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McLain, Mora, Pettway Named Preseason All-Americans

Jan 25, 2021

LOS ANGELES – A trio of Bruins were named Preseason All-Americans by D1Baseball and UCLA has been ranked No. 2 in the country to start the season by Baseball America, it was announced by the outlets on Monday.

Redshirt sophomore infielder Matt McLain, redshirt junior right-hander Zach Pettway, and redshirt senior right-hander Kyle Mora were all tabbed to D1Baseball's Preseason All-America Teams, with the former two making the First Team and Mora being picked to the Second Team.

It's the third Preseason All-America honor for McLain and Pettway, and the first for Mora. McLain has been a unanimous First Team selection so far, while Pettway made the First Team for Collegiate Baseball and D1Baseball while making Perfect Game's Second Team.

Meanwhile, UCLA has now made the top-5 in every preseason poll released so far this winter. The Bruins were ranked No. 2 by both Baseball America and D1Baseball and have also been ranked No. 3 (Collegiate Baseball) and No. 4 (Perfect Game).

Mora has been one of the most reliable bullpen arms in the country over the last few seasons, leading the country with 47 appearances in 2019 and pitching in 11 games in 2020, second-most in the NCAA. He has a career 2.10 ERA, but has finished below that figure in each of the last three seasons, finishing at 1.89 in 2018, 2.09 in 2019, and 0.96 last season. His 96 career appearances are the fourth-most in UCLA history.

McLain is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign that earned him Second Team All-America honors. He led the team in a number of offensive categories, including batting average (.397), slugging (.621), RBIs (19), hits (23), home runs (3), and OPS (1.043). After manning center field as a freshman, he deftly handled the move to the infield in 2020, finishing at No. 3 in D1Baseball's positional power rankings for shortstops.

Entering his fourth year in the UCLA rotation, Pettway is among the most established college pitchers in the country. He was downright unhittable as a true junior last season, earning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year honors from D1Baseball after going 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 29-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 25 2/3 innings. He was the league's Pitcher of the Week on two of four possible occasions, becoming the first Bruin to repeat as the winner of the award since Trevor Bauer in 2011. Two of his more impressive outings included a 13-strikeout game against St. Mary's and a six-inning, three-hit effort to help defeat then-No. 2 Vanderbilt on Mar. 6, 2020. For his career, Pettway has a 13-6 record and 3.44 ERA.

UCLA is coming off a 2020 campaign that looked like it had the makings of a special season before it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bruins won 11 straight games out of the gate, ultimately finishing with a 13-2 record and a No. 1 ranking in the RPI. UCLA returns a vast majority of its nucleus, with only center fielder Garrett Mitchell and closer Holden Powell – both selected in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft – not returning among starters from last year's team.

Stay tuned to @UCLABaseball on Twitter for all offseason updates.