Bruins Close Homestand With Three Against Harvard
UCLA (10-6) vs. Harvard (7-5)
Friday, Mar. 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, Mar. 19, 2022 - 2:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, Mar. 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
Stream.Audio Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Bruins Host Harvard in Non-Conference Set
UCLA (10-6) concludes a seven-game homestand this weekend, hosting Ivy League-member Harvard (7-5) for a three-game series starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and continuing at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. All three games of the series will be live streamed on UCLABruins.com, with Nick Koop on the call. Fans can also follow along with an internet radio broadcast and live stats on UCLABruins.com, as well as live Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
Sunday Game vs. Harvard Pushed Back to 1 PM
There are a pair of fan advisories in place for Sunday's series finale against Harvard:
- The game will feature a 1:00 p.m. first pitch (was originally scheduled for 11:00 a.m.)
- The Los Angeles Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, so fans are advised to check for street closures before departing for the stadium.
- UCLA is 10-6 so far on the season, including a 9-4 mark against non-conference competition
- UCLA starting pitchers have combined for a 2.13 ERA and a 11.0 strikeouts per nine inning ratio
- UCLA was crowned champion of the Shriner's Children's College Classic (2-1 record, plus-15 run differential)
- The Bruins have struck out 15+ batters in five games so far, including four consecutive from Feb. 20-25
- UCLA leads the NCAA in WHIP (0.93), is top-10 in K-BB ratio (5.0, 2nd), H/9 (6.2, 49th), and ERA (2.48, 10th)
- UCLA is 35-39 this season in stolen base tries (90% success rate), including 15 SBs from Kenny Oyama (4th in NCAA)
- 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
- 2021: 37-20 record, No. 2 seed in NCAA Regionals, NCAA-high 10 players selected in MLB Draft
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday, Mar. 18 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Jake Brooks, RHP, So. (2-2, 2.00 ERA)
Harvard - Adam Stone, RHP, Jr. (1-1, 1.38 ERA)
Saturday, Mar. 19 - 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Max Rajcic, RHP, So. (2-1, 2.45 ERA)
Harvard - Tim Williamson, LHP, Jr. (1-1, 5.79 ERA)
Sunday, Mar. 20 - 1:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Thatcher Hurd, RHP, Fr. (1-0, 0.81 ERA)
Harvard - Jaren Zinn, RHP, Sr. (2-1, 7.71 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA went 2-2 last week, topping Cal St. Fullerton in a midweek before dropping two-of-three to USC:
- The Bruins defeated Cal State Fullerton 5-4 on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA led 3-0 by the end of the second inning, but had to rally late after the Titans tied it up at 4-4 with three unearned runs in the seventh inning. Kenny Oyama worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth, stole second, and later scored on a Michael Curialle double to bring in the game-winning run. Thatcher Hurd allowed one earned run and struck out seven over 4 1/3 innings, while the UCLA bullpen went the rest of the way without allowing an earned run.
- UCLA got the game-tying run to the plate in the ninth but couldn't pull off the comeback in a 7-4 Friday loss to USC. The Bruins had opened the game's scoring in the first, but the Trojans took control with a four-spot in the second. Jake Brooks was excellent from there on out for UCLA, giving up just one hit after the second inning. Kenny Oyama made a career-high eight catches in left field over the course of the game.
- UCLA posted four crooked numbers, including three in a row starting in the fourth, en route to a 11-2 Saturday win against the Trojans. Michael Curialle (3-4, 3 RBIs) was the Bruins' offensive standout, with Cody Schrier (2-5, 2 RBIs) and Ethan Gourson (1-3, 2 RBIs) also contributing heavily. Led by a five-inning start from Max Rajcic, UCLA pitchers allowed no earned runs in the game.
- The Bruins couldn't battle back from a five-run first inning by USC in a 6-3 rubber match loss on Sunday. UCLA got the leadoff batter on in six of nine innings, but couldn't get a clutch hit. Darius Perry (2-3) and Kenny Oyama (2-4) both had multiple hits for UCLA.
On The Move
UCLA has been busy on the basepaths so far in 2022, stealing 35 bases at a 90% success rate to this point. The Bruins rank 17th in the country in total stolen bases, and 17th in stolen bases per game (2.2). Among the top-25 teams nationally in bases stolen, UCLA ranks fifth in success rate. UCLA has swiped multiple bags in 10 of 16 games so far this year, including seven contests with at least three stolen bases. 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.
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 one win to reach 600 at UCLA, and he needs 13 victories to reach 700 overall for his career.
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:
- 2.13 ERA and 104-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 84 1/3 innings
- 22 total runs allowed (1.4 per game)
- 0.83 WHIP, 11.0 K/9
- 7/16 games with 0 ER allowed, 11/16 games with 1 ER or fewer allowed, 13/16 games with 2 ER or fewer allowed
- Allowed more than four hits just twice in 16 games
The Series Against Harvard
UCLA leads the all-time series against Harvard, 5-1. The two schools have matched up in three separate seasons. They most recently met in 2000, with the Bruins sweeping a three-game set at Jackie Robinson Stadium. They split two games during Regionals in 1997, with UCLA eventually reaching the College World Series. UCLA and Harvard first met in 1985 during the Riverside Tournament, with the Bruins winning 6-4.
Last Time Out Against the Crimson
In the most-recent matchup between UCLA and Harvard, the Bruins swept a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium from Mar. 17-18, 2000. UCLA outscored the visitors 24-9 in that series, with only the middle game of the set (UCLA won, 5-4) being decided by fewer than five runs. Key offensive contributors for UCLA over the weekend included Bill Scott (7-12, two HR, four RBIs) and MLB alums Chase Utley (4-12, HR, three RBIs) and Garrett Atkins (3-11, two HR, five RBIs). Top pitching performances came from Rob Henkel, who struck out 16 over seven scoreless innings on Friday, and Jon Brandt, who tossed 4 2/3 scoreless relief innings to pick up the win on Saturday.
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 leads the country in WHIP (0.93), is second in K-BB ratio (5.0), and third in walks allowed per nine innings (2.2). Over the last 11 games, UCLA has yielded just 17 bases on balls (compared to 110 strikeouts).
Rub Some Dirt On It
UCLA enters the weekend ranked 16th in the country in offensive HBPs (31). The Bruins had at least one HBP in the first 14 games of the season, and are averaging 1.9 HBPs per game so far in 2022. UCLA had a season-high 5 HBPs against Pepperdine on Feb. 22. Ethan Gourson leads the team with 6 HBPs.
Racking Up The Strikeouts
UCLA pitchers have been piling up the Ks so far in 2022, ranking second in the Pac-12 and 26th nationally with a 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. 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.
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 two of five major national polls this week, receiving votes in both the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and NCBWA poll. The Bruins were ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls.
Hurd Missing Bats
Despite being a true freshman, right-hander Thatcher Hurd has been piling up strikeouts at one of the highest clips in the country, as he ranks in the top-15 nationally in both strikeouts (38, 13th) and K/9 (15.3, 14th). He totaled 23 strikeouts over his first two collegiate starts, including a 12-strikeout performance against LBSU on Mar. 1 that represented the most by a UCLA freshman since Gerrit Cole had 13 against Washington on Apr. 17, 2009. Over half of his recorded outs have come via the K (38-67, 58%).
Despite a heavy amount of turnover on the pitching staff, UCLA has continued to excel on the mound in 2022 thanks in large part to the performance of its newcomers. The five new Bruins pitchers to have appeared so far (Luke Jewett, Thatcher Hurd, Ethan Flanagan, Kelly Austin, Alonzo Tredwell) have combined for some gaudy numbers: 5-1, 1.37 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and a 106-13 K-BB ratio over 78 2/3 innings.
Plenty of Kenny
Graduate outfielder and leadoff hitter Kenny Oyama has been quite the spark plug for UCLA's offense, reaching base safely in 14 of the team's first 16 games while going a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen base attempts. He has the fourth-most stolen bases in the country, and second-most among players with a 100% success rate.He's had several notable moments so far this season. On Feb. 20 he became the first Bruin since 2016 to record seven at-bats in a game, and went on to lead all Bruins in hits (6) and stolen bases (4) during the season-opening CSUN series. On Mar. 6 against No. 1 Texas, he stole second and third base on back-to-back pitches in the fifth inning before scoring the go-ahead and game-winning run.