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No. 22 UCLA Opens 2022 Season by Hosting CSUN

Feb 17, 2022
Jake Saum (photo: Ross Turteltaub)

IMPORTANT: UPDATED PARKING PROCEDURES

No. 22 UCLA (0-0) vs. CSUN (0-0)
Friday, Feb. 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 - 2:00 p.m. PT

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 - 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: Nick Koop
Live Stats

No. 22 UCLA Opens 2022 Campaign Friday vs. CSUN    
The No. 22-ranked UCLA baseball team opens its 2022 season this weekend with a three-game set against Big West-member CSUN starting on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. The series continues with games on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. All three contests will be streamed live on UCLABruins.com. Fans can also follow along with an internet radio broadcast, live stats, and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball

Quick Hits    

  • The Bruins went 37-20 in 2021 and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament
  • UCLA had an NCAA-high 10 players selected in the 2021 MLB Draft
  • UCLA's current freshman class was the No. 1-ranked recruit class in the country
  • Niko Gallego (assistant coach) and David Berg (volunteer assistant coach) were both promoted this offseason
  • The Bruins are 11-5 against Big West teams over the last two seasons
  • Returning starters include INF/OF Michael Curialle (career .292 hitter), corner infielder Kyle Karros (25 RBIs), right-hander Jared Karros (career 3.51 ERA), and center fielder JonJon Vaughns (.537 SLG)
  • UCLA plays its first 9 games of 2022 at home, and doesn't play a true road game until Mar. 22

Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday, Feb. 18 - 6:00 p.m. PT 
UCLA - Jake Brooks, RHP, So. (2-0, 5.31 ERA in 2021)
CSUN - Blaine Traxel, RHP, Sr. (5-1, 3.78 ERA in 2021)
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Max Rajcic, RHP, So. (2-1, 1.65 ERA in 2021)
CSUN - Blake Sodersten, RHP, Sr. (3-2, 4.02 ERA in 2021)
Sunday, Feb. 20 - 1:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Kelly Austin, RHP, RSo. (6-0, 1.57 ERA in 2021 at Orange Coast College)
CSUN - Ryan Wentz, RHP, So. (0-2, 14.54 ERA in 2021)

UCLA on Opening Day    
UCLA is opening the season at home for the 12th consecutive season, and the 19th time in the last 20 seasons. The Bruins are 11-6 on Opening Day under head coach John Savage (since 2005) and have won their opening series in seven of the last nine years. UCLA absorbed a rare series loss to open 2021, dropping two of three to San Francisco. 

Happy to Be Home    
UCLA's 2022 schedule is home-heavy, especially in the early going. The Bruins open the new campaign with a nine-game homestand, and will play 16 games at Jackie Robinson Stadium before the team's first true road game: Mar. 22 at Loyola Marymount (the latest road opener in program history). The Bruins will play three neutral games at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Tex. from Mar. 4-6 as part of the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. 

A Decade of Opening Day Starts

  • 2021 - Jared Karros (So.) - L, 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K vs. San Francisco (UCLA L, 2-6)
  • 2020 - Zach Pettway (Jr.) - W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K vs. UC Riverside (UCLA W, 4-2)
  • 2019 - Zach Pettway (So.) - ND, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K vs. St. John's (UCLA W, 3-2)
  • 2018 - Jake Bird (Jr.) - W, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K vs. Portland (UCLA W, 7-2)
  • 2017 - Griffin Canning (Jr.) - ND, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K vs. San Jose State (UCLA W, 3-2)
  • 2016 - Grant Dyer (Jr.) - L, 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K vs. North Carolina (UCLA L, 0-4)
  • 2015 - James Kaprielian (Jr.) - W, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K vs. Hofstra (UCLA W, 14-2)
  • 2014 - James Kaprielian (So.) - L, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K vs. Portland (UCLA L, 0-1)
  • 2013 - Adam Plutko (Jr.) - ND, 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K vs. Minnesota (UCLA L, 2-6)
  • 2012 - Adam Plutko (So.) - ND, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K vs. Maryland (UCLA L, 1-2)

In The Polls    
UCLA enters the 2022 season ranked in four of the five major national polls, appearing as high as No. 18 (Collegiate Baseball) while also checking in at No. 21 (NCBWA), No. 22 (Baseball America), and No. 24 (USA TODAY Coaches Poll). While the Bruins didn't appear in the D1Baseball Top-25, they were the cover photo for the "dandy dozen" that just missed the rankings. 

Looking Back at 2021    

  • UCLA went 37-20 overall in 2021, hitting the 30-win plateau for the 12th time under John Savage
  • The Bruins posted an 18-12 record in Pac-12 play, finishing fourth in the league standings
  • UCLA earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and was placed in the Lubbock Regional at Texas Tech
  • The Bruins went an undefeated 8-0 in midweeks
  • JT Schwartz (.396) was the Pac-12 Batting Champion, UCLA's first since 2001
  • The Bruin pitching staff was led by breakout campaigns from Sean Mullen (3.39 ERA), Max Rajcic (1.65 ERA) and Adrian Chaidez (2.20 ERA)
  • UCLA was the only Pac-12 team to finish top-three in the league in both offense (7.3 runs per game, second) and pitching (3.95 team ERA, third)
  • The Bruins had 10 players selected in the 2021 MLB Draft, the most of any school in the country
  • SS Matt McLain was selected No. 17 overall by Cincinnati, giving UCLA a first-round pick in three consecutive drafts for the first time in program history

Brooks Draws Opening Day Start    
Sophomore righty Jake Brooks will take the ball for UCLA on Opening Day. He joins a prestigious group of Bruin sophomores to have started on Opening Day, including MLBers Gerrit Cole, Adam Plutko, and James Kaprielian. Brooks was 2-0 with a 5.31 ERA last year, and the Bruins went 3-0 in his starts. He pitched to a 3.06 ERA last summer in the Cape Cod League. 

UCLA Brings in Nation's No. 1 Recruiting Class    
UCLA's 2022 roster has been bolstered by a strong recruiting class, which received a No. 1 national recruit class ranking from three separate outlets (D1Baseball, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball). 

  • The group features three players from the top-100, and five from the top-125, of Baseball America's top 500 prospect list for the 2021 Draft.
  •  The newest group of Bruins is headlined by four players ranked inside the top-100 nationally by Perfect Game in outfielder Malakhi Knight (No. 26), right-handed pitcher Thatcher Hurd (36), infielder Cody Schrier (43), and left-handed pitcher Gage Jump (45).
  • The Bruins also brought in talented transfers from the four-year and junior college ranks including outfielder Kenny Oyama (batted .320 last season at Loyola Marymount), outfielder Jake Palmer (career .446 OBP at UC Irvine), and right-handed pitcher Kelly Austin (6-0, 1.26 ERA last season at Orange Coast College).
  • The class also features standout prep players in RHP Alonzo Tredwell (No. 164 national ranking from Perfect Game), RHP Luke Jewett (195), OF Nick McLain (211, younger brother of Bruin alum Matt McLain), C Jack Holman (292), and INF Bryce Grudzielanek (314). The class is rounded out by RHP Josh Alger (No. 342 in the BA Top-500 Draft rankings) RHP Nate Leibold (2.19 ERA in the WCL), LHP Ethan Flanagan (Orange County All-Star), and INF Ethan Gourson (All-CIF shortstop).

The Series Against CSUN    
UCLA holds a 39-32-1 edge in the all-time series against CSUN, and has won the last three head-to-head matchups. The Bruins are 17-7 against the Matadors under head coach John Savage. UCLA and CSUN are meeting in a weekend series for the first time since 2007, a three-game sweep for the Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium (Apr. 21-22, 2007). When first pitch arrives, it will be 1,043 days since UCLA and CSUN last played, the longest gap in series history. From 1973 (first meeting) to 2019, the two schools met at least once in 41 of 47 seasons, and never went consecutive seasons without playing before 2020-21. 

Savage Approaching Milestones in 2022    
UCLA head coach John Savage is on the doorstep of a pair of milestones entering the 2022 season. As of Opening Day, he needs 11 wins to reach 600 at UCLA, and he needs 23 victories to reach 700 overall for his career. 

Bruins In The D1Baseball Preseason Positional Power Rankings
UCLA was represented by a quartet of players in the preseason D1Baseball positional power rankings:

  • Second Base: Michael Curialle (No. 17)
  • Outfielder: Malakhi Knight (No. 66)
  • Starting Pitcher - Jared Karros (No. 62), Max Rajcic (No. 68)