No. 10 UCLA Baseball Heads North to Play at California
May 19, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 10 UCLA baseball team will play its final Pac-10 road series of the season at California (27-19, 11-10) this weekend. Friday's first pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m., while Saturday's and Sunday's games will begin at 1 p.m. Fans can listen to the action live, free of charge, all weekend at uclabruins.com. The Bruins (38-11, 13-8) enter the weekend in second place in the Pac-10 standings.
Friday, May 21 (2:30 p.m.) - at California's Evans Diamond
UCLA - Gerrit Cole, RHP, So. (8-2, 3.17)
California - Erik Johnson, RHP, So. (6-2, 3.48)
Saturday, May 22 (1 p.m.) - at California's Evans Diamond
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, So. (8-3, 2.98)
California - Justin Jones, LHP, Fr. (9-4, 3.76)
Sunday, May 23 (1 p.m.) - at California's Evans Diamond
UCLA - Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Jr. (7-2, 3.15)
California - Dixon Anderson, RHP, So. (4-2, 4.95)
HEADED TO BERKELEY
UCLA opens a three-game Pac-10 series at California, beginning Friday at Evans Diamond. The Bruins have just seven regular-season games to play before Selection Monday (May 31). Winners in seven of their last eight games, the Bruins have compiled a six-game win streak in Pac-10 play with consecutive sweeps of Washington (road) and USC (home). UCLA has gone 16-3 in games played away from Jackie Robinson Stadium, including Pac-10 series victories at then-No. 17 Oregon State (2-1), then-No. 17 Arizona (2-1) and Washington (3-0).
The Bruins have reeled off their second four-game win streak in as many weeks after sweeping a three-game Pac-10 series against USC last weekend before defeating UC Santa Barbara, 6-2, at home on Tuesday night. With a 4-0 record on the recent homestand, UCLA has pushed its home record to 22-8. The Bruins have not won 22 or more home contests since 1986, when UCLA went 23-12 in 35 games played at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA's 38 total wins are tied for the sixth-most regular-season victories in school history.
UCLA outscored USC, 30-10, in its three-game sweep last weekend at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Junior Brett Krill led the Bruins in the three-game series, batting .636 (7-for-11) with seven runs, four RBI, one homer, one triple and two doubles. UCLA collected its second three-game series sweep of USC in four years, having won all three games at Dedeaux Field in April 2007. The Bruins have won 13 of their last 16 games against the Trojans. UCLA has swept consecutive three-game Pac-10 series for the first time since April 1999.
STRONG ON SUNDAYS
Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen has gone 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA as UCLA's Sunday starter, limiting the opposition to a .232 batting average in 13 starts. Rasmussen held USC to one run and six hits in seven innings last Sunday, recording eight strikeouts and no walks in a no-decision. After opening the season with three no-decisions, Rasmussen earned the victory in each of his next six starts. The native of Arcadia, Calif., has recorded 90 strikeouts, the fourth-highest total in the Pac-10 through Tuesday, while issuing just 23 walks.
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 in early May by the College Baseball Foundation. Cole was on the preseason watch list, while Bauer was 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 (10), Oregon (22) and Washington State (24) in its weekly poll, while California has been included by 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.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
Sophomore Gerrit Cole ranks second among Pac-10 pitchers with 106 strikeouts, having gone 8-2 with a 3.17 ERA in 82.1 innings. Cole has earned the victory in each of his last two starts (at Washington, vs. USC) and ranks third in the Pac-10 with a .192 opponent batting average (through Sunday). In UCLA's 7-2 win at Washington two weeks ago, he limited the Huskies to two runs through eight-plus innings. Cole has become the first UCLA pitcher to strike out 100 or more batters in consecutive seasons since Jim Parque (1996-1997).
Freshman Beau Amaral had a 15-game hitting streak snapped in UCLA's 2-1 win over USC on Sunday. The Bruins' starting center field currently ranks second on the team with a .361 batting average. Since UCLA opens its season with 22 consecutive victories, Amaral has led the Bruins with a .379 batting average in that 27-game span. Amaral's .348 batting average in Pac-10 play is also tops on the team, as he is tied with sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla for most hits on the ballclub in Pac-10 action with 24.
THE BAUER FILE
Sophomore Trevor Bauer earned his eighth victory on Saturday, helping lead UCLA past USC, 15-2, in the second contest of a three-game Pac-10 series. Bauer (8-3) is one of seven Pac-10 pitchers to have earned eight or more victories (along with teammate Gerrit Cole), and moved into the conference strikeout lead with 109 punchouts. Through Tuesday's games, Bauer ranks eighth in the Pac-10 with a 2.98 ERA and is third with 87.2 innings. He has notched the win in each of his last two Pac-10 starts (at Washington, vs. USC).
Seniors Blair Dunlap and Justin Uribe have been two of UCLA's key offensive weapons all season. Uribe leads the Bruins with a .361 batting average through 49 games, while Dunlap ranks third with a .347 batting average. Dunlap has collected 60 hits, second-most on the ballclub, and tallied a team-high 17 doubles, pushing his career total to 45 (tied for eighth-most on UCLA's career doubles list). Uribe has batted .316 in 146 career games, while Dunlap has hit at a .301 clip in 183 career contests.
Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein leads UCLA with nine saves, third among Pac-10 pitchers, and has posted a 4-0 record and 1.86 ERA in a team-leading 30 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 struck out 44 batters and walked just seven in 37.2 innings. Klein's nine saves are tied for third-most on UCLA's single-season saves list.
UCLA's 2010 pitching staff has had four pitchers record seven or more victories for the first time since 1967 (Rob Kester and Guy Hansen with 10, Bob Boyer 9, Bob Wiswell 8). Sophomores Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer and senior Garett Claypool have each registered eight wins, while junior Rob Rasmussen has collected seven victories. The Bruins lead the Pac-10 with 519 strikeouts and have become the third UCLA team in program history to reach the 500-strikeout plateau. Last season, the Bruins finished their 56-game schedule with 509 strikeouts, while the Bruins' 2000 ballclub logged 531 strikeouts in 64 games.
RELIABLE IN RELIEF
Among UCLA's greatest assets in 2010 has been the team's bullpen. The relief corps has gone 8-2 with a 3.30 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .232 batting average in 144.1 innings. Right-handers Dan Klein and Erik Goeddel and left-hander Matt Grace have been the most utilized pitchers in relief. Goeddel has made 28 appearances, compiling a 2-0 record and 3.76 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 19 walks and one save in 38.1 innings. Grace has made 26 appearances, posting a 2.49 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla has started at second base in 48 of the Bruins' 49 games this season. The former standout at Mater Dei High School has batted .341 with team-highs of 62 hits, 37 RBI and 39 runs. Rahmatulla ranks second on the the ballclub with 15 doubles, 31 walks and 10 stolen bases. He currently stands seventh among Pac-10 hitters with 31 walks, while leading the Pac-10 with seven sacrifice flies. Rahmatulla has batted No. 3 in UCLA's lineup in 47 of the 48 games in which he has played.
Gerrit Cole stands four strikeouts shy of UCLA's top-10 single-season list. The right-hander from Santa Ana, Calif., needs four to tie Bill Brasher's 110-strikeout total from 1966 and seven 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 39 strikeouts shy of UCLA's career top-10 list (Hector Ambriz, 249 strikeouts from 2003-06).
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.
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).
TOMORROW | 1:00pm PTLive