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Bruins Head to Houston for Shriner's Children's College Classic

Mar 2, 2022
Jake Palmer (photo: Ross Turteltaub)

No. 23 UCLA (6-3) vs. Baylor (3-4)
Friday, Mar. 4, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. PT
Location: Houston, Texas (Minute Maid Park)
TV: MLB Network

No. 23 UCLA (6-3) vs. Oklahoma (5-2)
Saturday, Mar. 5, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. PT
Location: Houston, Texas (Minute Maid Park)
TV: MLB Network

No. 23 UCLA (6-3) vs. No. 1 Texas (9-0)
Sunday, Mar. 6, 2022 - 1:00 p.m. PT
Location: Houston, Texas (Minute Maid Park)
TV: MLB Network

No. 23 UCLA Faces Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas in 2022 Shriner's Children's College Classic    
No. 23 UCLA (6-3) hits the road for the first time in 2022 this weekend, heading to Houston for the six-team Shriner's Children's College Classic. The tournament will be played entirely at Minute Maid Park, the home of MLB's Houston Astros. The Bruins will face off against Baylor, Oklahoma, and Texas over the weekend. The tourney field is rounded out by Tennessee and LSU, who the Bruins will not match up with. Every game of the tournament will be streamed, and fans can also follow along with Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball

How To Watch    
All nine games of the tournament will be televised nationally on MLB Network. The games will also be live-streamed on, the Astros Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, and the MLB app. 

Quick Hits    

  • UCLA is 6-3 so far on the year, has won its last four games in a row, and has won both its weekend series
  • Bruin starting pitchers have combined for an 0.76 ERA and 12.8 K/9 ratio through nine games
  • During the Bruins' four-game winning streak, they've allowed just one earned run and 15 hits
  • UCLA has struck out 15+ batters in five of nine games so far, including four consecutive from Feb. 20-25
  • Entering the weekend, UCLA's 113 total pitching strikeouts are second-most in the country
  • Thatcher Hurd leads all pitchers nationwide with 25 strikeouts (in just 12.0 innings)
  • UCLA is 26-29 this season in stolen base attempts (90% success rate), including a team-high 9 SBs from Kenny Oyama
  • UCLA's current freshman class was the No. 1-ranked recruit class in the country
  • UCLA had six players on D1Baseball's Top 100 Impact Freshmen List, more than any other school in the country
  • 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

Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday, Mar. 4 - 9:00 a.m. PT 
UCLA - Jake Brooks, RHP, So. (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Baylor - Tyler Thomas, LHP, Sr. (1-1, 1.50 ERA)
Saturday, Mar. 5 - 9:00 a.m. PT 
UCLA - Max Rajcic, RHP, So. (1-1, 1.80 ERA)
Oklahoma - David Sandlin, RHP, RSo. (1-1, 6.10 ERA)
Sunday, Mar. 6 - 1:00 p.m. PT 
UCLA - Kelly Austin, RHP, RSo. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Texas - Tanner Witt, RHP, So. (2-0, 1.64 ERA)

The Week In Review    
UCLA is 4-0 over the last week, sweeping UC Riverside over the weekend before blanking Long Beach State 3-0 on Tuesday:

  • Jake Brooks struck out a dozen over seven scoreless innings and Michael Curialle drove in all the offense UCLA would need with a two-run double in the third inning as UCLA won its series-opener over UC Riverside, 3-1. Brooks faced the minimum over his final 5 2/3 innings, and allowed just three singles on the evening. Alonzo Tredwell locked down the save for the Bruins, the first of his career and first for any UCLA pitcher in 2022
  • The Bruins dominated on both sides of the ball in a 12-0 Saturday rout, scoring a season-high in runs while notching the team's first shutout of the campaign. UCLA scored in six of its eight offensive innings, led by Ethan Gourson (2-3, 3 RBIs), JonJon Vaughns (2-2, 3 R, 3 BB), and Cody Schrier (2-4, 2 RBIs). Max Rajcic (5 IP, 2 H) led a combined four-hitter for UCLA
  • UCLA clinched the sweep with a walk-off 2-1 victory Sunday. Tommy Beres brought in the game-winning run, successfully executing a safety squeeze to bring in Malakhi Knight, who had led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Kelly Austin (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R) dominated in his second Division I start but received a no decision after UCR tied it in the ninth
  • UCLA's plus-15 run differential vs. UCR was its best for a weekend series since Apr. 16-18, 2021 (+37 vs. Utah)
  • UCLA's two runs allowed against UCR were its fewest in a weekend series since Feb. 21-23, 2020 (1 vs. St. Mary's)
  • Thatcher Hurd (5 IP, 12 K) and Ethan Flanagan (4 IP, 7 K) teamed up to throw a 19-strikeout two-hitter against LBSU on Tuesday, as UCLA won 3-0. Hurd drew the start and was dominant early, going nine-up, nine-down to start the game with eight strikeouts. He wiggled out of a bases loaded jam before going 1-2-3 in the fifth. Flanagan entered in the sixth and closed it out by going 12-up, 12-down. Cody Schrier clubbed a three-run homer – the first home run of his career – in the bottom of the first to provide all the game's run production

On The Move    
UCLA has been busy on the basepaths so far in 2022, stealing 26 bases over five games at an 90% success rate. The Bruins rank fourth in the country in total stolen bases, and 11th in stolen bases per game (2.9). UCLA has swiped multiple bags in all but two games so far this year, and have had at least three stolen bases in six of nine games. The Bruins stole 11 bases over three games against CSUN to open the year, the program's most in a single series over the last 10 years. 

Racking Up The Strikeouts    
UCLA pitchers have been piling up the Ks so far in 2022, ranking second in the country with 113 strikeouts to this point (just three behind Virginia). UCLA had 15+ strikeouts in four consecutive games from Feb. 20-25, the first time the program has achieved that feat over the last 10 years. The Bruins followed that up with a season-high 19 strikeouts on Mar. 1 against Long Beach State, matching the program's highest single-game K output of the last 10 years. The 19 strikeouts against the Dirtbags – all by Thatcher Hurd and Ethan Flanagan – is believed to be a program-record for single-game strikeouts by freshmen. UCLA paces the Pac-12 Conference in both total strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings (12.0). 

Happy to Be Home    
UCLA's 2022 schedule is home-heavy, especially in the early going. The Bruins opened 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). 

In The Polls    
UCLA was featured in four of the five major national polls on Monday, appearing as high as No. 23 (Baseball America) and also checking in at No. 25 (NCBWA) and No. 27 (Collegiate Baseball). The Bruins received the third-most votes among schools outside the top-25 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. 

Hurd Missing Bats    
Despite being a true freshman, right-hander Thatcher Hurd has been piling up strikeouts at a higher rate than anyone in the country, as his 25 Ks on the year pace all pitchers NCAA-wide. He totaled 11 strikeouts over five innings in his first-ever NCAA start (Feb. 23 vs. Omaha), then one-upped himself with a dozen strikeouts in five innings against Long Beach State on Mar. 1. Those 12 strikeouts were the most by a UCLA freshman since Gerrit Cole had 13 against Washington on Apr. 17, 2009. 

Get 'Em On    
The Bruins' plate discipline has been on display early on in the season, as UCLA ranks high nationally in walks drawn (55, sixth) and hit by pitches (23, fourth). The Bruins have drawn a minimum of four BBs and one HBP each game, and are averaging 8.7 free baserunners per contest. Ethan Gourson (6 BBs, 5 HBPs) and Jake Palmer (6 BBs, 3 HBPs) have been among the most productive Bruins in that department. 

Good Start    
UCLA's starting pitching has been absolutely dominant in the early going in 2022, as the quintet of Jake Brooks, Max Rajcic, Kelly Austin, Ethan Flanagan, and Thatcher Hurd have combined for the following stats:

  • 0.76 ERA and 68-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 47 2/3 innings
  • 4 total runs allowed
  • 0.71 WHIP, 12.8 K/9
  • 6 games with 0 R allowed, 8 games with 1 ER or fewer allowed, 9 games with 2 ER or fewer allowed
  • 5 games with 2 H allowed (the most hits allowed by a UCLA starter in one game so far has been 4)

The Series Against Baylor    
UCLA owns a 7-4 all-time record against Baylor, with every matchup in the series occuring under current UCLA head coach John Savage. The two have met twice in recent years. In 2019, Baylor was the No. 2 seed in the Los Angeles Regional hosted by UCLA. Prior to that, the Bruins took two of three at Jackie Robinson Stadium from Feb. 23-25, 2018. The 2019 Regional matchup was the first-ever postseason matchup between the two schools. 

Last Time Out Baylor    
The Bruins and Bears are meeting for the first time since the 2019 postseason, which saw top-seeded UCLA face No. 2-seed Baylor in an elimination game. The Bruins won that contest, 11-6, to eliminate BU and advance to the Regional Final against Loyola Marymount (UCLA won the next two games over LMU to advance to Super Regionals). No current Bruins played in that game, though the trio of Jake Moberg, Jack Filby, and Daniel Colwell were on the roster that season. 

The Series Against Oklahoma    
UCLA is 7-8 all-time against Oklahoma, including a 3-6 mark under John Savage. The two teams have met just twice over the last 10 years, splitting those two games. In postseason play, UCLA has gone 4-2 against Oklahoma. The six matchups are the second-most for UCLA against any opponent in NCAA Tournament play, trailing only Cal State Fullerton (13). The Bruins traveled to Oklahoma for Regionals in 2000 and 2004. 

Last Time Out OU    
UCLA scored four runs in the seventh inning en route to a 4-2 win over Oklahoma at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Mar. 6, 2016 as part of the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic weekend. Eric Filia (3-4, two RBIs) was UCLA's offensive standout, while the Bruin staff (in a bullpen day) held OU off the board for the first five innings of the contest. 

The Series Against Texas    
UCLA owns a 4-8 record all-time against Texas, including a 2-5 mark under John Savage. The Bruins and Longhorns have met twice in the postseason, splitting those two games. All recent matchups between Texas and UCLA occured during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The Bruins took two of three from Texas at home from Mar. 11-13, 2016. Texas hit back the next year, sweeping UCLA in Austin from Mar. 10-12, 2017 before downing the Bruins in the Long Beach Regional opener later that spring. 

Last Time Out Against the Longhorns    
No. 2-seeded Texas eked out a 3-2 win over No. 3-seeded UCLA in the first game of the Long Beach Regional on Jun. 2, 2017. Current Los Angeles Angels righty Griffin Canning allowed two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings to lead the Bruins, while Ryan Kreidler hit a solo homer in the eighth. Trailing 3-1 in the ninth, Jack Stronach singled to score a run and put the game-tying run in scoring position, but Texas held strong there to record the win. 

In The Zone    
As is the case most years, the Bruins have been adept so far in 2022 at limiting free passes. Entering the weekend, UCLA ranks third in the country in WHIP (0.85) and seventh in BB/9 (2.3). Over the last four games, UCLA has yielded just four bases on balls (compared to 49 strikeouts). 

Savage Approaching Milestones in 2022    
UCLA head coach John Savage is on track to hit a pair of milestones during the 2022 season. Entering the weekend, he needs five wins to reach 600 at UCLA, and he needs 17 victories to reach 700 overall for his career.