Bruins Welcome Cal for Final Home Series of 2021
No. 18 UCLA (31-16, 14-10 Pac-12) vs. California (26-23, 12-12)
Friday, May 21, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Jackie Robinson Stadium)
Stream: Pac-12 Now App / Pac-12.com
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Audio Play-by-Play Talent: Tim Wilhelm
UCLA Battles California in Final Home Series of 2021
No. 18 UCLA (31-16, 14-10) returns to Pac-12 Conference play this weekend, hosting California (26-13, 12-12) in a three-game set at Jackie Robinson Stadium starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and continuing on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday and 1:00 p.m. The series represents the last home games of the 2021 campaign for UCLA. All three games this weekend will be streamed through Pac-12.com/live and the Pac-12 Now app, with Tim Wilhelm on the call. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast on UCLABruins.com as well as live stats at UCLAlivestats.com and 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
Friday, May 21 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Zach Pettway, RHP, Sr. (1-4, 4.45 ERA)
Cal - Josh White, RHP, So. (4-2, 1.93 ERA)
Saturday, May 22 - 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Sean Mullen, RHP, Jr. (9-1, 2.77 ERA)
Cal - Sean Sullivan, RHP, Jr. (3-5, 3.57 ERA)
Sunday, May 23 - 1:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Jesse Bergin, RHP, Jr. (4-3, 4.76 ERA)
Cal - Grant Holman, RHP, Jr. (1-2, 3.00 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA is coming off a 3-1 week, taking two of three from UC Santa Barbara in a split-venue weekend series before downing a red-hot Nevada squad on Tuesday night to complete an undefeated midweek schedule.
- The Bruins fell behind 7-0 by the fourth inning en route to a 10-4 loss in Friday's series opener against UCSB at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA had 15 hits in the contest, including six different players who had multiple hits led by Kyle Cuellar's 3-4 day. Mikey Perez had a solo homer in the fifth to get the Bruins on the board.
- UCLA recovered to take a 5-2 decision on the road at UCSB on Saturday. The Bruins threw a combined four-hitter, with Sean Mullen tossing six innings of one-run ball and Max Rajcic retiring every batter he faced in a seven-out save opportunity. The two teams traded solo homers early, making the score 1-1 for most of the game. The Bruins broke through with two runs in the seventh to go ahead for good, with Michael Curialle and JonJon Vaughns contributing RBI singles. UCSB responded with a solo homer in the bottom half of the seventh, but Rajcic entered the game and shut them down the rest of the way. UCLA added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth to make it a three-run game.
- The Bruins captured the series with an 11-3 Sunday win. UCLA led 4-1 after the second inning and the game remained close until UCLA pulled away with a seven-run seventh highlighted by a Kyle Cuellar grand slam and three-run JonJon Vaughns home run. The Bruin bullpen threw a combined 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just a pair of singles. Adrian Chaidez picked up the win for the Bruins to improve to 2-0 on the year. Kevin Kendall and Michael Curialle had run-scoring hits as part of a go-ahead three-run rally in the bottom of the second.
- UCLA finished off the week with an 11-3 Tuesday win over Nevada, a team which entered the contest having won 11 of its last 12. A pair of two-out rallies from the 8-9-1 spots in the order helped the Bruins build a 6-1 lead by the end of the fourth, and then UCLA pulled away with a five-run seventh highlighted by a bases-loaded double from Noah Cardenas. Kevin Kendall led UCLA offensively, going 3-3 with four RBIs and reaching in all five of his plate appearances. The Bruins employed seven different pitchers in the win, with Jake Brooks drawing the start and getting the W after allowing one earned in two innings.
- Over the last week, UCLA has batted .333, outscored its opponents 31-18, and notched 10+ hits in every game
- The last time UCLA won back-to-back games by an identical scoreline: Mar. 18-23, 2018 (5-4 vs. WSU, ASU).
- The Bruins have won three straight and nine of their last 12 games, including three straight series wins
- UCLA enters the weekend at No. 25 in the RPI
- UCLA went an undefeated 8-0 in midweeks this season
- JT Schwartz enters the weekend with the top average in the Pac-12 (.397) and the No. 6 OBP in the country (.525)
- Michael Townsend is tied for the NCAA lead in pitching appearances (32)
- Sean Mullen leads the Pac-12 with nine wins
- UCLA has 10+ hits in seven straight games, and in 29 games overall this season
In This Week's Polls
UCLA appeared in four of five major national polls on Monday, ranking as high as No. 16 (Collegiate Baseball) and remaining top-25 in the polls for the NCBWA (No. 17), D1Baseball (No. 18), and USA TODAY Coaches Poll (No. 21).
The All-Time Series Against Cal
UCLA leads the all-time series against California by a margin of 183-178, including a 27-18 mark under head coach John Savage. More recently, the Bruins are 20-10 over their last 10 series against the Golden Bears. UCLA has won five consecutive home series against Cal, last dropping a set at Jackie Robinson Stadium back in 2009. Under Savage, the Bruins have won six of eight home series against Cal and 10 of 15 series overall.
Last Time Out Against Cal
The Bruins took two of three from Cal at home in the last matchup between the two schools (Apr. 18-20, 2019). Playing on Easter weekend, UCLA opened the series with a walk-off 8-7 win on Thursday, Cal answered with a 4-1 Friday triumph, then the Bruins clinched the series with a decisive 6-1 Saturday win. Key performers from that weekend still on the UCLA roster include Noah Cardenas (4-5, .875 OBP), Kyle Mora (2 IP, 0 R), and Michael Townsend (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R).
UCLA is 21-1 in midweeks since the start of the 2019 season, including unbeaten marks of 11-0 in 2019 and 8-0 this season. UCLA defeated LMU, Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine, and Nevada in midweek action this year, outscoring the opposition 75-28 in those games. The Bruins outhit their opponents .327 to .199 in midweeks this season, and had a 2.88 ERA (opponents: 7.93). Six UCLA regulars hit over .300 in midweeks including Kevin Kendall (.500), Pat Caulfield (.462), Michael Curialle (.400), JT Schwartz, (.346), Matt McLain (.333), and Mikey Perez (.300) while five of the 11 pitchers the Bruins used in midweek games did not yield an earned run.
JT Back in the Lineup
JT Schwartz has been one of the top offensive performers in the country since returning to the UCLA lineup (he missed the first 10 games of 2021 due to injury), as he leads the Pac-12 in both batting (.397, 23rd in the country) and on-base percentage (.525, sixth in the NCAA). With 39, he's the team leader in RBIs despite playing 10 fewer games than the regulars chasing him. Schwartz has hit safely in 30 of 37 games so far, has multiple hits in 17 games, and also has a team-high 12 multi-RBI games. Standout performances include Apr. 25 at Oregon (2 HR, 4 RBIs), May 8 at WSU (2-2, reached in all six PAs), and May 9 at WSU (career-high four hits). He was named the UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week after the WSU series (reached base in 13-of-16 plate appearances for an .813 OBP). Schwartz is seeking to become the seventh Bruin to bat .400 for a season, and the first since 2001 (Brian Baron, .443).