No. 11 UCLA Baseball to Take on USC at Jackie Robinson Stadium
May 13, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 11 UCLA baseball team returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend to host a three-game Pac-10 series against USC (23-25, 5-13). The Bruins (34-11, 10-8) have won 10 of their last 13 games against USC, including a 6-1 victory against the Trojans at Dodger Stadium earlier this season.
PROBABLE STARTERS (all games at UCLA)
Friday, May 14 (6 p.m.)
USC - Ben Mount, RHP, So. (5-3, 3.16)
UCLA - Gerrit Cole, RHP, So. (7-2, 2.79)
Saturday, May 15 (2 p.m.)
USC - Chris Mezger, RHP, Jr. (4-0, 2.57)
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, So. (7-3, 3.01)
Sunday, May 16 (1 p.m.)
USC - TBA
UCLA - Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Jr. (7-2, 3.36)
GETTING TO JACKIE ROBINSON STADIUM
Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium is located on the grounds of the West L.A. Veteran Administration, north of Wilshire Blvd. and west of the 405 Freeway. From the 405 North, exit Wilshire Blvd. (west offramp), stay in the right lane coming down the offramp and turn right onto Sepulveda Blvd. Continue until Constitution Ave. and turn left. Parking lots for the ballpark will be located on the right side of Constitution Ave.
TICKETS AND PARKING
Admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for children (ages 16 and under). Parking on the VA grounds costs $5. UCLA's baseball concession stand is stocked with hot dogs, peanuts, nachos, chili, sodas and much more classic ballpark food. Fans can purchase a 'Family Four-Pack Friday' plan for $24 dollars on Friday night home games - $24 covers four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and one family popcorn. 'Family Four-Pack' promotional plans can be purchase at the baseball stadium's ticket office on the day of the game.
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
All remaining regular season UCLA baseball games, including this weekend's three-game Pac-10 series against USC, will be broadcast live online at uclabruins.com. UCLA's John Ramey will provide the play-by-play and will be accompanied by color commentators Nick Theodorou and Danny Rees. In addition, fans can follow the action online through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
UCLA continues its Pac-10 schedule with a three-game series at home this weekend against USC. The Bruins have won 10 of the last 13 meetings against the Trojans, including three of the last four season series. Most recently, UCLA downed the Trojans, 6-1, before 14,588 fans in a non-conference game at Dodger Stadium on Feb. 28, earlier this season. UCLA snapped a 1-1 tie on a two-run single up the middle by Justin Uribe in the bottom of the seventh inning before adding three more runs in the eighth inning for the 6-1 victory.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
UCLA enters the weekend tied for second place in the Pac-10 standings (10-8) with Stanford (Bruins own tiebreak by virtue of winning the season series over Stanford, 2-1). UCLA and Stanford each trail conference leader Arizona State by four games. The Bruins have 11 games to play in the regular season, including nine Pac-10 games to take place over the next three weekends - vs. USC (May 14-16), at California (May 21-23) and vs. Washington State (May 28-30). UCLA has finished third in the Pac-10 each of the last four seasons.
The Bruins have gone 34-11, marking UCLA's highest win total since going 35-29 in 2004, following a 2-2 showing at the NCAA Regional in Oklahoma City. In his sixth season at UCLA, head coach John Savage has reached the 34-win mark for the second time in nine years as a collegiate head coach - he led UC Irvine to a 34-23-1 overall record in 2004, his third season with the Anteaters. No UCLA team has been 24 games over the .500 plateau since 1997, when the Bruins finished 45-21-1 after advancing to the College World Series.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Center fielder Beau Amaral earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors Monday, after helping lead UCLA to a 4-0 record last week by hitting .500 (7-for-14). He had one home run, three doubles, five runs and three walks in four games. He reached base safely in all five plate apperances in a 5-1 win at Pepperdine on Tuesday, going 3-for-3 with two doubles. Amaral belted a solo homer in a 1-for-3 effort Friday and went 2-for-3 with one double and two runs Saturday. The resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., has compiled a 13-game hitting streak.
WATCH LIST REVISED
UCLA sophomore starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer have been named to the 2010 National Pitcher of the Year Award's revised watch list, as announced last week by the College Baseball Foundation. Cole was on the list during the preseason, while Bauer has been added to the revised 25-man watch list. Both Bruin pitchers were named preseason third-team All-America selections by Collegiate Baseball. Cole and Bauer are two of four Pac-10 pitchers on the revised watch list, joining Arizona's Kurt Heyer and Arizona State's Seth Blair.
In the latest polls, five Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top-25 by at least one of five publications. Baseball America includes Arizona State (3), UCLA (11), Oregon (22) and Stanford (25) in its weekly poll, while California has been included by Yahoo! Sports/Rivals.com and Collegiate Baseball. UCLA has gone 7-6 against ranked teams (week of game) by Baseball America. The Bruins ascended to No. 1 (week of April 12-18 by Baseball America and Yahoo! Sports/Rivals.com) for the first time during the regular season since March 3, 1997.
UCLA dropped a 2-1 decision at UC Irvine on Tuesday night, losing for just the third time in 27 non-conference games this season. Likewise, Tuesday's setback marked UCLA's third loss in 19 games played away from home. Garett Claypool was saddled with his second loss despite limiting UC Irvine to two runs and six hits through six innings. The Bruins' offense mustered just four hits, as Beau Amaral extended his season-high hitting streak to 13 games. Matt Drummond and Erik Goeddel combined to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
Slated to start Friday against USC, sophomore Gerrit Cole leads the Pac-10 with 104 strikeouts, ranking fourth in opponent batting average (.184) and ninth in ERA (2.79). He improved to 7-2 last Friday, facing the minimum 15 batters through the first five innings in UCLA's 7-2 victory. Cole scattered three hits and allowed two runs in eight-plus innings, notching nine strikeouts and two walks. He has become the first UCLA pitcher to strike out 100 or more batters in consecutive seasons since Jim Parque accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1997.
THE BAUER FILE
Sophomore Trevor Bauer earned his seventh victory on Saturday, helping lead the Bruins past Washington, 14-6, in what had been a closely-contested ballgame until UCLA scored seven runs in the top of the ninth. Bauer (7-3) recorded six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings, pushing his season strikeout total to 98, the second-most among Pac-10 pitchers. Entering this weekend, Bauer ranks third in the conference with 80.2 innings and is tied with six pitchers for fifth in the Pac-10 with seven victories.
Junior Rob Rasmussen has started each of UCLA's 12 weekend finales, going 7-2 with a 3.49 ERA. Rasmussen, who hails from Arcadia, Calif., has registered 82 strikeouts and 23 walks in 64.1 innings, limiting the opposition to a .234 batting average. Headed into the weekend, Rasmussen ranks fifth among Pac-10 pitchers with 82 strikeouts and 10th with a .234 opponent batting average. After having not earned a decision in his first three starts, Rasmussen secured the victory in his next six starts (March 14-April 18).
Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein leads UCLA with nine saves, tied for the second-highest total of any Pac-10 pitcher, and has posted a 2.02 ERA in a team-high 27 appearances (all in relief). Klein was named to the Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List in mid-April by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association (NCBWA). A product of Servite High School (Anaheim), Klein has collected 43 strikeouts and issued just seven walks in 35.2 innings. He ranks third (in a three-way tie) on UCLA's single-season saves list.
UCLA's four starting pitchers (Garett Claypool, Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer and Rob Rasmussen) each picked up their team-leading seventh win of the season one week ago. No UCLA team has had four or more pitchers earn seven or more victories since 1967 (Rob Kester and Guy Hansen with 10, Bob Boyer 9, Bob Wiswell 8). The Bruins lead the Pac-10 with 476 strikeouts (67 ahead of Arizona State's 409). UCLA currently ranks third in ERA (3.04) and first in opponent batting average (.219). UCLA's weekend starters rank first, second and fifth, respectively, in strikeouts - Cole (104), Bauer (98) and Rasmussen (82).
Seniors Blair Dunlap and Justin Uribe have been atop UCLA's hitting charts all season long, as Uribe currently leads the Bruins with a .357 batting average. Uribe has logged a .314 career batting average in 142 games (120 starts), while Dunlap has batted .298 with 16 home runs, five triples and 44 doubles in 180 career games. Dunlap currently ranks fifth on the team with a .335 batting average. Dunlap is second on the team with 54 hits and is tied for third with 30 runs. His 44 career doubles are tied for ninth-most in UCLA's record book.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla has started at second base in 44 of the Bruins' 45 games this season. He enters the weekend series against USC game ranking fourth on the team in batting average (.339). Rahmatulla is tied for the team lead (with Niko Gallego) with 35 runs scored and leads all Bruins with 56 hits. His 33 RBI are second to Dean Espy's 34 runs batted in, his nine stolen bases trail Gallego's team-leading 16 swipes, and his 30 walks are one short of Cody Keefer's team-high 31 free passes.
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 six strikeouts shy of UCLA's top-10 single-season list. The right-hander from Santa Ana, Calif., needs six to tie Bill Brasher's 110-strikeout total from 1966 and nine to move into sixth place on the single-season list (ahead of Gary Robson's 112-strikeout total from 1972). Pete Janicki owns the Bruins' single-season strikeout record, having logged 150 punchouts in 1992. Cole is currently 41 strikeouts shy of UCLA's career top-10 list (Hector Ambriz, 249 strikeouts from 2003-06).