No. 3 UCLA Baseball to Host Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday Night

April 5, 2010

Cal State Fullerton at UCLA - Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Video Preview

LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA baseball team takes on Cal State Fullerton under the lights at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday evening. Game time is 6 p.m. The Bruins (23-1) will hand the ball to senior right-hander Garett Claypool, who is scheduled to make his 26th career start and his first-ever start against the Titans (15-11). Cal State Fullerton will counter with junior left-hander Kevin Rath.

Tuesday, April 6 (6 p.m.) - at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
Cal State Fullerton - Kevin Rath, LHP, Jr. (1-1, 2.76)
UCLA - Garett Claypool, RHP, Sr. (3-0, 1.21)

Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium is located on the grounds of the West L.A. Veteran Administration, north of Wilshire Blvd. and west of the 405 Freeway. Admission to all Tuesday games costs $2 for adults and children. Fans can enter the stadium from Wilshire Blvd. (take ramp to Bonsalle Ave. on VA grounds, slightly west of Sepulveda Blvd.) or at the intersection of Sepulveda Blvd. and Constitution Ave. UCLA's baseball concession stand is stocked with hot dogs, peanuts, nachos, chili, sodas and much more classic ballpark food.

All home baseball games, including this weekend's three-game series against Oral Roberts, will be broadcast live on the Bruins' baseball website at UCLA's John Ramey will provide the play-by-play and will be accompanied throughout the year by color commentators Nick Theodorou and Danny Rees. In addition, fans can follow the action online through GameTracker, a pitch-by-pitch update of the game in progress on

UCLA earned a series victory over Stanford last weekend, winning two of three games against the Cardinal at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins won, 6-5, in 10 innings on Thursday night, securing a victory in their first extra-inning game of the season. UCLA's season-opening 22-game win streak came to an end Friday, as Stanford defeated the Bruins, 8-4. Left-hander Rob Rasmussen struck out eight batters in six innings to notch the victory on Saturday afternoon in UCLA's 7-5 win. The Bruins have opened their Pac-10 slate with a 2-1 record.

UCLA's series victory over Stanford last weekend marked the fourth consecutive season in which the Bruins have won their first Pac-10 series of the year. In 2007, UCLA swept Stanford on the road, outscoring the Cardinal by a 34-17 margin. In 2008, the Bruins won two of three games at Arizona. Last spring, UCLA opened its Pac-10 schedule by winning two of three games at USC. Last weekend, junior Dean Espy went 5-for-9 (.556) with two doubles and two runs, and freshman Cody Keefer batted .364 (4-for-11) with four walks.

UCLA's regular Tuesday starter, Garett Claypool, has had a strong four-year career pitching for the Bruins. Slated to make his 26th career start on Tuesday (all midweek games), Claypool has registered a 9-4 record with a 3.20 career ERA in 154.2 innings (64 appearances, 25 starts). The senior from West Hills, Calif., has struck out 144 batters and walked 64 in three-plus seasons. This spring, Claypool leads the Pac-10 with a 1.21 ERA while his .160 opponent batting average ranks third among Pac-10 pitchers.

Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein has registered a team-leading six saves as UCLA's closer. The native of Los Alamitos, Calif. (Servite HS), has not allowed any runs in 19.2 innings, limiting the opposition to 11 hits and a .164 batting average. Klein has collected 29 strikeouts and four walks in addition to posting a 2-0 record. In UCLA's four games last week, Klein went 1-0 with two saves, notching nine strikeouts and one walk in 4.2 innings. His six saves are tied for second-most among Pac-10 pitchers (with Washington's Adam Cimber).

Through April 4, UCLA leads the Pac-10 Conference in ERA (2.32), strikeouts (292), strikeouts per nine innings (12.2) and opponent batting average (.191). The Bruins' three weekend starters, in order - Gerrit Cole (61), Trevor Bauer (59) and Rob Rasmussen (55) - lead the Pac-10 in strikeouts. Gerrit Cole ranks first in opponent batting average (.157), Garett Claypool is third (.160), Rasmussen ranks sixth (.197) and Bauer is eighth (.204). Cole is tied with three other Pac-10 pitchers for the league lead in wins (6).

Through April 4, the Bruins rank second in the Pac-10 Conference in batting average (.353), slugging percentage (.418) and home runs (24). UCLA is third in runs scored (200), on-base percentage (.434) and runs batted in (180). UCLA hitters have accrued the third-lowest strikeout total (148) behind Stanford (143) and Arizona (135). Sophomore Dean Espy ranks second in batting average (.435) and is followed by teammates Tyler Rahmatulla (fourth, .430) and Justin Uribe (10th, .403). Rahmatulla leads the Pac-10 with a .535 on-base percentage.

UCLA sophomore starters Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer have gone a combined 11-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 13 weekend starts. Cole (6-0, 2.49) has collected 61 strikeouts and 20 walks in 43.1 innings. Bauer (5-1, 2.28) has registered 59 strikeouts and 12 walks in 43.1 innings. Cole has become the first UCLA starting pitcher since 1997 to open a season with a record of 6-0 or better (Jim Parque went 11-0 through first 13 starts). Bauer absorbed his first loss as a starting pitcher last Friday, having won his first 12 career starts.

Three UCLA hitters have batted above the .400 plateau, nearly halfway through the season (minimum 50 at-bats). Junior Dean Espy leads the group with a .435 mark (62 at-bats), while sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla checks in with a .430 average (86 at-bats) and senior Justin Uribe is batting .403 (77 at-bats). The last UCLA player to finish a season with a batting average above the .400 plateau was Brian Baron in 2001, who totaled a single-season school-record .431 average.

Left-hander Rob Rasmussen has earned the victory in each of his last four starts, serving as the Bruins' 'Sunday starter'. Rasmussen, who hails from Arcadia Calif. (Pasadena Poly), has limited the opposition to a .165 average in his last four starts, recording 32 strikeouts, eight walks and just four extra-base hits in that span of 23.1 innings. He helped UCLA defeat then-No. 25 Oklahoma at the Whataburger College Classic (March 14), recording seven strikeouts and three walks in 6.0 innings (one run, four hits).

UCLA has posted the second-highest on-base percentage (.434) in the Pac-10, through Sunday, April 4. Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla leads the conference in that stat (.535), while freshman Cody Keefer ranks fifth (.495). Both Rahmatulla and Keefer are tied for UCLA's team lead with 20 walks. Senior Justin Uribe is just behind, having logged a .460 on-base percentage. Rahmatulla leads UCLA with 25 RBI and ranks second on the ballclub with 23 RBI and a .674 on-base percentage.

Three freshmen left-handed hitters - Cody Keefer (.366), Beau Amaral (.354) and Cody Regis (.353) - have helped key UCLA's 23-1 start this season. Regis has split time with fellow rookie Dean Espy (sophomore, transfer from South Mountain CC in Phoenix) at third base, posting a .353 average with nine doubles and 18 RBI. Keefer has registered four doubles, 18 RBI, 21 runs and 20 walks, having started all 24 games in right field. Amaral has belted one home run, totaled nine RBI and 13 runs, and played in 20 games (16 starts in center field).

Junior Brett Krill has emerged as a mainstay in the Bruins' lineup, having made 22 starts (all in right field). He has batted .330, recording three home runs, seven doubles, 15 RBI and 23 runs. The junior from Laguna Niguel, Calif., is a perfect 6-for-6 in the stolen base department. After having seen minimal playing time as a freshman and sophomore, he has hit safely in 18 of 22 games and hit safely in nine straight games earlier this year. Krill went 4-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and two RBI in a 10-1 win at Long Beach State (Feb. 23).

Junior Niko Gallego has started all 24 games at shortstop, batting at a .318 clip. The native of Yorba Linda, Calif. (Esperanza HS), has registered three home runs, one triple, four doubles and 25 runs (tied for team lead with Tyler Rahmatulla). Gallego is a perfect 7-for-7 on the base paths and has drawn 13 walks, third-most on the club. Among UCLA's most veteran position players, Gallego has compiled a career batting average of .291, totaling 20 extra-base hits in 98 career games (90 starts).

Sophomore Steve Rodriguez has started as UCLA's catcher in 19 of 24 games this spring. He leads the team with five home runs and is batting at a .317 clip (20-for-63). Rodriguez has produced six two-hit efforts, helping guide the team's pitching staff to a Pac-10-leading 2.32 ERA and .191 opponent batting average. Along with catchers Trevor Brown and Tyler Heineman, Rodriguez has helped UCLA limit the opposition to 22 steal attempts against, tied for the second-lowest total in the Pac-10 Conference.

UCLA's bullpen has gone 5-0 with a 2.41 ERA and seven saves through the Bruins' first 24 games. The Bruins' relief corps has logged 88 strikeouts and 20 walks, posting a .214 opponent batting average. Eight relief pitchers have combined to make 57 appearances out of the bullpen. Closer and right-hander Dan Klein leads the group with six saves in 19.2 scoreless innings. Left-hander Matt Grace has allowed just three runs (two earned) and eight hits through 11.1 innings, registering a 1.59 ERA and one save (12 K, 2 BB).

From here on out, UCLA will alternate its remaining eight weekend series at home and on the road. The Bruins will not play consecutive series at home or on the road. Of UCLA's remaining 31 games, 15 of those will be played at home and 16 will be on the road. After hosting Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday and playing three games this weekend at No. 17 Oregon State, the Bruins will play at UC Riverside next Tuesday (April 13) before returning home to host a three-game series against Oregon (April 16-18).

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