UCLA Battles Stanford in Top-25 Matchup
No. 12 UCLA (23-9, 8-4 Pac-12) vs. No. 11 Stanford (18-10, 9-6 Pac-12)
Thursday, Apr. 14 - 7:00 p.m. PT (TV: Pac-12 Networks)
Friday, Apr. 15, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. PT (TV: ESPN2)
Saturday, Apr. 16, 2022 - 4:00 p.m. PT (TV: Pac-12 Networks)
Location: Jackie Robinson Stadium
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Thu. / Sat.) / ESPN2 (Fri.)
Streams: Thursday | Friday | Saturday
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Audio Talent: Nick Koop
Bruins Host Stanford for Jackie Robinson Weekend
No. 12-ranked UCLA (22-9) returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium this week to host No. 11-ranked Stanford (18-10, 9-6) for Jackie Robinson Weekend. With Easter falling on Sunday, this weekend's set will start a day earlier (on Thursday). Each game of the series will be televised, with the Pac-12 Networks carrying the Thursday and Saturday games and ESPN2 picking up the Friday contest as part of the network's coverage of Jackie Robinson Day. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast (play-by-play: Nick Koop) as well as live stats on UCLABruins.com and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
- UCLA is 23-9 so far on the season, including a 9-1 mark over the last ten games
- The Bruins trailed at some point in eight of those nine wins
- UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (2.84, 2nd), WHIP (1.11, 4th), K-BB ratio (3.6, 7th), and H/9 (7.2, 10th)
- The Bruins played seven consecutive one-run games from Apr. 1-10, a program record
- The Bruins had a season-high 8-game winning streak snapped on Sunday (the last six were all comeback, one-run wins)
- 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 six straight midweek games, after starting the year 0-2 in such contests
- UCLA is 50-57 this season in stolen base tries (88% success rate), including 17 SBs from Kenny Oyama in as many tries
- The Bruins have struck out 10+ batters in 15 of 32 games so far, including a season-high 19 vs. LBSU on Mar. 1
- This season, John Savage has recorded career win No. 700 as well as his 600th win at UCLA
- 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
Thursday, Apr. 14 - 7:00 p.m. PT (TV: Pac-12 Network)
UCLA – Jake Brooks, RHP, So. (5-2, 2.70 ERA)
STAN – Alex Williams, RHP, Sr. (3-1, 2.79 ERA)
Friday, Apr. 15 - 7:00 p.m. PT (TV: ESPN2)
UCLA – Max Rajcic, RHP, So. (4-3, 2.95 ERA)
STAN – Drew Dowd, LHP, So. (4-0, 4.00 ERA)
Saturday, Apr. 16 - 4:00 p.m. PT (TV: Pac-12 Network)
UCLA – Gage Jump, LHP, Fr. (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
STAN – Quinn Matthews, LHP, Jr. (5-1, 2.77 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA is 3-1 over the last week (all road games), taking two of three from Utah in Salt Lake City before defeating Pepperdine on Tueday:
- The Bruins rallied for a 6-5 win in 10 innings to open the Utah series. UCLA trailed 5-1 after six, but knotted it up late on a Cody Schrier solo home run, two-run Josh Hahn single, and Daylen Reyes sac fly. The Bruins moved ahead in the tenth after Carson Yates led off with a double and later scored on a wild pitch. Kelly Austin received the win after a standout relief outing ... he entered with two on and nobody out with the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, but got out of that inning unscathed before posting a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th.
- UCLA clinched the series over Utah with a 4-3 Saturday win. Daylen Reyes put the Bruins up for good with a two-run home run in the fourth (his first-career HR). Carson Yates added a two-run single in the next inning to make it 4-1, which turned out to be just enough offense to preserve the lead. Ethan Flanagan wiggled out of jams in the eighth and ninth innings to keep UCLA ahead, picking up his second-career save. Max Rajcic was solid for UCLA, striking out a career-high eight in a six-inning start. Bruin pitchers limited the Utes to a 1-13 line with runners in scoring position. It was technically another comeback, one-run win for UCLA, as Utah opened the scoring with a run in the second.
- The Bruins dropped a back-and-forth series finale on Sunday, 7-6. Both teams led multiple times over the course of the game, but the Utes went ahead for good with a three-spot in the bottom of the seventh. Darius Perry and Jake Palmer had RBI singles as part of a go-ahead four-spot for UCLA in the second inning, while Daylen Reyes sparked a two-spot with a one-out triple in the sixth. Gage Jump made his first-collegiate start in the game, striking out four over 1 2/3 innings.
- The performance in SLC clinched UCLA's fourth consecutive series win
- UCLA rallied for six runs late to take a 9-7 victory over Pepperdine on Tuesday in Malibu, giving John Savage his 700th career victory. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with five ties and four lead changes. In the last two innings alone, UCLA scored three to take the lead in the top of the eighth, gave up a pair to fall behind in the bottom half, scored three more to go ahead for good in the top of the ninth, and weathered a bases-loaded rally from the Waves in the last of the ninth to secure the win. Jake Palmer (two-run triple) and Michael Curialle (two-run home run) had the big hits of the go-ahead rallies in the eighth and ninth, respectively.
In The Polls
UCLA appeared in all five major national polls this week, checking in as high as No.9 (Collegiate Baseball) while also appearing at No. 12 (D1Baseball), and No. 13 (USA TODAY Coaches Poll, Baseball America, NCBWA). UCLA's No. 9 ranking from Collegiate Baseball is its highest this season, and the first time cracking the top-10. The Bruins were ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls. UCLA re-entered the national top-25 last week after a three-week absence. The Bruins have faced a ranked opponent in a weekend series twice this year, and have won the series both times.
The All-Time Series Against Stanford
UCLA is 154-204 all-time against Cardinal, including a 24-24 mark under head coach John Savage. The Bruins have won four of the last six head-to-head series against Stanford, including the last matchup at Jackie Robinson Stadium (taking two of three from Apr. 6-8, 2018).
Last Year Against the Cardinal
The Bruins dropped two of three to Stanford last year at Sunken Diamond, salvaging the set with a 6-1 Sunday win. Among current Bruins to have faced Stanford, Kyle Karros has the strongest career numbers (6-10, .636 OBP) while Daniel Colwell (2 IP, 0 ER) and Daylen Reyes (singled in a PH appearance) have both done well in limited action.
UCLA's starting pitching has been absolutely dominant in 2022, as the group of Jake Brooks, Max Rajcic, Kelly Austin, Ethan Flanagan, Thatcher Hurd, and Gage Jump have combined for the following stats:
- 2.75 ERA and 170-39 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 153 2/3 innings
- 47 total earned runs allowed (1.5 per game)
- 1.00 WHIP, 10.0 K/9
- Allowed 0 ER or fewer in 10 of 32 games, 1 ER or fewer in 17 of 32 games, and 2 ER or fewer in 25 of 32 games
- Allowed more than four hits just eight times in 32 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 fourth in the country in WHIP (1.11), sixth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.8), and seventh in K-BB ratio (3.6). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (170-90) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (69-16). The Bruins' +53 differential in HBPs is third-best in the country, and their +80 walk differential ranks sixth nationally.
Savage Hits a Trio of Milestones in 2022
The 2022 campaign has been chock-full of milestones for UCLA head coach John Savage, who this year has reached:
- Career win No. 700 (at Pepperdine on Apr. 12, 9-7)
- Win No. 600 at UCLA (vs. Harvard on Mar. 18, 25-2)
- Career game No. 1,000 at UCLA (Apr. 5 vs. LMU; W, 5-4)
Last Year: UCLA Scores "42" Runs During Jackie Robinson Weekend
The Bruins posted exactly 42 runs in their series against Utah from Apr. 16-18 of last year, the same weekend the team was wearing its "42" hats to honor Jackie Robinson Day, which is celebrated annually by MLB on Apr. 15. In a further coincidence, UCLA notched 47 hits during the three-game set (Robinson broke MLB's color line in 1947).
On The Move
UCLA has been busy on the basepaths so far in 2022, stealing 50 bases at an 88% success rate to this point. The Bruins rank 40th in the country in total stolen bases, and no team in the top-50 has fewer caught stealings than UCLA (7). UCLA has swiped multiple bags in 14 of 32 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.
UCLA pulled off a string of six consecutive one-run victories from Apr. 1-9, as part of an overall eight-game winning streak. That mark of six straight one-run wins doubled the previous program record of three consecutive one-run victories. The last time UCLA reeled off three straight one-run wins was on Mar. 18-19, 1995 against Washington and Washington State.
Rub Some Dirt On It
UCLA enters the weekend ranked fifth in the country in offensive HBPs (69). The Bruins have an HBP in 25 of 32 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 10th nationally with 14 HBPs so far in 2022, and five Bruins regulars have at least 7 HBPs.
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 freshmen. The six first-year Bruin pitchers to have appeared so far (Luke Jewett, Thatcher Hurd, Ethan Flanagan, Gage Jump, Alonzo Tredwell, and Nate Leibold) have combined for some gaudy numbers: 7-0, 2.08 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and a 134-33 K-BB ratio over 103 2/3 innings. The top three ERAs on the staff belong to freshmen (Hurd, Flanagan, Tredwell).
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 21 of 27 contests. That span includes 14 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 (1.41 ERA, 12.4 K/9), and lefty Jake Saum (2.53 ERA, team-high 17 appearances). The Bruin 'pen has had some of its most effective performances of the year over the last few weeks, limiting UCSB to two hits and no runs over seven innings on Mar. 29, tossing 8 2/3 innings to finish off the win in Sunday's Oregon finale (Saum and Jump combined for six scoreless innings), and posting a zero in seven of eight innings to help get a 5-4 win over LMU in 11 innings on Apr. 5.
UCLA is outscoring its opponents by a healthy margin (196-114) 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 76-32 (plus-44), including a 34-13 advantage in the first inning alone. The Bruins are 17-2 this season when scoring first (.894 winning percentage) and 12-1 when scoring in the first inning (.923 winning percentage).
Spreading Around the Saves
Five different pitchers have recorded a save for UCLA this year, tied for the most of any Bruin team coached by John Savage (2005, 2006, 2008). Alonzo Tredwell, Gage Jump, and Ethan Flanagan co-lead the squad with two saves apiece, while Kelly Austin and Chris Aldrich have also nailed down a save.