Brian Baron's .519 Batting Average Leads Nation
April 10, 2001
LOS ANGELES - UCLA senior designated hitter Brian Baron (Newhall, CA/Hart HS) continues to hit at a record pace this season. In 31 games and 129 at-bats, he is hitting .519 with 67 hits. Through April 8, his .519 batting average leads the nation. It rose 10 points from last week even after facing one of the toughest pitching staffs in the nation at No. 1 Stanford.
He had a 21 game hitting streak halted on March 13 when he went 0-for-1 with three walks and a sacrifice fly against Cal State Northridge. He has hit in every single other game that he has played in this year. He has six four-hit games- 4-for-4 at Hawaii (2/1), 4-for-4 vs. Loyola Marymount (2/6), 4-for-5 at Pepperdine (2/20), 4-for-5 at North Carolina (3/2), 4-for-6 at Washington State (3/30) and 4-for-5 vs. Pepperdine (4/3).
His average has dropped below .500 at only one point this season. He went 2-for-8 in the final two games in the non-conference series against USC to drop his average to .465, but he went 4-for-5 two days later against Pepperdine to raise it to .500 and he hasn't dropped below since.
In addition, Baron is on pace to break the UCLA single season hits record. He already has 67 hits in 31 games, averaging 2.16 hits per game. With 25 games left in UCLA's regular season, Baron is on pace to have 121 hits, passing Bill Scott who hit 112 in 2000.
UCLA's schedule is among the toughest in the nation. The Bruins have played No. 1 Stanford, then-No. 1 USC, Tulane, Pepperdine, North Carolina and Arizona. The challenging schedule continues as UCLA will face Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, USC, California, Oregon State and Arizona State in the next few weeks.
One of the most impressive statistics in the Baron file is that he has only struck out eight times all season. He has 11 doubles and 28 RBI, good for first and third on the team, respectively.
Baron played his first two seasons at Northwestern University, hitting .375 and .349 as a freshman and sophomore, respectively. He transferred to UCLA in 1999 and hit .293 as a junior. He redshirted the 2000 season with a knee injury, but has been on a tear in his final season in Westwood.
Baron was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 46th round of the 2000 Major League draft, but elected to return to UCLA for his senior season.