UCLA Baseball Opens Postseason Play Friday Night Versus Kent State
June 2, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1-seed UCLA baseball team opens play as the host of the 2010 Los Angeles NCAA Regional against No. 4-seed Kent State (39-23) on Friday at 6 p.m. The Bruins (43-13) have secured the No. 6 national seed in this season's NCAA Tournament, marking the first time UCLA has ever earned one of the eight coveted national seeds. All games of the Los Angeles Regional will be played this weekend at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
LOS ANGELES REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, June 4
Game 1 (2 p.m.) - No. 2-seed LSU (40-20) vs. No. 3-seed UC Irvine (37-19)
Game 2 (6 p.m.) - No. 1-seed UCLA (43-13) vs. No. 4-seed Kent State (39-23)
Saturday, June 5
Game 3 (2 p.m.) - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 4 (6 p.m.) - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Sunday, June 6
Game 5 (2 p.m.) - Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 6 (6 p.m.) - Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Monday, June 7 (if necessary)
Game 7 (6 p.m.) - Rematch of Game 6
TELEVISION AND RADIO
The exclusive television rights to the 2010 Los Angeles NCAA Baseball Regional has been awarded to Cox Sports Television (CST) and Jumbo Sports Network, as announced by the NCAA. The Regional's games will be seen exclusively across the CST Network, covering nearly 2 million homes across seven Southern states. Each participating school will originate a radio broadcast of its postseason games. UCLA's John Ramey will provide play-by-play with an Internet audio broadcast at uclabruins.com, free of charge, for each of the Bruins' games.
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 are located on the right side of Constitution Ave. Parking costs $8 on the VA Grounds at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Tickets to NCAA Regional games at Jackie Robinson Stadium can be purchased through UCLA's Central Ticket Office by calling 310-825-2101 or by clicking here. All-Session Reserved packages cost $80 for adults and $65 for students/youth. All-Session General Admission packages cost $55 for adults and $40 for students/youth. Single-game tickets will not be sold until Friday, if available. Reserved single-game tickets will cost $15 for adults and $12 for students. General admission single-game tickets will cost $10 for adults and $8 for students.
REGULAR SEASON REVIEW
- UCLA established a new school record for most regular-season victories, going 43-13.- The NCAA Los Angeles Regional marks the second time UCLA has hosted a Regional (first time since 1986).- The Bruins closed the season by winning 13 of their final 16 contests (including 11 of 12 Pac-10 games).- UCLA's recent 10-game Pac-10 win streak was the longest such conference streak since 1924.- The Bruins have advanced to an NCAA Regional in four of the past five years (2006-08, 2010).- UCLA has not been 30 or more games over .500 since 1969 (going 42-10-1 prior to College World Series).- This marks the first season in Pac-10 history (since 1979) that UCLA has won all its Pac-10 road series.- Since opening the season with a program-record 22-game win streak, UCLA has gone 19-11.- UCLA finished third in the Pac-10 each of the last four years before this spring's second-place finish.
AT A GLANCE
UCLA will make its 16th apperance playing in the NCAA Tournament, hosting a NCAA Regional for the first time since 1986 (second Regional host in school history). The Bruins went 1-1 in two midweek meetings against UC Irvine this season, last facing the Anteaters in the NCAA Tournament in 2006 (W, 3-2 in first game of NCAA Malibu Regional). UCLA lost both games to LSU in the 2000 NCAA Super Regional in Baton Rouge, La., having gone 0-3 in three overall meetings with the Tigers. The Bruins have never played Kent State in baseball.
The Bruins closed their Pac-10 schedule winning 11 of their final 12 conference contests since getting swept at home by first-place Arizona State (April 30-May 2). UCLA reeled off 10 consecutive Pac-10 wins after being swept, including road sweeps of Washington (May 7-9) and California (May 21-23) in addition to winning each of three home games against crosstown rival USC (May 14-16). The Bruins had not won 10 consecutive conference games since posting a perfect 10-0 record in 1924, playing in the Southern California Conference.
UCLA ranks first in the Pac-10 in ERA (3.02), opponent batting average (.219) and strikeouts (578). The Bruins have averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings Second in the conference with 43 wins (to Arizona State's 47), UCLA has been bolstered by the starting pitching of Gerrit Cole (Friday), Trevor Bauer (Saturday), Rob Rasmussen (Sunday) and Garett Claypool (Tuesday). Cole and Bauer are tied for the Pac-10 lead in strikeouts, with 124 each, while Rasmussen is tied with Oregon's Tyler Anderson (at 101) for fourth place on the list.
STAYING IN SOCAL
Including this weekend, the Bruins will have played in southern California in each of their last four NCAA Regionals. UCLA went 1-2 at Pepperdine in 2006, the Bruins' second year under head coach John Savage. The following seasons, the Bruins swept the 2007 Regional at Long Beach State before losing consecutive games at Cal State Fullerton in that season's Super Regional. In 2009, UCLA won its first two games at the NCAA Regional at Cal State Fullerton before falling to the Titans on consecutive nights (Regional Final).
UCLA has gone 19-4 away from home this season (15-4 road, 4-0 neutral). 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 outfielder Beau Amaral has led UCLA in road games with a .361 batting average and .477 on-base percentage (minimum 25 at-bats). Senior right-hander Garett Claypool has gone 5-2 with a 1.35 ERA in seven road games, totaling 36 strikeouts and 10 walks in 40.0 innings.
Sophomore right-handers 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, while Bauer has been selected as one of 30 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award. Cole and Bauer lead the Pac-10 in strikeouts (124), entering NCAA Regional action. This marks the first season in school history in which three UCLA pitchers have collected 100 or more strikeouts (Cole, Bauer and Rob Rasmussen).
Seniors Blair Dunlap and Justin Uribe have been two of UCLA's key offensive weapons all season. Uribe ranks third on the team with a .343 batting average and has posted a .423 on-base percentage. Dunlap has batted at a .333 clip, fifth-best on the ballclub, pushing his career batting average to a .299 mark. Dunlap ranks second on the team with 66 hits and 104 total bases. With his team-leading 19th double on Sunday, May 31, Dunlap has moved into a three-way tie for sixth place on UCLA's career doubles list (47).
Junior Rob Rasmussen has gone 9-2 with a 2.89 ERA, serving as the Bruins' third pitcher in the weekend rotation. Honored as Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on May 24, Rasmussen has posted a team-best 6-2 record in Pac-10 play, logging a 3.04 ERA and .230 opponent batting average in nine conference starts. Currently tied for fourth place in the Pac-10 with 101 strikeouts, Rasmussen has surrendered just 69 hits in 84.0 innings (.220 opponent batting average). He earned the victory last Sunday in UCLA's 11-1 win over Washington State.
Freshman Beau Amaral has batted .343, second-highest on the team, in 52 games this spring (45 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 batted .333 in all 27 Pac-10 contests. Since UCLA opened its season with 22 consecutive victories, Amaral has batted at a .348 clip (34-game span). The freshman All-America candidate has tallied six doubles, three homers, 22 RBI and 32 runs.
Sophomore right-hander Dan Klein leads UCLA with nine saves, third among Pac-10 pitchers, and has posted a 5-0 record and 2.13 ERA in a team-leading 33 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 48 batters and walked just eight in 42.1 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). Sophomores Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole and junior Rob Rasmussen have each collected nine wins, while senior Garett Claypool has notched eight victories. The Bruins lead the Pac-10 with 578 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 has been the team's bullpen. The relief corps has gone 9-3 with a 3.38 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .229 batting average in 160.1 innings. Right-handers Dan Klein and Erik Goeddel and left-hander Matt Grace have been the most utilized pitchers in relief. Goeddel has made 32 appearances, compiling a 2-0 record and 3.48 ERA with 53 strikeouts, 20 walks and one save in 44.0 innings. Grace has made 30 appearances, going 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA, 20 strikeouts and seven walks in 25.0 innings.
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla has started at second base in 55 of the Bruins' 56 games this season. The former standout at Mater Dei High School has batted .337 with team-highs of 70 hits, 47 runs and 35 walks. 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 50 of his 51 starts.
WORTH AN ESPY
Sophomore Dean Espy enters the NCAA Tournament leading UCLA with a .359 batting average (51-for-142). Espy has belted seven homers and leads the Bruins with 45 RBI and a .599 slugging percentage. A versatile player (first and third base), Espy transferred to UCLA last summer after haivng played as a freshman at South Mountain Community College. The native of Mesa, Ariz., led all Bruins in the Pac-10 play with a .388 batting average in 23 conference contests, going 26-for-67 with three homers and 21 RBI.
AGAINST THE BEST
UCLA has gone 9-8 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, No. 17 Arizona. and No. 22 Washington State. The Bruins were swept in three games against No. 3 Arizona State the weekend of April 30-May 2 and dropped a 5-2 decision at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on May 25 in their final midweek contest of the season.
Among the most vital members of UCLA's pitching staff this season, senior right-hander has gone 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 20 appearances (12 starts), serving as both the Bruins' No. 4 starting pitcher (Tuesdays) and as a go-to right-handed reliever. Claypool, who has totaled 72 strikeouts in 79.0 innings, has posted a 7-3 record with a 2.27 ERA in 67.1 innings through his 12 starts (55 strikeouts, 17 walks, .177 average). In eight relief appearances, he has gone 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA, notching 17 strikeouts and two walks in 11.2 innings.
UCLA's batting lineup was rejuvenated in 2010 by the presence of four talented freshman left-handed hitters, three of which play in the outfield. Beau Amaral (.343), Jeff Gelalich (.326), Cody Keefer (.318) and Cody Regis (.303) have posted a combined .323 (164-for-208) this spring. Amaral has started 45 games as the Bruins' center fielder, while Keefer has started 43 contests in left field. Regis has made 40 starts at third base and one at second, while Gelalich has played in 29 games, making 15 starts (outfield and designated hitter).
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
UCLA has won four games in 'walk-off' fashion, going 5-11 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 in a series opener at California (May 21) and held on in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 Pac-10 victory. Below are UCLA's late comeback victories in 2010.
FLASHBACK TO 1986
UCLA last hosted an NCAA Regional, featuring Loyola Marymount, Hawai'i and UC Santa Barbara, in 1986. That year's field featured nine eventual major leaguers. UCLA's nine eventual major leaguers included Jeff Conine, Bill Haselman, Randy Hennis, Eric Karros, Torey Lovullo, Mike Magnante, Alex Sanchez, Tony Scruggs and Todd Zeile. LMU's three eventual major leaguers included Billy Beane, Tim Layana and Chris Donnels.
UCLA's 35-man roster features four seniors, six juniors, 11 sophomores and 14 freshmen. Only two of the team's players hail from a state other than California - Chase Brewer and Dean Espy both call Arizona home. The Bruins have 26 players from southern California and eight players from northern/central California.
In conference games over the last five seasons (2006-10), UCLA ranks second in both wins (73) and winning percentage (.584). Overall, the Bruins rank fourth in winning percentage (.581) and total wins (169). UCLA finished second in the Pac-10 in 2010, after having posted a third-place finsh the previous four years. Arizona State has won each of the last four Pac-10 titles (Oregon State won the Pac-10 in 2006).