Bruins to Face Pepperdine on Tuesday
UCLA Heads to Pepperdine for Tuesday Game
UCLA (21-11) plays four road games this week, opening with a Tuesday tuneup at Pepperdine (12-13) starting at 3:00 p.m. PT. The game will be streamed live by Pepperdine. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast on UCLABruins.com with Tim Wilhelm on the call, as well as live updates from the team Twitter account, @UCLABaseball.
UCLA Outdoor Home Sporting Events Open to Team Guests
In compliance with state and county public health guidance, UCLA outdoor home sporting events will be open to a limited number of team guests. Seating at these events will be limited in order to comply with updated state public health guidance for higher education and college athletics that has been adopted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as well as city, county and campus COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Tickets will not be available to the general public, and non-ticketed guests should not come to the competition venues. UCLA's campus remains closed to the general public.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Tuesday, Apr. 20 - 3:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Nick Nastrini, RHP, Jr. (2-2, 5.40 ERA)
PEPP - Dylan Schwartz, RHP, Fr. (1-0, 6.23 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA is coming off a 4-0 week, defeating Loyola Marymount 12-2 last Tuesday before sweeping league rival Utah in a home series.
- UCLA used a complete team effort to defeat LMU on Tuesday night, 12-2. Kyle Karros led the way with a career-high four RBIs, every starter collected at least one hit, and the bullpen turned in 6 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. UCLA went ahead for good on a Pat Caulfield RBI single in the second, then pulled away with a five-spot in the third highlighted by a three-run Karros double. Karros later added his first career home run to cap the game's scoring. Daniel Colwell allowed just an infield single over 2 2/3 scoreless to earn the win, while Jack Filby, Adrian Chaidez, Charles Harrison, and Max Rajcic turned in a scoreless inning apiece.
- The Bruins opened the Utah series with a 20-0 win, setting season-highs in both runs and hits (also 20). Kevin Kendall went 4-5 with seven RBIs to lead the offensive explosion. UCLA produced all its offense with five consecutive crooked numbers starting in the second inning, highlighted by a seven-run fourth that featured four UCLA home runs. All nine UCLA starters had a hit, and five had multiple hits. Besides Kendall, offensive standouts included JT Schwartz (3-3, 4 R), Kyle Karros (3-4, 4 R), and Michael Curialle (1-2, 3 RBIs). Meanwhile, Zach Pettway took care of Utah on the pitching side, tossing seven innings of shutout ball with a season-high 11 strikeouts.
- UCLA clinched the series with a 13-3 Saturday win. The Bruins recorded eight extra-base hits for the second consecutive day, holding leads of 4-0 and 11-1 before Utah added some offense late. Michael Curialle (two triples, three RBIs) and Kevin Kendall (3-4, HR) paced the Bruins' offense, and Josh Hahn had an 11-pitch, pinch-hit home run in the sixth inning as part of a 2-2 day. Sean Mullen limited Utah to one earned over 5 1/3 innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters from the second through fifth innings.
- The Bruins finished off the sweep with a 9-2 Sunday win. UCLA scored early and often, producing a run in six of the team's eight offensive frames. Eight of nine starters collected a hit in the win. Josh Hahn (3-3, 3 RBIs) had the biggest offensive day, while Matt McLain (2-3, 2 R, 3 RBIs) and Kyle Cuellar (2-4, 2 R) also stood out with the bats. Jesse Bergin surrendered just two earned while pitching into the seventh, and the UCLA bullpen closed it out with three scoreless frames.
- UCLA outscored its opponents 54-7 for the week, outhit them .401 to .183, and had a 1.75 team ERA compared to 12.94 for their opponents
- The Bruins' 42 runs against Utah were their most in a series since scoring 43 against Hofstra from Feb. 13-15, 2015.
UCLA is 18-1 in midweeks since the start of the 2019 season, including an unbeaten 11-0 mark in 2019 and five wins in as many games this season. UCLA has defeated LMU three times and Cal State Fullerton twice in midweek action this year, outscoring the opposition 50-13 in those games. The Bruins are outhitting their opponents .333 to .175 in midweeks this season, and have a 2.00 ERA (opponents: 7.68). Six UCLA regulars are hitting over .300 in midweeks including Kevin Kendall (.556), JT Schwartz (.385), and Michael Curialle (.368) while eight of the 11 pitchers the Bruins have used in midweek games have yet to yield an earned run.
Bruins Score 42 Runs Against Utah During Jackie Robinson Weekend
The Bruins posted exactly 42 runs this past weekend in its series against the Utes, the same weekend the team was wearing its "42" hats to honor Jackie Robinson Day, which is celebrated annually by MLB on Apr. 15. In a further coincidence, UCLA notched 47 hits during the three-game set (Robinson broke MLB's color barrier in 1947).
Kendall, Pettway Sweep Pac-12 Weekly Awards
After leading UCLA to four wins in four games last week, redshirt junior center fielder Kevin Kendall was named Pac-12 Player of the Week and senior right-hander Zach Pettway was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week. It was Kendall's first career weekly honor, and the fourth for Pettway. Kendall slashed .588/.611/1.294 last week with five extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. Pettway had arguably his best start of the year on Friday against the Utes, striking out 11 while walking none and allowing just five hits over seven shutout frames.
In This Week's Polls
UCLA appeared in three of five major national polls on Monday, ranking as high as No. 19 (Collegiate Baseball) and remaining top-25 in the NCBWA Poll (No. 25). The Bruins also received votes in this week's USA TODAY Coaches Poll.
The All-Time Series Against Pepperdine
UCLA leads the all-time series against the Waves, 65-39-4. The Bruins have won five straight against Pepperdine dating back to 2016, and are 19-6 against them under head coach John Savage.
Last Time Out Against the Waves
The Bruins and Waves previously met on Mar. 5 of this year, with the Bruins taking a 16-8 win in an extremely offensive game at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The game was closer than the scoreline indicates, as the teams were seperated by one run before the Bruins pulled away with seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Michael Curialle went 3-4 with three doubles and a career-high four RBIs to lead the Bruins offensively, while Noah Cardenas was 2-3 with a triple, three RBIs, and three runs scored. Jared Karros helped the Bruins turn it around defensively after a Pepperdine three-spot in the top of the first, tossing five innings of one-run relief. Sean Mullen earned the save with 1 2/3 spotless innings - he stranded the tying run on base in the eighth before finishing it off with a 1-2-3 ninth. The game was the first of the 2021 College Baseball Classic, a weekend in which UCLA went 3-0 and scored 32 runs. UCLA and Pepperdine were scheduled to meet again on Mar. 30 in Westwood, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Pepperdine program.
Through the Quad and Into the Gymnasium
The Bruins are streaking, having won their last five games. That is one off their season-high of six consecutive wins (Feb. 28 - Mar. 9). During the streak, UCLA is outscoring its opponents 60-8 and outhitting them .394 to .172. On the mound, UCLA has a 1.60 ERA over its last five games, compared to a 11.41 mark for its opponents. Every regular is hitting .333 or higher during the five-game spree, with the biggest contributors including Josh Hahn (7-11, 7 RBIs), Kevin Kendall (10-20,11 RBIs, five XBH), and Kyle Karros (10-22, 7 RBIs). The Bruins are averaging 12.0 runs per game during the streak, and have allowed three runs or fewer in each of the last five games. UCLA has never trailed over the last five games.
UCLA Hits 20-Run Plateau in Friday Contest Against Utah
The Bruins' offensive output on Apr. 16 was one of its most prolific in program history. It marked for UCLA:
- The first time scoring 20 runs since Mar. 26, 2017 against Cal (W, 20-0)
- The second-most runs in a shutout in program history (22-0 vs. LBSU; Apr. 12, 1978)
- The third 20-run game since 2010
- The fifth 20-run game for UCLA under head coach John Savage (two in 2008, one each in 2010, 2017, 2021)
- Tied for the largest margin of victory under John Savage (20-0 vs. Cal, Mar. 26, 2017; 22-2 at CSUN, Feb. 26, 2008)
Kendall Swinging it
While Kevin Kendall has been a consistent producer at the top of UCLA's lineup (he's reached base safely in 29 straight games), he took his production to another level last week en route to Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. He hit safely in all four of the team's games, batting .588 (10-17) with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and eight runs scored. He had seven RBIs on Apr. 16 against Utah (a pair of two-run homers and a bases-clearing triple), his first-career multi-HR game and the most single-game RBIs by any Bruin since Michael Toglia on Apr. 21, 2017. He enters the week with the most hits in the Pac-12 (53) while ranking third in runs (35) and sixth in stolen bases (nine).
Thanks in part to the team's offensive surge during the team's current winning streak, UCLA has moved up the leaderboards and now ranks among the Pac-12's team leaders in most offensive statistics. The Bruins rank second in the league in runs per game (7.8) and on-base percentage (.397) while ranking third in batting average (.295), hits (328), and home runs (33).
Karros Collecting Hits
Freshman third baseman Kyle Karros has been on a tear over the past two weeks, going 13-28 (.464) with seven RBIs. He's posted a career-high three hits in three separate games since Apr. 9, drove in a career-high four runs on Apr. 13 against LMU, and scored a career-high four runs on Apr. 16 against Utah. He added his first collegiate home run in the LMU contest. Overall, he's reached in eight straight and has hits in seven of his last eight games. Karros has raised his batting average 66 points (.195 to .261) in the past eight games.
The Bruins have had success with the long ball recently, hitting at least one home run in nine consecutive games and 21 total over that span. UCLA's nine-game homer streak is the program's longest in over six seasons. Eight separate Bruins have hit a home run over the last nine games, led by Matt McLain's six.
UCLA has produced double digits in the hit column in six straight and 12 of the last 15 games. For the season, UCLA has had 10+ hits in 20 of 32 games (63%).