No. 5 UCLA Baseball to Host UC Irvine on Tuesday Evening
April 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 5 UCLA baseball team returns home to host UC Irvine on Tuesday evening before opening a three-game Pac-10 series against No. 3 Arizona State at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend. Tuesday's game costs $2 as part of UCLA's ongoing 'Two-Dollar Tuesday' promotion. Senior right-hander Garett Claypool (5-1, 2.27 ERA) will make the start for UCLA (29-7).
Tuesday, April 27 (6 p.m.) - at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
UC Irvine - Evan Brock, RHP, Fr. (3-2, 2.78)
UCLA - Garett Claypool, RHP, Sr. (5-1, 2.27)
LOOKING TO THE WEEKEND
No. 3 Arizona State (33-5, 11-4) at No. 5 UCLA (29-7, 7-5)
Friday, April 30 (6 p.m.)
Saturday, May 1 (2 p.m.)
Sunday, May 2 (1 p.m.)
GETTING TO JACKIE ROBINSON STADIUM
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 home games costs $2 for adults and children. UCLA's baseball concession stand is stocked with hot dogs, peanuts, nachos, chili, sodas and much more classic ballpark food. Parking on the VA grounds costs $5.
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
All home baseball games, including this week's Tuesday game against UC Irvine and the upcoming weekend series versus Arizona State, will be broadcast live online at uclabruins.com. 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, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
THE WEEK AHEAD
UCLA returns home to host UC Irvine on Tuesday evening before opening a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend against Arizona State. The Bruins have not played UC Irvine in 2010, as the two teams will face each other again in Irvine on May 11. This week's contest against UC Irvine is UCLA's second to final home midweek game of the year. Admission to Tuesday's game for both adults and children costs $2, as part of UCLA's ongoing 'Two-Dollar Tuesday' promotion. Right-hander Garett Claypool will start for the Bruins.
HISTORY VERSUS IRVINE
The Bruins play their first of two games this season agaisnt UC Irvine on Tuesday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA dropped two of three games to UC Irvine in 2009. The Anteaters won, 7-4, on a Sunday afternoon at the Minute Maid Classic and secured a 5-4 victory in extra innings May 19 during the final week of the regular season in Irvine. UCLA notched an 8-3 victory at home against UC Irvine on April 9. Since assuming the head coaching job at UCLA, John Savage has guided the Bruins to an 8-4 mark against the Anteaters.
Senior right-hander Garett Claypool will take the hill for the Bruins against UC Irvine on Tuesday evening. Claypool enters the midweek contest with a 5-1 record, ranking third in the Pac-10 with a 2.27 ERA. Claypool leads all Pac-10 pitchers with a .173 opponent batting average, having registered 53 strikeouts and 11 walks in 47.2 innings. Through his four-year UCLA career, the native of West Hills, Calif., has been relied upon as the Bruins' midweek pitcher. He has gone 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 66 career games (28 starts, alll in midweek action).
In the latest college baseball polls, seven Pac-10 teams are ranked among the top-25 by at least one of five publications. Six Pac-10 teams are listed among the top-25 by Baseball America, Rivals.com and Collegiate Baseball. The NCBWA (Writers' Association) has ranked seven Pac-10 teams in their top 25 spots, while the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll has pegged five Pac-10 programs in the top-25. UCLA has posted a 7-3 record against teams ranked in the top-25 (week of game) by Baseball America.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
Slated to start Friday against Arizona State, sophomore Gerrit Cole enters the week as the Pac-10 Conference leader in strikeouts (86) and ranks third in opponent batting average (.186). Cole recorded 10 strikeouts and no walks in a no-decision last Friday evening at then-No. 17 Arizona, limiting the host Wildcats to two runs and seven hits in a season-high eight innings. The resident of Santa Ana, Calif., has tallied 10 or more strikeouts in three starts this season and accomplished that feat in three starts one year ago.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Sophomore Trevor Bauer pitched his first complete game of the season (fifth of his career) on Saturday night, striking out 13 batters and walking one to lead the Bruins past Arizona, 6-2. Bauer allowed two runs and 10 hits in nine innings, earning the victory to improve to 6-2 on the season. The native of Valencia, Calif., secured his first Pac-10 win of the spring. Bauer ranks second in the Pac-10 in strikeouts (85), behind teammate Gerrit Cole (86), and is tied for fourth with 66.2 innings pitched (with USC's Ben Mount).
Freshman Beau Amaral ranks fourth on the ballclub with a .350 batting average, having gone 8-for-15 (.533) in four games last week. Amaral has played in 32 games in his rookie campaign, starting 25 contests as UCLA's center fielder. The former standout at Huntington Beach High School belted his second home run of the season, going 2-for-4 with two RBI, in a midweek loss to Long Beach State on April 20. In three games at then-No. 17 Arizona over the weekend, Amaral batted .545 (6-for-11).
UCLA encourages its fans to arrive early for this weekend's series against Arizona State, as capacity crowds are anticipated. The Bruins have posted a 17-5 record in 22 home games. UCLA welcomed 1,986 fans in a 5-1 win over Oregon on Sunday, April 18, in one of the best draws to Jackie Robinson Stadium in recent history. To accomodate the near record-breaking crowds, UCLA has added seating for up to 650 additional fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium, allowing the facility to accomodate more than 2,000 spectators.
Senior Blair Dunlap leads the team with 16 doubles, ranks second with 46 hits (behind Tyler Rahmatulla's 48 hits) and is third with a .362 batting average. Dunlap has moved into a three-way tie for ninth place on UCLA's career doubles list (44, tied with Brandon Crawford and Pete Zamora). Dunlap led the Bruins with 17 doubles last season. UCLA's most veteran hitter, Dunlap has compiled a .301 career batting average in 171 games, totaling 64 career extra-base hits (15 home runs, five triples and 44 doubles).
Through Sunday's Pac-10 action, UCLA leads the conference with 403 strikeouts (ahead of second-best Arizona State, 328) and has averaged 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings. The Bruins' three weekend starting pitchers rank first, second and fourth, respectively among the Pac-10's strikeout leaders - Gerrit Cole (86), Trevor Bauer (85) and Rob Rasmussen (72). Garett Claypool sits just outside the Pac-10's top-10 strikeout leaders (53). Prior to last weekend's games, UCLA ranked first, nationally, in strikeouts per nine innings.
WORTH AN ESPY
Sophomore Dean Espy has excelled as a corner infielder in his first season with the Bruins. Leading UCLA with a .371 batting average, Espy transferred to UCLA last summer after having starred at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix in 2009. He leads the Bruins in RBI (33) and slugging percentage (.619) and is tied with Brett Krill, Tyler Rahmatulla and Steve Rodriguez for the team lead in home runs with five. In addition, Espy ranks second on the team in Pac-10 play with a .359 batting average and leads UCLA with 14 hits.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla stands as the only player for UCLA to have started all 36 games (all at second base). Rahmatulla enters Tuesday's game against UC Irvine ranking second on the team with a .366 batting average and is first among all hitters with 48 hits, 33 runs, 29 walks and a .483 on-base percentage. Rahmatulla has tallied the game-winning RBI in seven games this season. The former standout at Mater Dei High School ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with a .483 OBP and leads the conference with six sacrifice flies.
Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein has been named to the Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List, as announced in mid-April by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association. Klein leads UCLA and ranks third in the Pac-10 with seven saves, having logged a 3-0 record and 0.64 ERA. The resident of Los Alamitos, Calif., has tallied 36 strikeouts and seven walks in 28.0 innings. Klein is currently tied for seventh place on UCLA's single-season saves list with Bobby Roe (1998).
UCLA has gone 7-3 against teams ranked in Baseball America's top-25 poll (team ranked in poll on day of game). UCLA defeated then-No. 25 Oklahoma, 5-2, on March 14 before winning two of three games against No. 19 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 17 Arizona. One year ago, the Bruins went 8-13 against top-25 competition, playing more games and earning more victories against top-25 teams than any other Pac-10 program. UCLA is slated to play at least seven more games against top-25 ballclubs this year.
UCLA's 16-inning victory three weeks ago at Oregon State marked the program's longest game (by innings) since an 18-inning game at Arizona State on Feb. 23, 1990. The Bruins lost 6-5 in the series opener at Arizona State that evening before 4,037 fans. The longest extra-inning game in Pac-10 history came in 1972, as Washington and Oregon State played a 20-inning contest (date, score unknown). UCLA's 3-1 win against Oregon State lasted six hours, 23 minutes and featured 12 pitchers (eight by Oregon State, four by UCLA).
HOW WE COMPARE
Through Sunday's games, UCLA's pitching staff leads the Pac-10 in ERA (2.80), strikeouts (403) and opponent batting average (.213). The Bruins rank second in wins (29) and have allowed the fifth-fewest walks (114). UCLA's offense ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in batting average (.313) and slugging percentage (.462) and is third in on-base percentage (.403). The Bruins are third in the Pac-10 with 31 home runs and are fourth with 82 doubles. UCLA's .973 fielding percentage is the second-highest mark among Pac-10 programs.
The Bruins opened the week ranked No. 5, nationally, by Baseball America and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. In addition, UCLA was ranked No. 4 by Yahoo! Sports/Rivals.com and No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association (NCBWA). The Bruins were ranked No. 1 by Baseball America and Yahoo! Sports/Rivals.com on April 12, marking UCLA's first midseason No. 1 ranking since earning the top spot on March 3, 1997, from both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
LOOKING FOR RELIEF
UCLA's bullpen has gone 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA and nine saves through 36 games. The Bruins' relief corps has logged 122 strikeouts and 38 walks, posting a .217 opponent batting average. Eight relief pitchers have combined to make 90 appearances out of the bullpen. No relief appearance may have been more impressive than that of right-hander Garett Claypool in UCLA's 16-inning triumph at Oregon State on April 10. Claypool earned the victory that evening, limiting the Beavers to one hit in 4.2 scoreless innings.
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