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Bruins Head North for UCSB Midweek

Apr 18, 2022
Kyle Karros (photo: Jan Kim Lim)

No. 13 UCLA (24-11) at UC Santa Barbara (24-8)
Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2022 - 5:30 p.m. PT
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif. (Caesar Uyesaka Stadium)
Stream: ESPN+
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Audio Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Live Stats

Bruins Head North for UCSB Midweek    
No. 13-ranked UCLA (24-11) is set to play four road games this week, starting on Tuesday with a 5:30 p.m. PT showdown against UC Santa Barbara (24-8). The contest will be streamed live through ESPN. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast (play-by-play: Nick Koop), live stats on, and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.

Quick Hits    

  • UCLA is 24-11 so far on the year, including an 8-3 mark in April
  • The Bruins trailed at some point in eight of their last nine wins (dating to Mar. 29 vs. UCSB)
  • UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (3.16, 6th), WHIP (1.15, 5th), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.7, 5th)
  • The Bruins played seven consecutive one-run games from Apr. 1-10, a program record
  • 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 52-59 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 18 of 35 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
Tuesday, Apr. 19 - 5:30 p.m. PT
UCLA – Kelly Austin, RHP, RSo. (2-1, 3.21 ERA)
UCSB – JD Callahan, RHP, So. (1-2, 3.79 ERA)

The Week In Review    
UCLA went 2-2 last week, defeating Pepperdine on the road before losing two of three at home to Stanford over the weekend:

  • 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.
  • The Bruins scored once in the bottom of the first, but it was all Stanford the rest of the way as the Cardinal posted a 9-1 series-opening win on Thursday. Carter Graham and Braden Montgomery each had a three-run homer for Stanford. Jake Brooks was solid for UCLA, fanning nine batters (his second-highest K total this year) while pitching into the seventh inning. 
  • UCLA evened the series with a nail-biter 5-4 win on Friday, in a game televised by ESPN2. Michael Curialle (two-run homer) and Jake Palmer (two-run single) helped the Bruins open up a four-run lead, but Stanford slowly chipped away and eventually tied it up in the eighth. The Bruins immediately responded in the bottom half though, with Darius Perry knocking in Curialle with an RBI single for the go-ahead and ultimate game-winning run. Ethan Flanagan pitched out of trouble in the eighth and ninth to pick up the win, while Max Rajcic (7 IP, 10 K) set career highs in innings and strikeouts.
  • The Bruins suffered an 11-0 loss in the series finale. Gage Jump (2 ER, 7 K) was solid over a career-high five innings, while Luke Jewett closed the game out by going seven-up, seven-down. Jake Palmer reached base three times to lead UCLA offensively.

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. 13 (D1Baseball), No. 14 (USA TODAY Coaches Poll), No. 15 (NCBWA), and No. 16 (Baseball America). UCLA has been ranked as high as No. 9 this season (last week, Collegiate Baseball), and entered the year as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls.

Midweek Notes    

  • UCLA is 27-3 in midweek contests since the start of 2019 (6-2 this year)
  • In 2022, UCLA has defeated UCSB, LMU (twice), LBSU, Pepperdine and CS Fullerton (losses against Pepperdine, Omaha)
  • The Bruins went undefeated in midweeks in 2019 (11-0) and 2021 (8-0)
  • Midweek standouts this year include Kenny Oyama (.348/.531/.522, 5-5 SB), Malakhi Knight (.900 OPS), Michael Curialle (team-high 9 RBIs), Ethan Flanagan (1.12 ERA, 25 K in 16 IP), and Thatcher Hurd (1.26 ERA, 30 K in 14.1 IP)
  • UCLA has won its last six midweeks after starting the year 0-2

The All-Time Series Against UC Santa Barbara    
UCLA owns a 56-40-1 record all-time against UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins have won three of their last four games against the Gauchos, picking up a 7-2 victory on Mar. 29 of this year and taking two of three in a split-venue weekend series during the 2021 season. The 2022 season is the first time that the Bruins and Gauchos have played a home-and-home midweek series since the 2016 season (the two programs were scheduled to do so in 2020 before COVID cut the season short). The following Bruins have posted strong career numbers against UCSB: Michael Curialle (6-13, four RBIs), Charles Harrison (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R), and Kyle Karros (7-15, 5 R, HR). 

Last Time Out Against the Gauchos    
The Gauchos held small leads of 1-0 and 2-1 early, but UCLA erupted for five runs in the third en route to a 7-2 win over UCSB on Mar. 29 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. All five of the Bruins' runs during the decisive rally came with two outs, with runs coming across on a single from Jake Palmer and doubles from Michael Curialle and Kenny Oyama. After taking the lead in the third, Jake Saum, Charles Harrison, and Ethan Flanagan shut out the Gauchos the rest of the way.

Good Start    
UCLA's starting pitching has been excellent 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:

  • 3.03 ERA and 196-43 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 172 innings
  • 58 total earned runs allowed (1.7 per game)
  • 1.06 WHIP, 10.3 K/9
  • Allowed 0 ER or fewer in 10 of 35 games, 1 ER or fewer in 17 of 35 games, and 2 ER or fewer in 26 of 35 games
  • Allowed more than four hits just 10 times in 35 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 sixth in the country in WHIP (1.15), and walks allowed per nine innings (2.8) while ranking fifth in K-BB ratio (3.7). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (182-98) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (70-19). The Bruins' +51 differential in HBPs is fourth-best in the country, and their +84 walk differential ranks ninth 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)

On The Move    
UCLA has been busy on the basepaths so far in 2022, stealing 52 bases at an 88% success rate to this point. The Bruins rank 53rd in the country in total stolen bases and 14th in success rate. UCLA is the only school in the country with 50+ SBs and seven or fewer times caught stealing. The Bruins have swiped a bag in 26 of 35 games this year, including eight contests with at least 3 SBs. UCLA stole 11 bases over three games against CSUN to open the season, the program's most in a single series over the last 10 years.