranks fifth on the team with a .339 batting average, having started 36 games in center field this spring. Two weeks ago, he batted .545 (6-for-11) in a three-game series at Arizona. The former standout at Huntington Beach High School belted his second homer of the season, going 2-for-4 with two RBI, in a loss to Long Beach State on April 20. Since UCLA's 22-game win streak was snapped, Amaral has posted a team-leading .345 batting average, going 19-for-55 in that span (18 games).
Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein was named to the Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List in mid-April by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association (NCBWA). He leads UCLA and is third in the Pac-10 with eight saves. Klein has gone 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA in a team-high 23 appearances (all in relief), having tallied 39 strikeouts and seven walks in 31.1 innings. Entering Tuesday's game at Pepperdine, he is tied for fifth on UCLA's single-season saves list with three former UCLA pitchers.
UCLA leads the Pac-10 with 434 strikeouts and ranks second in the conference with a 3.04 team ERA. The Bruins have averaged 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. UCLA's weekend starters rank first, second and fourth, respectively among the Pac-10's strikeout leaders - Gerrit Cole (95), Trevor Bauer (92) and Rob Rasmussen (78). Garett Claypool sits just outside the top-10 strikeout leaders (56). Cole leads all UCLA pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings with a 12.3 average.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla stands as the only player for UCLA to have started all 40 games (all at second base). Rahmatulla enters Tuesday's game at Pepperdine as one of four Bruins (along with Dean Espy, Brett Krill and Steve Rodriguez) to have clubbed a team-high five home runs. He ranks ninth in the Pac-10 with a .463 on-base percentage, is fifth with 29 walks and leads the conference with six sacrifice flies. Rahmatulla has collected a team-best 17 multiple-hit performances, including five three-hit games as a sophomore.
AGAINST THE BEST
UCLA has gone 7-6 against teams ranked in Baseball America's top-25 poll (team ranked in poll on day of game). UCLA defeated then-No. 25 Oklahoma, 5-2, on March 14 before winning two of three games against No. 19 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 17 Arizona. The Bruins were swept in three games against No. 3 Arizona State the weekend of April 30-May 2. One year ago, UCLA went 8-13 against top-25 competition, playing more games and earning more victories against top-25 teams than any other Pac-10 program.
Gerrit Cole stands five strikeouts shy of 100 this season - if Cole reaches the century mark, he would become the first UCLA pitcher to log 100 or more strikeouts in consecutive seasons since Jim Parque (1996-97). It would mark the fifth consecutive year in which UCLA had a pitcher total 100 strikeouts. UCLA has not had two pitchers record 100 or more strikeouts in the same season since 1997 (Jim Parque had 119 and Tom Jacquez notched 100). Cole's 199 career strikeouts are 50 shy of 10th place on UCLA's career list.
UCLA's 16-inning victory at Oregon State on April 10 marked the program's longest game (by innings) since an 18-inning game at Arizona State on Feb. 23, 1990. The Bruins lost 6-5 in the series opener at Arizona State that evening before 4,037 fans. The longest extra-inning game in Pac-10 history came in 1972, as Washington and Oregon State played a 20-inning contest (date, score unknown). UCLA's 3-1 win against Oregon State lasted six hours, 23 minutes and featured 12 pitchers (eight by Oregon State, four by UCLA).
UCLA has 16 games (nine road, seven home) remaining on its 56-game regular season schedule. The Bruins will alternate each of their next four weekend series on the road and at home. Following the upcoming five-game road swing, UCLA will host a three-game series against crosstown rival USC (May 14-16). After playing UC Santa Barbara at home on May 18, the Bruins will play a three-game series at No. 21 California (May 21-23). During the final week of the season, UCLA will play a midweek game at No. 10 Cal State Fullerton before concluding the spring with a three-game home series against Washington State (May 28-30).
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