UCLA Welcomes No. 20 Oregon For Three
UCLA (16-8, 3-3) vs. No. 20 Oregon (18-7, 7-2)
Friday, Apr. 1, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, Apr. 2, 2022 - 2:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, Apr. 3, 2022 - 12:00 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 No. 20 Oregon in Pac-12 Series
UCLA (16-8, 3-3) continues a five-game homestand this weekend, hosting conference rival and No. 20-ranked Oregon (18-7, 7-2) in a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium. All three games of the set will be streamed live on Pac-12.com, with the Friday and Sunday games also appearing on Pac-12 Insider (streaming channel on Roku, Sling, etc.). Nick Koop will be on the call for the stream. Fans can also follow along with an audio broadcast and live stats on UCLABruins.com, as well as live Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
- UCLA is 16-8 so far on the season, including a 5-1 mark over the last six games
- UCLA starting pitchers have combined for a 2.50 ERA and a 10.5 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 13 of 24 games so far, including a season-high 19 vs. LBSU on Mar. 1
- UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (2.48, 4th), WHIP (1.04, 4th), K-BB ratio (4.2, 4th), and H/9 (6.8, 7th)
- UCLA is 44-50 this season in stolen base tries (88% success rate), including 15 SBs from Kenny Oyama in as many tries
- 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, Apr. 1 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Jake Brooks, RHP, So. (4-2. 2.09)
ORE - RJ Gordon, RHP, So. (1-0, 5.57 ERA)
Saturday, Apr. 2 - 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Max Rajcic, RHP, So. (2-3. 2.92 ERA)
ORE - Isaac Ayon, RHP, So. (2-0, 5.74 ERA)
Sunday, Apr. 3 - 12:00 p.m. PT
UCLA - Thatcher Hurd, RHP, Fr. (2-0, 1.07 ERA)
ORE - TBA
The Week In Review
UCLA went 3-1 over the last week, winning two of three on the road at Arizona before defeating UCSB 7-2 at home on Tuesday night:
- Cody Schrier had five RBIs – including a sixth-inning grand slam – to lead UCLA to a 10-2 Friday night win over Arizona. JonJon Vaughns put the Bruins ahead early with a two-run double in the first, and Schrier provided the decisive hit of the game after UCLA loaded the bases on two errors and a walk. Jake Brooks scatterered seven hits over a 6 2/3 inning start to pick up the win and improve to 4-2.
- The Bruins fell behind by four early and couldn't come all the way back in a 4-2 Saturday loss. Garrett Irvin limited UCLA to three hits over 7 2/3 innings, but the Bruins began to mount a charge late in the game, plating single runs in the eighth and ninth. UCLA loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, getting the game-tying run on base, but a strikeout and groundout to second ended it. Kelly Austin (3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R) led a strong bullpen effort for UCLA, as a quartet of relievers combined to throw 5 1/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
- UCLA captured the series with a 7-3 Sunday win. Josh Hahn hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and drive in the eventual game-winning run for the Bruins. UCLA would go on to score in each of the next two innings as well (on RBI singles from Daylen Reyes and Malakhi Knight). The top eight batters in the lineup reached for UCLA, led by Jake Palmer (1-2, walk, two HBPs). Thatcher Hurd delivered six innings with just two hits and one earned run against to keep the Wildcats at bay. He picked up the win after posting a five-pitch sixth after Hahn's go-ahead HR.
- For the series, UCLA outscored Arizona 19-9 (the Wildcats averaged 8.3 runs/game entering the series)
- The Bruins have now held their opponent to single-digit runs in three of their last four weekend series (Arizona, Harvard, UC Riverside)
- UCLA scored scored five runs in the third inning (all with two outs) and received seven innings of shutout relief from the bullpen in a 7-2 win over UCSB on Tuesday night. Kenny Oyama had a season-high four RBIs to lead the Bruins, and his two-run double capped the decisive rally. Michael Curialle had two doubles, one of which drove in the game-winning run in the third. Jake Saum (3 IP, 2 H, 4 K), Charles Harrison (2 IP, 0 H, 2 K), and Ethan Flanagan (2 IP, 0 H, 3 K) were all excellent out of the 'pen to lock down 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 is fourth in the country in WHIP (1.02), walks allowed per nine innings (2.6), and K-BB ratio (4.2). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (136-62) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (53-10).
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:
- 2.50 ERA and 139-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 119 innings
- 33 total earned runs allowed (1.4 per game)
- 1.00 WHIP, 10.5 K/9
- 7/23 games with 0 ER allowed, 15/23 games with 1 ER or fewer allowed, 20/24 games with 2 ER or fewer allowed
- Allowed more than four hits just five times in 24 games
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 weekend, Savage needs seven further wins to reach 700 overall in his career.
The All-Time Series Against Oregon
UCLA owns a 32-16 record all-time against Oregon, including a 21-14 mark under head coach John Savage. The Bruins have won four of the last five sets against the Ducks, though Oregon was victorious in last year's head-to-head matchup. UCLA has won the last two series against Oregon at Jackie Robinson Stadium, with the Ducks' last series win in Westwood coming in 2014.
Last Year Against the Ducks
UCLA dropped two of three on the road to Oregon last year (Apr. 23-25). It was an exceedingly tight series, with all three games decided by two runs or fewer (including a pair of extra-inning, one-run games). The Ducks opened the set with a 5-3 Friday win and clinched the series with a 3-2 walk-off win in extras the next day, but UCLA salvaged the series with a 10-inning, 7-6 victory on Sunday. JT Schwartz hit two home runs, including a go-ahead two-run bomb in the 10th, to lead UCLA in that finale. Key performers from last year's series still on the UCLA roster include Daniel Colwell (0 R in 4.2 relief innings) and Josh Hahn (2-6, double, RBI).
Gourson Steps on the Gas
Freshman second baseman Ethan Gourson has been getting on base any way possible in his first season in Westwood. He leads all qualifying Bruins with a .959 OPS and has a solid all-around slash line at .282/.472/.487. If his average were just three points higher, he would lead all qualifying UCLA batters in each slash category. He had a 14-game reached base streak snapped on Tuesday against UCSB. Over the last 15 games, he's posted a 1.016 OPS while leading the team in doubles (8), RBIs (13), and HBPs (6). He's been a versatile piece of the lineup, appearing in each spot of the lineup 2-7 at some point this season.
Rub Some Dirt On It
UCLA enters the weekend ranked seventh in the country in offensive HBPs (53). The Bruins have an HBP in 20 of 24 games so far this year (including 14 in a row to start the season) and are averaging 2.2 HBPs per game. The Bruins had 12 batters plunked vs. Harvard (including a season-high six on Mar. 18) and saw another eight batters plunked during the Arizona series. Ethan Gourson leads the Pac-12 and is 16th nationally with 11 HBPs so far in 2022, and five Bruins regulars have at least 5 HBPs.
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 16 games this month, he leads the team in home runs (five), total bases (34), and RBIs (16). 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).
Bullpen Making Strides
After a somewhat slow start to the season, UCLA's bullpen has fared well in recent weeks. Dating to Feb. 25, UCLA relievers have allowed one earned run or fewer in 17 of 19 contests. That span includes 12 games with no earned runs against at all (with a five-game streak of 0 ER from Mar. 1-8). Key relief arms this year have included righty Alonzo Tredwell (1.62 ERA, team-leading two saves, 14.6 K/9), swingman southpaw Ethan Flanagan (1.11 ERA, 13.3 K/9), and freshman righty Luke Jewett (2.25 ERA, team-high 11 appearances). The Bruin 'pen had arguably its most-effective performance of the year on Mar. 29 against UC Santa Barbara, setting or matching collective single-game highs in innings (7.0) and strikeouts (10) while allowing just two hits and no runs.
Vaughns Goes for Extras
Two-sport standout JonJon Vaughns leads all Bruin regulars with a 1.092 OPS to this point in the season, and he ranks 37th nationally with 22 walks despite starting just 14 games. His .563 OBP would rank sixth nationally if 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 16 extra-base hits and 31 walks.
UCLA is outscoring its opponents at nearly a 2-1 ratio (154-79) 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 65-21 (plus-44), including a 26-6 advantage in the third inning alone. The Bruins are 15-2 this season when scoring first (.882 winning percentage) and 9-1 when scoring in the first inning (.900 winning percentage).
Palmer Heating Up
Graduate first baseman Jake Palmer has been red-hot over a six-game hitting streak, going 9-20 while reaching base a further nine times via walk or HBP (.621 OBP). His 23 free passes (17 BB, 6 HBP) on the season rank third on a team that has excelled in that area, and he's raised his batting average 97 points (to .272) since Mar. 6.
In The Polls
UCLA appeared in three of five major national polls this week, appearing as high as No. 25 in the Collegiate Baseball top-25. The Bruins also received votes in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and NCBWA poll. UCLA was ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls, and has been as high as No. 15 during the 2022 season.