No. 7 UCLA Baseball to Close Regular Season Against No. 22 Washington State
May 27, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 7 UCLA baseball team closes its regular season at home this weekend with a three-game Pac-10 series against Washington State. The Bruins (41-12, 16-8) have won 11 of their last 13 games, including each of their last nine Pac-10 contests, while the Cougars (33-18, 14-10) have compiled a seven-game winning streak. Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast of each game online, free of charge, this weekend at uclabruins.com.
PROBABLE STARTERS (all games at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium)
Friday, May 28 (6 p.m.)
Washington State - Chad Arnold, RHP, Jr. (5-2, 3.40)
UCLA - Gerrit Cole, RHP, So. (8-2, 3.41)
Saturday, May 29 (2 p.m.)
Washington State - James Wise, RHP, Jr. (3-1, 4.24)
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, So. (9-3, 2.95)
Sunday, May 30 (1 p.m.)
Washington State - TBA
UCLA - Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Jr. (8-2, 3.00)
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
UCLA's three-game Pac-10 series will be feature live audio broadcasts online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. UCLA's John Ramey will provide the play-by-play and will be accompanied at home games 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.
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. From the 405 North, exit Wilshire Blvd. (west offramp), stay in the right lane coming down the offramp and turn right onto Sepulveda Blvd. Continue until Constitution Ave. and turn left. Parking lots for the ballpark will be located on the right side of Constitution Ave.
TICKETS AND PARKING
Admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for children (ages 16 and under). Parking on the VA grounds costs $5. UCLA's baseball concession stand is stocked with hot dogs, peanuts, nachos, chili, sodas and much more classic ballpark food. Fans can purchase a 'Family Four-Pack Friday' plan for $24 dollars on Friday night home games - $24 covers four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and one family popcorn. 'Family Four-Pack' promotional plans can be purchase at the baseball stadium's ticket office on the day of the game.
The 64-team bracket for this season's NCAA Tournament will be broadcast live on ESPN on Monday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m. (PT) in a 30-minute show. The NCAA will unveil the 16 Regional host sites on www.ncaa.com/cws on Sunday, May 30 at approximately 12:30 p.m. (PT). The Regional site selections will also be shown on the BottomLine of the ESPN Networks throughout Sunday evening.
The Bruins (16-8) trail first-place Arizona State (18-6) by two games with three Pac-10 contests remaining. If both teams finish the season with identical Pac-10 records, UCLA and Arizona State will be crowned Co-Pac-10 Champions, with Arizona State securing the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament (by virtue of winning the season's head-to-head series). Three UCLA wins coupled with three Arizona State losses would allow the Bruins to win the Pac-10 Conference title outright. UCLA has not won a share of the Pac-10 title since a four-way tie in 2000.
- UCLA has tied the program record for wins (41) in a regular season with the Bruins' 1979 ballclub.
- The Bruins have won 11 of their last 13 contests, including each of their last nine Pac-10 games.
- UCLA has not won nine consecutive conference games since 1969 (April 26-May 17).
- The Bruins have swept each of their last three Pac-10 series (at Washington, vs. USC, at California).
- UCLA has won more games away from home (19-4 record) than any Bruins' team since 1997 (23 wins).
- This marks the first season in Pac-10 history (since 1979) that UCLA has won all its Pac-10 road series.
- UCLA has not been 29 games (or more) over .500 since May 1969 (42-10-1 before College World Series).
- At second place in the Pac-10, UCLA trails Arizona State by two games and leads Wasington State by two.
- The latest NCAA report has UCLA's RPI (ratings percentage index) at No. 7 in the nation (as of May 25).
UCLA enters the final weekend of college baseball's regular season having won seven of its last eight games. The Bruins' seven-game win streak was snapped in a 5-2 loss at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday evening. Right-hander Gerrit Cole will start Friday's series opener for UCLA. Sporting an 11-4 record in the month of May, the Bruins have won each of their last nine Pac-10 games. No UCLA baseball team has won 10 consecutive conference contests since the 1924 ballclub went 10-0 in the Southern California Conference.
Anchored by a deep, talented pitching staff, UCLA ranks second in the Pac-10 with a 3.12 ERA, a program-record 543 strikeouts and a .223 opponent batting average. Second in the conference with 41 wins (to Arizona State's 45), UCLA has been bolstered by the starting pitching of Gerrit Cole (Friday), Trevor Bauer (Saturday), Rob Rasmussen (Sunday) and Garett Claypool (Tuesday). Bauer (116), Cole (113) and Rasmussen (96) rank first, second and fourth, respectively, in strikeouts among Pac-10 pitchers.
CONFERENCE WIN STREAK
The Bruins have won their last nine Pac-10 games, hitting at a .350 clip with 23 doubles, four triples and 11 home runs in that span. Junior Brett Krill leads UCLA in hits (14), runs (15) and RBI (9) in those nine games, having batted at a .424 clip (14-for-33). The team's pitching staff has compiled a 3.67 ERA with 75 strikeouts and 23 walks in 81.0 innings during the current Pac-10 win streak. Through his last three weekend starts, junior Rob Rasmussen has gone 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA, recording 18 strikeouts and three walks in 20.1 innings.
UCLA has gone 19-4 in games played away from home. The Bruins' only road losses have come at No. 17 Oregon State (April 9), No. 17 Arizona (April 25), UC Irvine (May 11) and No. 8 Cal State Fullerton (May 25). Freshman Beau Amaral has emerged as the Bruins' most difficult out on the road, leading UCLA with a .361 average and .477 on-base percentage (minimum 25 at-bats). Senior Garett Claypool has gone 5-2 with a 1.35 ERA in seven road games, notching 36 strikeouts and 10 walks in 40.0 innings.
STRONG ON SUNDAYS
Junior Rob Rasmussen earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on Monday for the second time in his career (first this season). The southpaw from Arcadia, Calif., limited California to one run and two hits in 6.2 innings during an 11-2 victory. He faced four batters over the minimum, leading UCLA to a series sweep at California. Rasmussen has gone 8-2 with a 3.00 ERA, notching 96 strikeouts and 25 walks in 78.0 innings. Rasmussen has gone 5-2 with a 3.23 ERA in Pac-10 action, totaling 49 strikeouts and six walks in 47.1 innings.
Sophomores Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer have packed a formidable 1-2 punch in UCLA's starting rotation. Both players have been named to the 2010 National Pitcher of the Year Award's revised watch list. In addition, Bauer has climbed into a tie for fifth place on UCLA's single-season strikeout list (116, with Jim Parque). Cole has moved into seventh place on the Bruins' single-season strikeout list with 113 punchouts this season. This marks the first season since 1997 in which two UCLA pitchers have collected 100 or more strikeouts.
Seniors Blair Dunlap and Justin Uribe have been two of UCLA's key offensive weapons all season. Uribe ranks second on the team with a .351 batting average and has posted a .434 on-base percentage. Dunlap has batted at a .332 clip, fifth-best on the ballclub, pushing his career batting average to a .298 mark. Dunlap ranks second on the team with 63 hits, leads UCLA with 18 doubles and is tied for the team lead with 100 total bases. Dunlap ranks eighth on UCLA's career doubles list with 46 two-baggers.
Freshman Beau Amaral has batted .348, the third-highest average on the team, in 49 games (42 starts, all in center field). Amaral had a 15-game hit streak snapped May 16 in the Bruins' series finale against USC. The former standout at Huntington Beach High School has batted .341 in all 24 Pac-10 contests. Since UCLA opened its season with 22 consecutive victories, Amaral has led the Bruins with a .356 batting average in that 31-game span. He has also belted three homers and collected six doubles and 21 RBI as a freshman.
Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein leads UCLA with nine saves, third among Pac-10 pitchers, and has posted a 5-0 record and 2.23 ERA in a team-leading 31 appearances (third-most in the Pac-10). Klein was named to the Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List in mid-April by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association (NCBWA). A product of Servite High School (Anaheim), Klein has struck out 46 batters and walked seven in 40.1 innings. Klein's nine saves are tied for third-most on UCLA's single-season saves list.
UCLA's 2010 pitching staff has had four pitchers record eight or more victories for the first time since 1967 (Rob Kester and Guy Hansen with 10, Bob Boyer 9, Bob Wiswell 8). Sophomore Trevor Bauer leads the ballclub with nine victories, while senior Garett Claypool, junior Rob Rasmussen and sophomore Gerrit Cole have each collected eight wins. The Bruins lead the Pac-10 with 543 strikeouts, the most ever in a single season by any UCLA ballclub (third Bruins' staff to reach the 500-strikeout plateau). Last season, the Bruins finished their 56-game schedule with 509 strikeouts, while UCLA's 2000 team logged 531 strikeouts in 64 games.
RELIABLE IN RELIEF
Among UCLA's greatest assets in 2010 has been the team's bullpen. The relief corps has gone 9-2 with a 3.49 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .235 batting average in 152.1 innings. Right-handers Dan Klein and Erik Goeddel and left-hander Matt Grace have been the most utilized pitchers in relief. Goeddel has made 30 appearances, compiling a 2-0 record and 3.54 ERA with 47 strikeouts, 19 walks and one save in 40.2 innings. Grace has made 28 appearances, posting a 3.28 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 24.2 innings.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla has started at second base in 52 of the Bruins' 53 games this season. The former standout at Mater Dei High School has batted .335 with team-highs of 67 hits, 44 runs and 32 walks (tied). Rahmatulla ranks second on the the ballclub with 16 doubles and 12 stolen bases. He is currently tied with two other players (including teammate Cody Keefer) for fifth place among Pac-10 hitters with 32 walks. Rahmatulla has started in the No. 3 slot in UCLA's batting lineup in 51 of his 52 starts.
WORTH AN ESPY
Sophomore Dean Espy enters this weekend's series versus Washington State leading UCLA in batting average (.358), RBI (41) and slugging percentage (.612). Espy is tied with sophomore Steve Rodriguez for the team lead in home runs (7). In four games last week, he batted .556 (5-for-9) with one home run, one triple, six RBI and three runs. Espy went 3-for-4 with one two-run homer, two runs and three RBI in UCLA's 11-2 victory at California. He manufactured a two-RBI pinch-hit single Friday and a two-RBI pinch-hit triple Saturday.
AGAINST THE BEST
UCLA has gone 7-7 against teams ranked in Baseball America's top-25 poll (team ranked on week of game). The Bruins defeated No. 25 Oklahoma, 5-2, on March 14 before winning two of three against No. 19 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 17 Arizona. The Bruins were swept in three games against No. 3 Arizona State (April 30-May 2) and lost at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on May 25. One year ago, UCLA went 8-13 against top-25 teams, playing more games and earning more wins against top-25 teams than any other Pac-10 program.
BEST SINCE ...
Trevor Bauer's 116 strikeouts (and Gerrit Cole's 113) are the most since Jim Parque had 116 in 1996 and 119 in 1997 ... Bauer is the first UCLA pitcher to record nine or more wins in two seasons since Parque (1996-97) ... Niko Gallego's 21 stolen bases are the most in a single season since Eric Byrnes had 30 stolen bases during his senior campaign in 1998 ... Dan Klein's nine saves are the most since Gabe Collecito equalled that total in 1993 ... Beau Amaral's .348 batting average is the highest by a UCLA freshman since Garrett Atkins established the school record for a freshman with a .383 mark in 1998.
NOTES ON A STREAK
UCLA opened the season by winning its first 22 games, the Bruins' best-ever start to any baseball season in the program's 91-year history. Prior to going 22-0 in 2010, UCLA's best starts on record took place in 1978 (8-0) and in 1997 (7-0). The Bruins won their first 22 games, outscoring their opponents by a combined 189-59 margin. UCLA posted a .356 batting average during its record streak while the pitching staff logged a 2.22 ERA and 273 strikeouts through 199.0 innings (12.4 strikeouts per nine innings).
NOT FAR BEHIND
During the Bruins' 22-0 start, UCLA trailed in eight ballgames and was tied (without trailing) in two games. The Bruins twice overcame a deficit of three runs, most recently by scoring two runs in the fourth inning and two in the eighth against Cal Poly on March 26, to secure their 19th consecutive win. The Bruins won two games in walk-off fashion, ironically, in back-to-back games (vs. Nebraska, March 6; vs. UC Riverside, March 9).
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
UCLA has won four games in 'walk-off' fashion, going 5-12 when tied or trailing after eight innings (3-0 when tied after eight). The Bruins' most thrilling win came in a 2-1 decision over USC (May 16). Trailing 1-0 with nobody on base and two outs, Brett Krill singled before Cody Keefer belted a two-run walk-off homer, helping the Bruins sweep USC. Most recently, UCLA scored three runs with two outs on back-to-back 0-and-2 counts at California (May 21) and held on in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 victory.