UCLA Baseball Hosts No. 19 Ole Miss
March 9, 2006
UCLA vs. No. 19 Ole Miss - Jackie Robinson Stadium, Friday, March 10 at 6 p.m., Hector Ambriz, RHP (2-3, 4.25) vs. Tommy Baumgardner, LHP (2-1, 2.95)
UCLA vs. No. 19 Ole Miss - Jackie Robinson Stadium, Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m., Dave Huff, LHP (2-2, 2.65) vs. Cody Satterwhite, RHP (3-0, 2.40)
UCLA vs. No. 19 Ole Miss - Jackie Robinson Stadium, Sunday March 12 at 1 p.m., Tyson Brummett, RHP (2-3, 4.55) vs. Lance Lynn, RHP (1-0, 1.93)
Get After It: The UCLA baseball team (9-10) returns home to Jackie Robinson Stadium after a seven-game road swing to host the No. 19 Ole Miss Rebels (9-4) for a three-game series beginning Friday, March 10 at 6 p.m. The Bruins will face their fifth-consecutive nationally ranked opponent in Ole Miss, a team UCLA has not played since 1969.
Pepperdine Recap: UCLA took a season-best four-game road winning streak against ranked opponents to Malibu, Calif., in a matchup against the No. 23/24 Pepperdine Waves on Tuesday and lost 6-1. The Waves took advantage of five free passes to post four runs in the third inning and added two more runs in the seventh, while Eric Taylor, Jr. nailed a pinch hit home run to left field to lead off the ninth inning for the Bruins' only run of the game.
About the Rebels: The University of Mississippi Rebels enter this weekend's series with a 9-4 record, and a No. 19 ranking by Baseball America. The Rebels are coming off a 7-6 loss to Murray State at home on Wednesday. Ole Miss has yet to play a game this season on the road, and will get their first shot at an opponent away from Swayze Field this weekend with the Bruins. The Rebels own a .327 (145-443) team batting average, with nine home runs, 97 RBI, 102 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 25 attempts. On the mound, the Ole Miss pitching staff carries a 2.38 team ERA with 106 strikeouts in 117.0 innings of work, while holding opponents to a .230 batting average. Head coach Mike Bianco is in his sixth year at the helm of the Ole Miss baseball program.
The Ole Miss-UCLA Series: Friday's game between the Bruins and the Rebels will mark only the second meeting ever between both schools in the history of the two programs. The only prior game Ole Miss and UCLA have played was April 4, 1969, a 5-2 Bruin win over the Rebels at the National Collegiate Tournament in Riverside, Calif. UCLA will travel Oxford, Miss., for the first time in school history next season.
Road Warriors: UCLA ended its season-long seven-game road swing at Pepperdine on Tuesday, posting a 4-3 record on the trip. All seven of the games in the nearly two-week long road trip were against ranked opponents. The Bruins dropped two games at No. 9 Cal State Fullerton, won for the first time since 1995 at Blair Field over No. 15 Long Beach State, completed a sweep of No. 17 NC State, and lost at No. 23 Pepperdine. UCLA is 6-4 on the road this season.
Welcome Back: UCLA will follow up its seven-game road swing with a seven-game home stand beginning Friday against Ole Miss. The Bruins will face Ole Miss, UNLV, and San Diego State over the next 10 days at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
No Cupcakes: This weekend's series will mark the 10th, 11th, and 12th-consecutive game the Bruins have played against ranked competition, with 18 of the Bruins 22 games this season coming against ranked teams after Sunday's finale. So far this season, UCLA is 7-8 against nationally ranked teams.
Winning The Close Ones: UCLA was involved in its first one-run ball game last Saturday, and came out with a 5-4 win over NC State. Prior to that game, the Bruins were 1-4 in games decided by two runs.
Home Run Tear: The UCLA bats have been on a long ball tear as of late, hitting at least one home run in each of the last six-consecutive games. The Bruins blasted 10 home runs in a week's span (five games), upping the team home run number to 19 on the season. 11 different Bruins have smacked round-trippers so far this season, with five players already owning two-or-more home runs on the year (Ambriz 2, Decker 2, Jensen 4, McMillan 2, Stewart 3). UCLA is 7-3 this season when a Bruin homers in a game.
Sacking Up: Eric Taylor, Jr. stepped up big for the Bruins in Tuesday's game at Pepperdine. UCLA was within one inning of being shutout for the third time this season, but Taylor prevented that with one swing of the bat. The Laguna Niguel, Calif., native drove a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to lead off the ninth inning and give UCLA its only run of the game, while extending the Bruins' home run streak to six-consecutive games.
Brummett Honored: UCLA junior RHP Tyson Brummett was named the Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 28-March 6, Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen announced Tuesday.
Brummett, from Salem, Utah, receives his first career Pac-10 honor after posting his second victory of the season by tossing a gem against No. 17 NC State on Sunday, clinching UCLA's first three-game series road sweep since the 2000 season in a 13-2 Bruin win.
Brummett went 8.0 innings with a season-best 12 strikeouts, allowing just one earned run on six hits and no walks. Brummett shut down a Wolfpack offense that entered the week batting .387 (195-504) as a team with 16 home runs, 42 doubles, 152 RBI, 171 runs scored (in 14 games), a slugging percentage of .585, and an on-base percentage of .498. He also help put an end to NC State third baseman Matt Mangini's 16-game hit streak (Mangini went 0-3 against Brummett with two strikeouts), as he entered the series with UCLA batting .673 (37-55) with four home runs, 30 RBI, and 20 runs scored.
On the season, Brummett is 2-3 with a 4.55 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 29.2 innings pitched.
Brummett's selection is the 38th Pac-10 honor all-time for UCLA.
Stepping Up: Junior Hector Ambriz has played big for the Bruins in his last five games. Ambriz is currently riding a season-best four-game hit streak in which he is hitting .438 (7-16) with two home runs, six RBI, and two runs scored. On the mound, Ambriz is 1-0 with a save in his last two appearances. Last week at Long Beach State, Ambriz notched his first save of the season pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. Last Friday at NC State, he tossed 6.2 innings allowing two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts to earn the win. Ambriz is currently second on the squad with a .346 (18-52) batting average.
Bailamos: Junior Paul Oseguera has become a valuable arm out of the bullpen for the Bruins. Last week against Long Beach State in the bottom of the eighth inning, Oseguera came in the game to record a crucial double-play to end a Dirtbag scoring threat. At NC State, Oseguera was virtually untouchable against the Wolfpack. Last Friday, he tossed 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four to record his first save of the season. Last Saturday, he worked 0.2 innings in the bottom of the ninth recording two strikeouts to earn his second-consecutive save.
Bring It: This season, UCLA isn't backing down from anyone which shows in the toughness of its schedule. The Bruins are set to play 32 games scheduled against teams that competed in the NCAA Regional Championships last season, with 11 teams listed in this year's preseason top-25 rankings.
UCLA will take on 12 teams that competed in the NCAA Regional Championships last year (Miami, Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, NC State, Ole Miss, UNLV, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Stanford, and Oregon State), and will have 18 games during the season against NCAA Super Regional participants (Miami, Cal State Fullerton, Ole Miss, Arizona State, USC, Oregon State).
The Bruins' tough schedule was noted with the No. 1 strength of schedule nod by Boyd's World, a baseball statistics internet site.
Up Next: The Bruins will host UNLV on Tuesday, March 14 at 6 p.m., before hosting San Diego State for a three-game series beginning Friday, March 17 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.