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UCLA Welcomes LMU For Tuesday Tune Up

Apr 4, 2022
Jake Palmer (photo: Scott Chandler)

No. 15 UCLA (19-8) vs. Loyola Marymount (9-17-1)
Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Jackie Robinson Stadium)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Jim Watson
Stream: Pac-12 Now App / Pac-12.com
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Audio Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Live Stats

Bruins Host Loyola Marymount for Televised Midweek    
No. 15-ranked UCLA (19-8) wraps up a five-game homestand on Tuesday night, hosting Loyola Marymount (9-17-1) on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. PT in a Pac-12 Networks-televised contest. The game will be also be streamed live on Pac-12.com. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast (play by play: Nick Koop), live stats on UCLABruins.com, and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.

Quick Hits    

  • UCLA is 19-8 so far on the season, 8-1 in the last nine games, and has won a season-high five straight games
  • UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (2.50, 2nd), WHIP (1.04, 2nd), K-BB ratio (4.0, 4th), and H/9 (6.8, 6th)
  • The Bruins have allowed single-digit runs in three straight (and four of their last five) weekend series
  • UCLA was crowned champion of the Shriner's Children's College Classic in Houston (2-1 record, plus-15 run differential)
  • The Bruins have won four straight midweek games, after starting the year 0-2 in such contests
  • UCLA is 46-53 this season in stolen base tries (87% success rate), including 16 SBs from Kenny Oyama in as many tries
  • The Bruins have struck out 10+ batters in 13 of 27 games so far, including a season-high 19 vs. LBSU on Mar. 1
  • 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, Apr. 5 - 6:00 p.m. PT 
UCLA – Kelly Austin, RHP, RSo. (1-1, 3.34 ERA)
LMU – Jimmy Galicia, RHP, Sr. (0-3, 9.82 ERA)

The Week In Review    
UCLA went 4-0 last week (all at home), taking down UCSB on Tuesday before taking three straight one-run games from No. 20 Oregon:

  • 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
  • Jake Brooks pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his career and JonJon Vaughns hit a game-tying two-run home run to lead UCLA to a 3-2 win over Oregon on Friday. Vaughns's blast tied it up at 2-2 in the sixth, but the Bruins continued to rally as Jake Palmer doubled and later scored on a Kenny Oyama base hit for the go-ahead run. All three runs came with two outs. Brooks needed just 86 pitches to complete eight-plus innings, facing the minimum in four frames. Gage Jump entered the game with the tying run on second and nobody out in the ninth, but stranded that runner to record his first-career save 
  • Eight of nine starters collected a hit and all nine reached at least once as UCLA clinched the series with a 4-3 Saturday win. Tommy Beres sparked a pair pair of run-scoring rallies as part of his first-career multi-hit day. Oregon made it interesting late, scoring a run in the ninth to make it a one-run game, but Kelly Austin got the final out to record his first collegiate save. Max Rajcic allowed just two earned over a career-high six innings to pick up the win
  • UCLA finished off the sweep with a 5-4 Sunday win. Oregon plated a single run in each of the first four innings, but the Bruins battled back to tie it on an RBI double from Malakhi Knight in the sixth, and Kyle Karros put UCLA up for good with a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh. Jake Saum (4 IP, 1 H, 4 K) and Gage Jump (2 IP, 0 H) closed out the final six innings of the game without allowing a run, helping the Bruins cover after starting pitcher Thatcher Hurd departed in the first inning. Catcher Darius Perry hit his first collegiate home run and threw out a pair of runners in arguably his strongest performance as a Bruin to date

Midweek Notes    

  • UCLA is 25-3 in midweek contests since the start of 2019 (4-2 this year)
  • In 2022, UCLA has defeated UCSB, LMU, LBSU, and CS Fullerton 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 Kenny Oyama (.444/.630/.667, 5-5 SB), Malakhi Knight (.900 OPS), Michael Curialle (.304 BA, 7 RBIs), Ethan Flanagan (1.35 ERA, 20 K in 13.1 IP), and Thatcher Hurd (1.26 ERA, 30 K in 14.1 IP)
  • UCLA has won its last four midweeks after starting the year 0-2

In The Polls    
UCLA appeared in all five major national polls this week, checking in as high as No. 12 (Collegiate Baseball) while also appearing at No. 15 (D1Baseball), No. 17 (USA TODAY Coaches Poll), No. 18 (Baseball America), and No. 19 (NCBWA). UCLA's No. 12 ranking from Collegiate Baseball is its highest this season. The Bruins were ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls. UCLA re-entered the national top-25 this week after a three-week absence. The Bruins have taken series over ranked teams in each of the last two weekends. 

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:

  • 2.50 ERA and 148-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 133 1/3 innings
  • 37 total earned runs allowed (1.4 per game)
  • 0.98 WHIP, 10.0 K/9
  • 8/27 games with 0 ER allowed, 15/27 games with 1 ER or fewer allowed, 22/27 games with 2 ER or fewer allowed
  • Allowed more than four hits just six times in 27 games

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 second in the country in WHIP (1.04), and fourth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.6) and K-BB ratio (4.0). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (151-70) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (57-12). 

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 four further wins to reach 700 overall in his career. 

The All-Time Series Against LMU    
UCLA owns a 62-48-1 all-time record against Loyola Marymount, including an 18-6 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 eight games in the head-to-head series. 

Last Time Out Against the Lions    
UCLA defeated LMU by a score of 9-5 at Page Stadium on Mar. 22 of this season. The Bruins scored five runs in the top of the seventh to break a 4-4 deadlock and record the win. Kenny Oyama, a grad transfer from LMU, sparked that rally with a leadoff home run. The roundtripper was a cinematic moment for Oyama ... it was his birthday, his first game back at Page Stadium since transferring, and was his first NCAA home run in 179 career games at the collegiate level. Five of the next six batters reached after Oyama's HR, with runs coming in on RBI doubles from Michael Curialle and Malakhi Knight as well as an opposite field single for Jake Palmer. Gage Jump made his NCAA debut in that game, tossing a scoreless sixth inning. Kelly Austin struck out six over 3 1/3 innings, receiving a no decision. 

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).

Welcome Back, Karros    
Sophomore third baseman Kyle Karros made his return to the lineup last week, batting a team-best .400 (6-15) over four starts in his first action since Feb. 19. Karros's top moment came on Sunday against Oregon, hitting a go-ahead (and ultimately game-winning) solo home run in the seventh inning, his first of the 2022 season. Karros was a Pac-12 Player of the Week nominee. 

Rub Some Dirt On It    
UCLA enters the week ranked seventh in the country in offensive HBPs (57). The Bruins have an HBP in 21 of 27 games so far this year (including 14 in a row to start the season) and are averaging 2.1 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 eighth nationally with 13 HBPs so far in 2022, and five Bruins regulars have at least 5 HBPs. 

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 .942 OPS, has a solid all-around slash line at .276/.471/.471, and has reached base in 17 of the last 18 games. Over that 18-game span, he's posted a .981 OPS while leading the team in doubles (9) and HBPs (8). He's been a versatile piece of the lineup, appearing in each spot of the lineup 2-7 at some point this season. 

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 19 of 22 contests. That span includes 13 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, two saves, 14.6 K/9), swingman southpaw Ethan Flanagan (1.33 ERA, 12.0 K/9), and lefty Jake Saum (2.45 ERA, team-high 14 appearances). The Bruin 'pen had two of its most effective performances of the year last week, limiting UCSB to two hits and no runs over seven innings on Mar. 29 before tossing 8 2/3 innings to finish off the win in Sunday's Oregon finale (Saum and Jump combined for six scoreless innings). 

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 19 games dating to Mar. 1, he leads UCLA in home runs (5), at-bats (75), hits (21), RBIs (16), and total bases (37). 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). 

Early Birds    
UCLA is outscoring its opponents at nearly a 2-1 ratio (166-88) 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 68-28 (plus-40), including a 31-10 advantage in the first inning alone. The Bruins are 15-2 this season when scoring first (.882 winning percentage) and 10-1 when scoring in the first inning (.909 winning percentage).