Bruins Host Florida Atlantic In Three Game Series

Feb. 6, 2002

This Week: Friday, February 8, UCLA vs. Florida Atlantic, 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 9, UCLA vs. Florida Atlantic, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 10, UCLA vs. Florida Atlantic, 1:00 p.m.

Next Week: Monday, February 11, UCLA at Loyola Marymount, 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 13, UCLA at Hawaii-Hilo, 8:00 p.m. PST
Thursday, February 14, UCLA at Hawaii-Hilo (at Kona), 2:00 p.m. PST
Friday, February 15, UCLA at Hawaii, 8:35 p.m. PST
Saturday, February 16, UCLA at Hawaii, 2:05 p.m. PST
Sunday, February 17, UCLA at Hawaii, 3:05 p.m. PST

Adams Two Victories Away From Milestone: After picking up two wins last weekend, Bruin Head Coach Gary Adams has compiled a 898-729-7 record at UCLA and is only two victories away from reaching the 900-win mark. He looks to reach that milestone this weekend when the Bruins host Florida Atlantic in a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Blue Wave is 1-2 after a three game series last weekend with Bethune-Cookman.

Ben Francisco Named UCLABruins.Com Student-Athlete of the Week: Junior centerfielder Ben Francisco was named UCLA athlete of the week after he batted .562 with two home runs and 9 RBI last week in four games. He has a 1.062 slugging % and hit two doubles. This is his first athlete of the week honor of his career.

Bruins Win First Series: UCLA won its first series of the year against Gonzaga. The Bruins won game one behind strong pitching by Mike Kunes and Kyle Wilson. The junior lefty allowed just one earned run in 5.0 IP in his first start of the year, and the newcomer Wilson allowed just a single run to pick up the first save of his career. Casey Janssen went 3-for-4 with two RBI and the bottom three in the order all went 2-for-4. The offense was present, but the pitching struggled in Saturday's game, as the Bruins allowed 14 runs on 16 hits. Freshman David Johnson was tagged with the loss as he allowed the final four runs of the game (only two were earned). Adam Berry had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with UCLA's first home run of the season and double. Ben Francisco also gathered three hits and scored twice. Sunday's game was a different story. The Bruins were finally able to pull together the hitting and the pitching, Casey Janssen had a solid pitching performance, allowing just two runs in 5.0 IP, and Francisco had a career day at the plate. He was 4-for-4 with two home runs (a two-run shot and a grand slam) to finish with a career-high six RBI. He also had a double and scored four times.

Hot Bats In Opening Series: The Bruins are batting .317 after four games, and hit .366 in the Gonzaga series. Four batters are hitting above .400, led by Ben Francisco's .562 average. Ryan Rasmussen (.429), Casey Janssen (.417) and Josh Arhart (.400) are all hitting well. In addition, freshman Kevin Conlin (.357) is also finding success at the plate early in his collegiate career.

Season Opener: The 2002 season got off to a rocky start when the Bruins fell to UC Irvine, 6-4. The pitchers looked strong, as Chris Cordeiro allowed just two earned runs and struck out five in 4.0 innings in his first career start. Mike Davern pitched the final two innings well, not allowing a hit or a walk. The Bruin offense struggled though, striking out 13 times in its first game. In seven innings, the Bruins sent the minimum three batters to the plate. Freshmen Kevin Conlin (3B) and Wes Whisler (1B) became the first freshmen to start in the opener since 1999 when Randall Shelley (1999-2001) started at the hot corner.

Alumni day: The 2002 UCLA Bruins began the season with a 7-0 win over the UCLA Pros at the annual Alumni Game last Saturday. The game was scoreless after three innings, but the 2002 team erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, including home runs by Casey Janssen and Wes Whisler.Nick Lyon, Doug Silva and Kyle Wilson combined to shutout the pros, and allowed just two hits. Wilson struck out the side in the top of the fifth to preserve the win.Jon Brandt and Tim Leary held the 2002 team scoreless in three innings, but the bats caught fire in the fourth. After Bobby Roe struck out Brandon Averill, Josh Arhart doubled down the left field line. Janssen then hit a home run to center field to give the 2002 team a 2-0 lead. After Roe got the best of his former teammate Adam Berry, freshman Whisler hit another home run to right field. Casey Grzecka (double), Ryan McCarthy (walk), Ryan Rasmussen (single), Preston Griffin (single) all scored. Matt Thayer hit a double to send the final two runs home.Participants for the Pro team were: Dave Roberts, Nick Theodorou, Adam Melhuse, Troy Glaus, Ryan McGuire, Tim DeCinces, Jack Santora, Brian Baron, Bill Scott, Eric Valent, Chase Utley, Matt Pearl, Josh Canales, Eric Reece, Brandt, Leary and Roe.Earlier in the day, current Bruin assistant coach Vince Beringhele won the home run hitting contest, hitting four out of the park. Melhuse came in second with three home runs.

Talented But Inexperienced Bruins: The Bruin roster features 21 players who are freshman or sophomores this year. Of the 10 opening day starters, six were sophomores or freshman, including two true freshman at the corners of the infield. The Bruins lost eight seniors and two juniors from the 2001 season, including their top four starting pitchers. Seven players from the 2001 roster are now playing professional baseball, including Josh Karp who was the sixth pick overall of the draft, chosen by the Montreal Expos.Of the sophomores in the opening day starting lineup, only Preston Griffin was a regular starter in 2001. Brandon Averill started 13 games at third base, but moved to left field this season, a position he has never played before. Casey Janssen played 13 games as a pitcher, but only had nine at-bats in 2001. His first one was a memorable one, hitting a two-run home run in his first career appearance. Starting pitcher Chris Cordeiro pitched just 15.1 innings in 2001, second-fewest on the team. But despite the lack of experience, the team features talented youngsters that should improve as they gain experience.

Captains: Josh Arhart, Adam Berry and Ben Francisco have been named team captains for the 2002 season. Berry, a fifth year senior, has been a regular contributor the last three seasons, and Francisco earned All-Pac-10 honors in 2001. Arhart is a team leader behind the dish.

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