Bruins Face LMU in First True Away Game of 2022
UCLA (12-7) at Loyola Marymount (6-12-1)
Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Page Stadium)
Stream: WCC Network
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Bruins Begin Road Swing With LMU Midweek
After playing nearly exclusively at home over the first month of the season, UCLA (12-7) hits the road for its next four games, starting on Tuesday night at Loyola Marymount (6-12-1). First pitch from Page Stadium is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT, and the game will be streamed live on the WCC Network. Fans can also follow along with an internet radio broadcast and live stats on UCLABruins.com, as well as live Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
- UCLA is 12-7 so far on the season, including a 11-5 mark against non-conference competition
- UCLA starting pitchers have combined for a 2.20 ERA and a 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings 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 10+ batters in 10 of 19 games so far, including a season-high 19 vs. LBSU on Mar. 1
- UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (2.53, 6th), WHIP (0.99, 3rd), K-BB ratio (4.7, 2nd), and H/9 (6.6, 8th)
- UCLA is 41-45 this season in stolen base tries (91% success rate), including 15 SBs from Kenny Oyama (7th 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
Tuesday, Mar. 22 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Kelly Austin, RHP, RSo. (1-1, 2.70 ERA)
LMU - Jacob Fried, RHP, So. (0-1, 27.00 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA went 2-1 last week, taking two out of three in a home series against Ivy League-member Harvard:
- The Bruins had no midweek game due to final examinations
- UCLA produced a season-high in runs to defeat Harvard 25-2 on Friday. The Bruins led 20-0 by the end of three innings in the contest. Cody Schrier, Ethan Gourson, and JonJon Vaughns combined to go 8-9 with two home runs, 13 RBIs, and 10 runs scored to lead the Bruins, who also took advantage of 14 walks and six HBPs issued by Harvard pitchers. Jake Brooks turned in five innings of one-run ball to pick up the win.
- The Bruins were limited to one hit in a 5-0 Saturday loss. Tommy Beres got the Bruins in the hit column with a fifth-inning single to center. Lefty Tim Williamson (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 6 K) received the win for the Crimson.
- UCLA captured the series win with an 11-inning, 3-2 walk-off win on Sunday. The game-winning run came off a balk after UCLA had loaded the bases on a Vaughns walk, Jake Palmer base hit, and Malakhi Knight bunt single. The Bruins never trailed in the contest, scoring in the bottom of the first and leading 2-0 after five. Starter Thatcher Hurd (5.1 IP, 2 H, 6 K) and the UCLA bullpen (5.2 IP, 5 K) allowed just a single run apiece. Luke Jewett pitched the last two innings of the game, facing the minimum, to record his first-career win. Palmer (3-5, two walks), Cody Schrier (2-4, two walks), and Vaughns (1-3, three walks) all reached base at least four times on Sunday.
- For the series, UCLA outscored Harvard 28-9 and had a 2.79-5.27 edge in team ERA.
- UCLA is 23-3 in midweek contests since the start of 2019 (2-2 this year)
- This year, the Bruins defeated LBSU and Cal St. Fullerton in midweek action while falling to Pepperdine and Omaha
- The Bruins went undefeated in midweeks in 2019 (11-0) and 2021 (8-0)
- Midweek standouts this year include Oyama (.400 BA), Malakhi Knight (.976 OPS), Ethan Flanagan (0.96 ERA in 3 apps), and Thatcher Hurd (1.26 ERA in 14.1 IP)
On The Move
UCLA has been busy on the basepaths so far in 2022, stealing 41 bases at a 91% success rate to this point. The Bruins rank 15th in the country in total stolen bases, and 16th in stolen bases per game (2.2). Among the top 25 teams nationally in bases stolen, UCLA has the highest success rate (Belmont is the only other school north of 90%). UCLA has swiped multiple bags in 12 of 19 games so far this year, including eight 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 Hits One Milestone in 2022, On Track for Another
Bruins' head coach John Savage recorded his 600th career win at UCLA after defeating Harvard on Mar. 18. Entering the week, Savage needs 11 further wins to reach 700 overall in his career.
The Series Against Loyola Marymount
UCLA owns a 61-48-1 all-time record against Loyola Marymount, including a 17-6 mark under head coach John Savage. This is the fifth consecutive season that the Bruins and Lions have matched up. UCLA has won the last seven games in the head-to-head series.
Last Year Against the Lions
The Bruins picked up four wins in as many matchups against LMU in 2021, including three wins at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins outscored them 39-18 on aggregate in the series, but the one matchup played at Page Stadium was decided by one run (UCLA won, 9-8, on May 11). Key performers against the Lions last year still on the UCLA roster include Emanuel Dean (4-6, four RBIs), Michael Curialle (5-13, four runs), and Kyle Karros (six RBIs).
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:
- 2.20 ERA and 122-25 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 98 1/3 innings
- 26 total runs allowed (1.4 per game)
- 0.92 WHIP, 11.2 K/9
- 7/19 games with 0 ER allowed, 13/19 games with 1 ER or fewer allowed, 16/19 games with 2 ER or fewer allowed
- Allowed more than four hits just three times in 19 games
Vaughns Heating Up
With an OPS of 1.394 through his first 12 games, sophomore outfielder JonJon Vaughns has been getting it done with the bat for UCLA. Vaughns leads the Bruins in all slash categories at .364/.667/.727, and is walking twice as often as he strikes out (20 walks to 10 strikeouts). His 20 BBs rank 15th nationally, and he would lead the country in OBP if he had met the 75% games played requirement for qualification. He has walked 3+ times in five games this season, and earned a free pass eight times in the Harvard series alone. Interestingly, he's shown an aversion to singles during his collegiate career; he has nine singles as a Bruin compared to 15 extra-base hits and 29 walks.
Schrier Springs in March
After a bit of a cool start to his collegiate career (.258 average in February), UCLA freshman shortstop Cody Schrier has become an offensive difference-maker since the calendar turned over to March. In 11 games this month, he leads the team in batting (.372 average), home runs (four), total bases (29), and RBIs (11). He had his best offensive performance to date on Mar. 18 against Harvard; he went 4-4, reached base in all six of his plate appearances, and established career highs in hits, runs (four), and RBIs (four).
Bruins Make History with Offensive Performance on Mar. 18
UCLA's offensive performance against Harvard on Mar. 18 was notable for a number of reasons:
- The Bruins' 25 runs were their most ever in a game at Jackie Robinson Stadium (home field since 1981)
- UCLA's most runs ever in a game under 18th year head coach John Savage
- The 25 runs were the most for a program in a single game since Mar. 22, 1986 (28 at Arizona)
- UCLA's 10-run first inning was its first frame with double-digit scoring since Mar. 25, 2007 vs. Pacific (14)
- The 23-run margin of victory was tied for the largest in program history against a Division I opponent (last: 28-5 at Arizona on Mar. 22, 1986) and third-largest against all opponents
In The Zone
As is the case most years, the Bruins have been adept so far in 2022 at limiting free passes. Entering the week, UCLA is third in the country in WHIP (0.99), is second in K-BB ratio (4.7), and third in walks allowed per nine innings (2.3).
Rub Some Dirt On It
UCLA enters the weekend ranked 8th in the country in offensive HBPs (43). The Bruins have an HBP in 17 of 19 games so far this year (including 14 in a row to start the season) and are averaging 2.3 HBPs per game. The Bruins had 12 batters plunked vs. Harvard, including a season-high six on Mar. 18. Ethan Gourson leads the Pac-12 and is sixth nationally with 11 HBPs so far in 2022.
UCLA is outscoring its opponents at nearly a 2-1 ratio (119-63) overall in 2022, and that advantage is particularly acute in the early innings. In the first three innings of games, the Bruins are outscoring their opponents 53-13 (plus-40), including a 20-2 advantage in the third inning alone. The Bruins are 12-2 this season when scoring first (.857 winning percentage) and 7-1 when scoring in the first inning (.875 winning percentage).
Racking Up the Strikeouts
UCLA pitchers have been piling up the Ks so far in 2022, leading the Pac-12 and ranked 15th nationally with an 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. UCLA has recorded double figure strikeouts in over half of its games (10-19, 53%), and recorded 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.
On the Road Again
UCLA's 2022 schedule was very home-heavy in the early going, as the squad played 16 of its first 19 games at Jackie Robinson Stadium (the other three were part of a neutral-site tournament at the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park). The team's first true road game (Mar. 22 at Loyola Marymount) is the latest road opener in program history.
In The Polls
UCLA was featured in one major national poll this week, receiving votes in the NCBWA poll. The Bruins were ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls, and have been as high as No. 15 this season.
Hurd Missing Bats
Thatcher Hurd has been striking out batters at an elite rate this season, as his 44 strikeouts lead all freshmen and rank 18th nationwide. 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 (44-83, 53%).
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: 6-1, 1.71 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and a 125-18 K-BB ratio over 94 2/3 innings.