UCLA and UC Irvine Set to Clash on Tuesday
No. 13 UCLA (27-12) vs. UC Irvine (22-15)
Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Jackie Robinson Stadium)
Stream: Pac-12 Plus
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Bruins Host UC Irvine in Tuesday Tune Up
No. 13-ranked UCLA (27-12) returns to Jackie Robinson Stadium for four home games this week, starting on Tuesday night with a 6:00 p.m. PT contest against UC Irvine (22-15). The game will be streamed live on Pac-12.com, with Nick Koop on the call. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast as well as live stats on UCLABruins.com and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
- UCLA is 27-12 so far on the year, including an 11-4 mark in April
- The Bruins trailed at some point in 10 of their last 12 wins (dating to Mar. 29 vs. UCSB)
- UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (3.33, 6th), WHIP (1.18, 5th), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.4, 9th)
- 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 seven straight midweek games, after starting the year 0-2 in such contests
- UCLA is 59-67 this season in stolen base tries (88% success rate), including a team-high 18 SBs from Kenny Oyama
- The Bruins have struck out 10+ batters in 20 of 39 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. 26 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Kelly Austin, RHP, RSo. (3-1, 3.27 ERA)
UCI – David Vizcaino, RHP, RFr. (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA went 3-1 on the road last week, topping UCSB on Tuesday before taking a weekend Pac-12 set at California:
- UCLA put up a crooked number in each of its first four offensive innings en route to a 14-4 win over UCSB on Tuesday in Santa Barbara. Six different Bruins finished with multiple hits, led by Michael Curialle (3-5, two HRs), Kyle Karros (4-6, two RBIs), and Jake Palmer (3-5, HR, three runs). The Bruins used six pitchers to cover the game, with strong outings coming from Charles Harrison (2 IP, 0 H), Alonzo Tredwell (struck out the side in the seventh), and Daniel Colwell (1-2-3 eighth).
- The Bruins dropped Friday's series opener by a score of 8-3, as Cal rode back-to-back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the first to a win. Cal hit five home runs overall on the night. Cody Schrier and Michael Curialle each had multiple hits, and Kenny Oyama hit a solo home run, his second roundtripper of the season.
- UCLA evened the series with a comfortable 9-4 Saturday win. The Bruins scored in five of their first six offensive innings, including a trio of crooked numbers. UCLA totaled 19 hits on the night, one off its season-high of 20 (accomplished last Tuesday vs. UCSB) as seven Bruins collected multiple hits. Strong performances in particular came from Darius Perry (3-5, two doubles) and Kyle Karros (3-5, HR), who co-led the team with three RBIs. Cody Schrier added two doubles, and JonJon Vaughns hit a moon-shot solo home run as part of a productive sixth inning. Max Rajcic turned in a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER) to pick up the win.
- The Bruins clinched the series with a 6-3 Sunday win. UCLA fell behind 1-0 after one, but went on to score six consecutive runs to grab control of the game. Cal didn't make it close until a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Michael Curialle led the Bruins with a home run and a double. Kyle Karros and Cody Schrier both went 2-5 with a double and Carson Yates added a solo home run. Gage Jump gave up just two hits but fell one out short of qualifying for the win.
- UCLA outscored Cal 18-15 for the weekend, and the team that scored first lost each game.
In The Polls
UCLA appeared in all five major national polls this week, checking in as high as No. 12 (Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA) while also appearing at No. 13 (D1Baseball), and No. 14 (USA TODAY Coaches Poll, Baseball America). UCLA has been ranked as high as No. 9 this season (Apr. 11, Collegiate Baseball), and entered the year as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls.
The All-Time Series Against UC Irvine
UCLA owns a 57-34-1 record all-time against the Anteaters, including a 25-13 mark under head coach John Savage. The Bruins have lost a season series to UC Irvine just once since 2010, including weekend series wins in 2016 and 2021. Exempting 2020, UCLA and UCI have met every year since 2004, a streak of 17 seasons. Michael Curialle (3-10, two RBIs) has strong career numbers against UCI, while Jake Brooks (0.2 IP), Daniel Colwell (1.1 IP), Charles Harrison (1 IP), and Jake Saum (2.2 IP, 3 K) have all done well in limited relief roles.
Last Year Against the Anteaters
The Bruins took two of three from UCI in a split-venue weekend series last season (Feb. 26-28, 2021). UCLA won on Friday and Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium, while dropping a 7-3 decision Saturday at Anteater Ballpark. Friday's victory came in walk-off fashion for the Bruins, as Jack Filby drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded to force in the game-ending run in the bottom of the ninth. UCLA blanked UCI 4-0 to capture Sunday's rubber match, with the Bruins throwing a combined three-hitter (current Bruin Jake Palmer accounted for two of UCI's three hits). Michael Curialle knocked in the game-winning run with a sac fly in the first, and Kyle Karros added a two-run double for insurance in the seventh inning.
- UCLA is 28-3 in midweek contests since the start of 2019 (7-2 this year)
- In 2022, UCLA has defeated UCSB (twice), LMU (twice), LBSU, Pepperdine and CS Fullerton (losses against Pepp, Omaha)
- The Bruins went undefeated in midweeks in 2019 (11-0) and 2021 (8-0)
- Midweek standouts this year include Kyle Karros (1.100 OPS, seven RBIs), Daylen Reyes (.409 average), Michael Curialle (.371/.421/.800, team-high 11 RBIs), Ethan Flanagan (27 K, 2.12 ERA in 17 IP), and Alonzo Tredwell (4.2 IP, 0 R)
- Six Bruins are hitting over .300 in midweek action (Karros, Reyes, Curialle, Oyama, Knight, Palmer)
- UCLA has won its last seven midweeks after starting the year 0-2
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:
- 3.29 ERA and 207-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 188 2/3 innings
- 69 total earned runs allowed (1.8 per game)
- 1.11 WHIP, 9.9 K/9
- Allowed 0 ER or fewer in 10 of 39 games, 1 ER or fewer in 19 of 39 games, and 2 ER or fewer in 28 of 39 games
- Allowed more than four hits just 12 times in 39 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 fifth in the country in WHIP (1.18), eighth in walks allowed per nine innings (3.0), and ninth in K-BB ratio (3.4). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (201-116) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (73-21). The Bruins' +52 differential in HBPs is fourth-best in the country, and their +85 walk differential ranks eighth 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 59 bases at an 88% success rate to this point. The Bruins rank 51st in the country in total stolen bases and 13th in success rate. UCLA is the only school in the country with 59+ stolen bases and eight or fewer times caught stealing. The Bruins have swiped a bag in 30 of 39 games this year, including nine 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.
Digging the Long Ball
The Bruins hit at least one home run in all four of their games last week, including three contests with multiple HRs. UCLA's eight home runs last week represents the team's most in a four-game span this year. It also represents the first time this season that the Bruins had multiple homers three times in a four-game span.
Curialle Coming Through
Michael Curialle has been on an absolute tear over the last seven games, earning back-to-back UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week nominations. He was especially hot last week, slashing .588/600/1.235 with three home runs and five RBIs. Curialle has multiple hits in six of his last seven games, batting .517 overall (15-29) in that span with five HRs and nine RBIs. Previous to this stretch, Curialle had just three home runs over 84 career games. He's raised his average 60 points (.235 to .295) since Apr. 5.