UCLA Baseball Continues Homestand Tuesday Against No. 7 UC Irvine

April 7, 2008

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LOS ANGELES - UCLA hosts No. 7 UC Irvine on Tuesday evening, as the Bruins play their fifth game of a 13-game homestand. Last season, UCLA dropped a 5-4 decision to the Anteaters at home (April 10) and won at UC Irvine, 4-2 (May 1). Sophomore right-hander Garett Claypool will make his eighth career start, his third against the Anteaters.

The Bruins host a three-game series against UC Riverside on April 11-13. Last spring, the non-conference foes split two Tuesday evening meetings. UCLA downed UC Riverside, 3-2, in the Bruins' seventh regular-season game (Feb. 13) and lost at UC Riverside, 3-1 (April 24). The Highlanders won two of three games last weekend against Long Beach State. UC Riverside hosts San Diego on Tuesday before hitting the road to play the Toreros in San Diego on Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 8 - 6 p.m. - at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCI's Christian Bergman, RHP, So. (4-0, 1.08) vs. UCLA's Garett Claypool, RHP, So. (1-0, 4.61)

Friday, April 11 - 6 p.m. - at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCR's Stephen Penney, RHP, Jr. (3-2, 2.72) vs. UCLA's Tim Murphy, LHP, Jr. (2-2, 3.44)

Saturday, April 12 - 2 p.m. - at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCR's Matt Larkins, RHP, Fr. (4-1, 3.37 ERA) vs. UCLA's Charles Brewer, RHP, So. (3-3, 5.03)

Sunday, April 13 - 1 p.m. - at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCR's Paul Bargas, LHP, So. (1-3, 4.98) vs. UCLA's Gavin Brooks, LHP, So. (2-2, 5.61)

UCLA has recorded a 6-5 record against UC Irvine since the Anteaters revived their baseball program in 2002. Overall, the Bruins have logged a 39-21-1 record against UC Irvine. Head coach John Savage arrived at UCLA after serving as head coach at UC Irvine from 2002-2004 - Savage led the Anteaters to a 4-0 record against UCLA in three seasons. As the Bruins' head coach, Savage has guided UCLA to a 6-1 mark against UC Irvine. The Bruins and Anteaters will meet again at UC Irvine on Tuesday, May 13.

This spring, the Bruins play four teams which advanced to the 2007 College World Series in Omaha, Neb. In addition to two games against UC Irvine, which made its first NCAA Division I College World Series appearance last June, the Bruins' schedule features three games against Cal State Fullerton, three games at home versus Arizona State and three contests at Oregon State. One year ago, UCLA played 11 games (nine during the regular season) against teams that advanced to the 2006 College World Series.

Right-hander Garett Claypool makes his ninth career start Tuesday against UC Irvine and carries a 1-0 record and 4.61 ERA into the mid-week contest. Claypool has recorded 12 strikeouts and issued 15 walks in 13.2 innings this season. In his career as a starting pitcher, the West Hills, Calif., resident has logged a 1.82 ERA and 4-0 record, totaling 26 strikeouts and 11 walks (all starts in mid-week games). Last Tuesday, Claypool limited San Diego State to one run and one hit in five innings, striking out five hitters in a 6-2 win.

All UCLA home games can be listened to and viewed online at uclabruins.com. Danny Lee and Tim Wilhelm have the call at UCLA's official athletics website. Audio broadcasts of road series Oregon State (May 9-11) and California (May 23-25) will be carried live online. All remaining regular-season games can be followed live through CSTV's GameTracker, available at uclabruins.com.

UCLA's six-game winning streak against crosstown rival USC was snapped Friday, as the Trojans defeated the Bruins, 6-1. USC won two of three games over the weekend, as both teams split four games during the regular season. The Trojans earned a 7-4 win Saturday, before UCLA responded with a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon. In 2006 and 2007, UCLA captured the season series against its crosstown rival - the Bruins won two of three games at home in 2006 and swept USC at Dedeaux Field in 2007.

Alden Carrithers hit at a .429 clip in four games last week, going 6-for-14 with two home runs, six RBI, four runs and one stolen base. The senior from Portland, Ore., has posted a seven-game hit streak after having recorded a team-best 10-game hit streak earlier in the season. Carrithers has recorded at least one hit in 22 of 26 games and leads the Bruins with 12 multi-hit efforts. Carrithers currently leads the Bruins with a .394 batting average, 41 hits, 104 at-bats, 21 runs (tied), eight doubles, three triples, 25 RBI, 64 total bases, .615 slugging percentage and 11 stolen bases.

The Bruins have posted a 10-1 record when scoring five or more runs. When scoring three runs or fewer, UCLA has logged a 1-9 mark. UCLA has scored 10 or more runs in six games this spring. The Bruins scored a season-high 20 runs at Arizona (March 29), pounding out a season-best 22 hits and totaling 17 RBI in the Pac-10 victory. UCLA also scored 22 runs in a currently-suspended game at Cal State Northridge - that game will be resumed in the bottom of the eighth innning on April 15 (4:30 p.m.), when the Matadors travel to Jackie Robinson Stadium for the final regular-season affair between both teams (6 p.m. start).

- John Savage stands five victories shy of 100 as UCLA's head baseball coach (95-106 record).
- UCLA's remaining schedule features 16 Pac-10 games and 10 non-conference contests.
- The Bruins will conclude the season playing eight of 11 games away from Jackie Robinson Stadium.
- UCLA's pitching staff has logged two shutouts through the first 26 games.
- Each weekend starter has had at least one outing of eight innings or longer this spring.
- Five diffferent pitchers have tallied two or more victories - Charles Brewer leads the staff with three.

First baseman Casey Haerther recorded a UCLA record seven hits in seven plate appearances in a 20-8 win at Arizona (March 29). Haerther registered career highs with four doubles, four runs and four RBI and established the single game record for most hits by a Pac-10 player. The Chatsworth, Calif., resident finished the weekend going 9-for-14 (.643) with four doubles, one home run, six RBI and 16 total bases. In the final two games at Arizona, Haerther raised his batting average 85 points (.203 to .288).

Junior left-hander Tim Murphy leads the Bruins' staff with 57 strikeouts, averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Murphy logged 10 strikeouts in 7.1 innings last Friday against USC, limiting the Trojans to three runs (two earned) and six hits. In his second start of the spring (Friday, March 1), Murphy hurled the first complete game shutout by a Bruin since Feb. 25, 2005 (Hector Ambriz, vs. Pacific). In eight appearances this spring (seven starts) Murphy has compiled a 2-2 record and 3.44 ERA. Murphy has also posted a .308 batting average, making two starts as the designated hitter and two starts in center field.

Brandon Crawford, the Bruins' slick-fielding shortstop, has posted a .311 batting average, totaling 32 hits, 20 runs, 18 RBI and eight stolen bases. In his third season, Crawford has started all 145 games, registering a .324 batting average, 15 home runs, 10 triples, 34 doubles and 112 runs. The junior from Pleasanton, Calif., was one of 75 players to be named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List. At season's end, the Golden Spikes Award is presented to the top college baseball player. Crawford was also named a second-team preseason All-American by Baseball America and a third-team preseason All-America selection by Louisville Slugger and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

Right-hander Jason Novak notched his first collegiate save in UCLA's 4-2 win over USC on Sunday, inducing Roberto Lopez to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Novak entered the game with runners at first and second base and one out. USC's Grant Green reached on an infield single before Novak prompted Lopez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. In four appearances this spring (3.2 innings), the junior from Agoura, Calif., has allowed two runs and six hits. Novak has made 51 appearances in three seasons, including four starts as a freshman in 2006.

Left-hander Brendan Lafferty has made a team-high 13 appearances through 26 games. Lafferty collected his second save of the year in UCLA's 20-8 win at Arizona, hurling three scoreless innings while striking out four hitters. Lafferty has compiled a 1-1 record and 4.45 ERA in 28.1 innings, the fourth-highest total on the club. Lafferty has recorded 24 strikeouts and issued 11 walks. The Riverside, Calif., resident has competed with UCLA longer than any other player (only current player from the 2005 squad). Lafferty made 15 appearances in 2005, redshirted the 2006 season, and led the team with 25 appearances last spring.

Junior Ryan Babineau has been named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list, as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. The award is given annually to the top Division-I collegiate catcher. Babineau has caught more games than any Pac-10 catcher (134), making 131 starts. Babineau has committed two errors in 1,067 chances (.998 pct.), throwing out 36 of 90 attempted base stealers (40.0 pct). This season, opponents have attemped to steal eight times (four successfully) on Babineau in 18 games. At the plate, Babineau has posted a career .263 average with 11 home runs, 71 RBI and 68 runs. As a freshman in 2006, Babineau earned All-Pac-10 team honors. Last spring, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native was named an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection.

Three of the Bruins' games this spring have extended into extra innings, including two of the team's first three contests. UCLA lost a 12-inning game, 3-2, to Oklahoma in the nightcap of a season-opening doubleheader on Feb. 23. The Bruins outlasted UC Santa Barbara, 5-4, in 13 innings on Feb. 27, a game that lasted five hours and 35 minutes. UCLA edged Arizona, 4-3, in 10 innings on March 28 in the Bruins' Pac-10 season opener. Last season, UCLA did not play any extra frames. The Bruins last played an extra inning game of 13 innings or longer on April 18, 2003, when UCLA won at Arizona State, 8-7 (13 innings).

Baseball America tabbed UCLA as its preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 Conference. The national baseball publication predicts the Bruins to finish ahead of Arizona, Oregon State and Arizona State, respectively. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, outfielder Gabe Cohen and left-handed starter Gavin Brooks were named preseason All-Pac-10 selections by Baseball America. The publication listed Rob Rasmussen as one of the five top newcomers and pegged Crawford and left-hander Tim Murphy as the second- and sixth-best pro prospects in this year's draft class. Baseball America listed Jermaine Curtis as the conference's best defensive third baseman and Brandon Crawford as the Pac-10's best defensive shortstop.

All season long, tickets to Tuesday evening games at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium will cost just two dollars. The promotion began on Tuesday, March 11, in an 11-3 victory over Pepperdine. The remaining Tuesday night games include non-conference opponents UC Irvine (April 8), Cal State Northridge (April 15), UNLV (April 22) and San Diego (May 6). Other upcoming promotions at Jackie Robinson Stadium include Faculty and Staff Day on Friday, April 4 - faculty and staff members are eligible to receive four free tickets to Friday's game by showing either their Bruin card or a recent paycheck stub. Bruin School Days is slated for Saturday afternoon and Alumni Appreciation Day takes place on Sunday.

UCLA was selected third out of nine teams in the Pac-10 preseason coaches' poll. The Bruins were picked to finish behind Arizona and Arizona State, respectively. Arizona picked up six of nine first-place votes, and Arizona State recorded the other three first-place votes. Last season, UCLA was picked fourth in the preseason coaches' poll and finished third with a 14-10 mark in Pac-10 ballgames.

Sophomore outfielder/left-handed pitcher Justin Uribe will miss the remainder of the 2008 season with a left elbow injury (torn UCL). Uribe's season-ending injury will require surgery. Freshman left-hander Rob Rasmussen will miss 2-3 weeks with a fractured left foot (return expected late April). Rasmussen sustained the injury on a line drive in the third inning against UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 27). Freshman right-hander Dan Klein remains inactive with shoulder soreness. Freshman outfielder Jeff Rapoport (shoulder) missed the 2007 season with a shoulder injury and may return later this spring. Freshman right-hander Erik Goeddel (elbow) and junior right-hander Tim Schlatter (shoulder) remain sidelined.

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