UCLA Participates at SoCal Baseball Media Day

Jan. 17, 2007

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Long Beach, Calif. - Head coach John Savage and sophomore Ryan Babineau represented the UCLA baseball program at SoCal Baseball Media Day at Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The morning's events featured two media sessions - one featuring each school's head coach speaking before members of the print media, and a second session highlighted by one-on-one interviews with College Sports Television (CSTV).

Head Coach John Savage's Media Day Quotes

on SoCal Baseball Media Day
'This event gives great credence to southern California baseball and to all the coaches and players - it's great to have all these coaches and players here to speak before the public. That brings a lot of notoriety to southern California baseball.

on strength of schedule
'If you look at Boyd's World, which is a strength of schedule ranking, I think we have nine of the top 10 schedules in the country sitting in this room. I believe that of all 13 programs here today, their strength of schedules are all ranked in the top 35. I'm not here to tell you how great my schedule is. I think that everybody's schedule is fantastic, and we're talking about non-league and conference, whether that's the Pac-10, the Big West or the West Coast Conference. There's a lot of competition out there, and it's a credit to all the coaches and their universities to bring in quality opponents from the ACC, the SEC, the Big 12 and a variety of different conferences. We all know that it comes down to strength of schedule, RPI, where you finish in your conference and the last 10 games. The bottom line is that it's a really a credit to all the coaches.

on UCLA's offense
'We're very excited about our team. It's kind of a turnaround from last year. We had 12 guys selected in the Major League Draft last year. We did start six freshmen at the [Malibu] Regional last year. They are all position players. We did lose two arms. There were five first-round arms in the Pac-10 last year, and our Saturday guy was one of them. I think that the conference lost a lot of good arms. Our strength last year was the pitching, and we led the conference in defense. This year, I think it's somewhat of a u-turn. We're pretty optimistic on the offensive side. We feel pretty good about our left-handed hitters and our right-handed hitters. We've got some speed and some power. I think we hope that there will be much more offense coming out of Jackie Robinson [Stadium] this year. We have a young offense, but we feel that it's very talented.

on UCLA's pitching staff
'The big question for us is pitching. We have our Sunday starter from last year back in Tyson Brummett, and he looks to be our Friday guy. We have Charles Brewer, a very accomplished high school pitcher out of Scottsdale, Arizona. He's very good and looks to be our Saturday guy. And then it's a battle to see who is going to be our Sunday pitcher. Our bullpen looks to be our strong suit, in terms of our pitching point of view. We'll have Kevin Brophy and Brant Rustich. Brant was one of the 12 guys drafted last year that will be back. He was a 13th-round pick by the Cleveland Indians. Brant will be our closer. He had surgery that ended his season in mid-February last year. It was similar to the surgery that Adam Eaton had - at the end of his middle finger. He looks to be healthy and 100 percent, and he'll be back to be our closer. We've got a competitive schedule and a lot of optimism, and we're really looking forward to this season.'

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