UCLA to Face Long Beach State on Tuesday Night
No. 8 UCLA (30-13) at Long Beach State (17-25)
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Long Beach, Calif. (Blair Field)
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Bruins Visit Long Beach State For Midweek Contest
The No. 8-ranked UCLA baseball team (30-13) is set to embark on a five-game road swing, starting on Tuesday night (6:00 p.m. PT) at Big West-member Long Beach State (17-25). The game will be streamed live on ESPN+, and Nick Koop will be on hand for a live audio call which can be heard on UCLABruins.com. Fans can also follow along with live stats and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
- UCLA is 30-13 so far on the year, including a 19-6 mark since Mar. 20
- The Bruins, at 14-7 in league play, are one game back of first place in the Pac-12 standings
- The Bruins trailed at some point in 11 of their last 15 wins (dating to Mar. 29 vs. UCSB)
- UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (3.35, 7th), WHIP (1.16, 4th), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.4, 6th)
- 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 eight of their 10 weekend series this year, and are 7-3 in midweek contests
- UCLA has an identical 7-3 record in midweek games, series openers, series middle games, and series finales
- UCLA is 65-75 this season in stolen base tries (87% success rate), including a team-high 19 SBs from Kenny Oyama
- The Bruins have struck out 10+ batters in 21 of 43 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, May 3 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Daniel Colwell, LHP, Sr. (2-0, 3.66 ERA)
LBSU – Kaden Moeller, LHP, Fr. (0-1, 2.57 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA went 3-1 last week, falling to UCI on Tuesday but recovering for a weekend sweep of Arizona State at home:
- The Bruins were able to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, getting the game-tying and go-ahead runners on board, but couldn't come all the way back in a 4-2 loss to UCI on Tuesday. UCLA briefly led after an RBI double from Cody Schrier made it 2-1 in the fifth, but the Anteaters went ahead for good with a two-spot in the sixth. Schrier (2-5) led UCLA on offense.
- UCLA won Friday's series opener over Arizona State in a rout, 19-2. Max Rajcic took a one-hitter into the ninth to lead the Bruins, while every starter had at least one hit. UCLA had a solid 6-0 lead after five innings, but put the game on ice with 13 runs in the sixth inning, one off the program record for single-inning runs. The Bruins went through the entire lineup twice in that inning, which featured seven UCLA hits as well as six walks and three ASU errors. Particular offensive standouts included Darius Perry (3-5, team-high four RBIs), graduate first baseman Jake Palmer (3-4, three runs), and junior right fielder Michael Curialle (3-5, two RBIs, three runs). Rajcic faced the minimum through six innings, and set new career bests in innings (8.1) and strikeouts (11).
- The Bruins came out on the right side of a chaotic sixth inning to claim a 7-5 win over ASU on Saturday. Tied 2-2 after five, the Bruins commited a pair of errors as ASU went ahead with a three-spot in the top of the sixth. UCLA immediately struck back with a go-ahead four spot though, as Cody Schrier tied it up with a bases-loaded double before coming across himself for the game-winning run on a Jake Palmer double. UCLA's bullpen was pressed into duty early, and responded by allowing just two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings. Charles Harrison (4.1 IP, 1 ER) and Alonzo Tredwell (2.2 IP, 0 R) were especially impressive out of the pen.
- UCLA finished off the sweep with a 16-5 Sunday win. The Bruins plated nine runs in the bottom of the first before making an out, with Carson Yates providing an exclamation point to the rally with a grand slam that made it 9-0. Every Bruin starter had a hit in the contest, and the bullpen tossed five scoreless innings. Schrier (3-6) and Curialle (3-5) co-led the team in hits, with five Bruins notching multiple hits. Freshman righty James Hepp made his NCAA debut in the contest, tossing a scoreless fifth to pick up his first career win. Josh Hahn followed with a 1-2-3 sixth in his 2022 pitching debut, and Luke Jewett pitched the final three innings of the game to record his first career save.
- For the weekend... UCLA outscored ASU 42-14, had a combined .355/.449/.527 slash line, and a solid 3.33 team ERA
In The Polls
UCLA appeared in all five major national polls this week, checking in as high as No. 6 (Collegiate Baseball) while also appearing at No. 8 (D1Baseball, Coaches Poll, NCBWA) and No. 9 (Baseball America). The No. 6 ranking is a season-high for UCLA, which entered the year ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls.
The All-Time Series Against Long Beach State
UCLA owns a 68-46 record all-time against LBSU, including a 19-15 mark under head coach John Savage. In most recent seasons, UCLA and Long Beach State have played a home-and-home midweek series; here is UCLA's record against LBSU in recent years: 2022 (1-0), 2019 (2-0), 2018 (0-2), 2017 (2-0), 2016 (1-1), 2015 (1-1). The two squads last met in a weekend series in 2014, with the Dirtbags taking two-of-three in the split-venue set (Friday/Sunday games at UCLA, Saturday game at LBSU). When UCLA and LBSU met earlier this season, it was the first time in nearly three years that the two programs had squared off (by far the longest gap in series history).
Last Time Out Against LBSU
UCLA captured a 3-0 win over Long Beach State earlier this season at Jackie Robinson Stadium (Mar. 1). Thatcher Hurd (5 IP, 12 K) and Ethan Flanagan (4 IP, 7 K) combined to throw a two-hitter with 19 strikeouts against the Dirtbags, believed to be a program record for single-game Ks by freshmen. Hurd allowed just a pair of singles in his start, and Flanagan went 12-up, 12-down in his outing. Cody Schrier hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to provide all the game's run production. It was a game of many firsts for UCLA's freshmen: Schrier's first-career HR, Hurd's first-career win, and Flanagan's first-career save.
Schrier, Rajcic Sweep Pac-12 Weekly Awards
UCLA swept the league's weekly awards on Monday, as Cody Schrier was named Pac-12 Player of the Week and Max Rajcic was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week. It was the first time in either's career taking home a weekly league honor. Monday represented the 10th time in program history that UCLA swept the Pac-12 weekly awards, and fifth time since the league moved to its current, non-divisional format in 1999. The Bruins have had a weekly award sweep in each of the past three seasons, and four times overall under John Savage.
- UCLA is 28-4 in midweek contests since the start of 2019 (7-3 this year)
- In 2022, UCLA has defeated UCSB (twice), LMU (twice), LBSU, Pepperdine and CS Fullerton (losses against Pepp, Omaha, UCI)
- The Bruins went undefeated in midweeks in 2019 (11-0) and 2021 (8-0)
- Midweek standouts this year include Kyle Karros (.435/.417/.609, eight RBIs), Michael Curialle (.359/.405/.744, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs), Kenny Oyama (.345 average), Chris Aldrich (0 R in 4.1 IP), and Alonzo Tredwell (in 4.2 IP: 12 K, 1 H, 0 R).
- Six Bruins are hitting over .300 in midweek action (Karros, Reyes, Curialle, Oyama, Knight, Palmer)
- UCLA won seven straight midweeks from Mar. 1 to Apr. 19 before breaking that streak against UCI on Apr. 26
Colwell Draws Start vs. LBSU
Senior southpaw Daniel Colwell is scheduled to take the ball for UCLA on Tuesday for his first career start. The lefty is 4-1 with a 4.11 ERA for his career, and has pitched to a 3.66 ERA this season over 16 appearances. He's unscored upon in four of his last five outings, and had a six-game streak without an earned run from Mar. 8 to Apr. 9. This will be his first-ever appearance against the Dirtbags.
This is 30
UCLA's win over Arizona State on May 1 was the team's 30th victory of the season. Exempting the COVID-shortened 2020 season (in which UCLA was pace for 48 regular season wins), UCLA has now hit the 30-win plateau in five straight and six of the last seven seasons. Overall, UCLA has won 30+ games 13 times under head coach John Savage.
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:
- 3.46 ERA and 226-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 205 1/3 innings
- 79 total earned runs allowed (1.8 per game)
- 1.12 WHIP, 9.9 K/9
- Allowed 0 ER or fewer in 10 of 43 games, 1 ER or fewer in 20 of 43 games, and 2 ER or fewer in 32 of 43 games
- Allowed more than four hits just 13 times in 43 games
"5" is the Magic Number
UCLA is 29-4 this season when limiting its opponent to five runs or fewer, compared to a 1-9 mark when the opposition scores six-plus. Entering the week, UCLA has allowed five earned runs or fewer in six consecutive 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 (1.16 )and seventh in walks allowed per nine innings (2.9) and K-BB ratio (3.4). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (224-125) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (79-29). The Bruins' +50 differential in HBPs is fifth-best in the country, and their +99 walk differential ranks seventh 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)
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 who have recorded an out so far (Luke Jewett, Thatcher Hurd, Ethan Flanagan, Gage Jump, Alonzo Tredwell, James Hepp) have combined for some gaudy numbers: 10-1, eight saves, 2.28 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and a 172-49 K-BB ratio over 138 1/3 innings. The top three ERAs on the staff belong to freshmen (Hurd, Flanagan, Tredwell).
On The Move
UCLA has been busy on the basepaths so far in 2022, stealing 65 bases at an 87% success rate to this point. The Bruins rank 49th in the country in total stolen bases and 12th in success rate. UCLA is the only school in the country with 65+ SBs and 10 or fewer times caught stealing. The Bruins have swiped a bag in 32 of 43 games this year, including 10 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. Kenny Oyama co-leads the Pac-12 with 19 stolen bases, and he is looking to become just the second Bruin in the last 10 years to steal 20+ bases in a season (Brian Carroll, 32; 2013).
Schrier Standing Out
True freshman shortstop Cody Schrier leads the Bruins in a host of offensive statistics, including batting average (.326), home runs (7), slugging (.536), OPS (.957), hits (59), and at-bats (181).
- In 27 games since moving Schrier atop the lineup, UCLA is 20-7 while Schrier has slashed .347/.440/.568
- He has an active 10-game hitting streak, the longest by a Bruin in 2022
- During the streak, he's batting .435 (20-46) with 10 extra-base hits and a team-high 12 RBIs
- He's reached base safely in 18 consecutive games, slashing .413/.495/.663 during that span
- Key performances: Mar. 18 vs Harvard (4-4, 6 RBIs), Apr. 5 vs. LMU (walk-off HR), ASU series (P12 Player of the Week, 6-13, 9 RBIs)
Curialle Coming Through
Michael Curialle has been on an absolute tear over the last three weeks, batting a team-best .478 (22-46) over the last 12 games while earning a pair of UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week nominations. He has five home runs over that span (in his 95 other career games, he has three home runs). Curialle has multiple hits in eight of his last 11 games, raising his season batting average 76 points in that time (he sits at .309 entering the week).
April Showers (of Offense)
UCLA had a strong collective showing on offense in the month of April. After slashing .252/.392/.371 as a team through March, the Bruins had a sharp uptick in April, slashing .293/.393/.458. The Bruins had no starters hitting over .300 entering March, but four UCLA regulars accomplished that feat in April: Darius Perry (.429/.556/.686, 12 RBIs), Michael Curialle (.396/.474/.771, five HRs, 11 RBIs), Cody Schrier (.385/.473/.628, 12 RBIs), and Jake Palmer (.343/.482/.478, reached in every game).
Palmer Heating Up
Graduate first baseman Jake Palmer has been red-hot over a 25-game reached base streak, going 33-92 (.359) while reaching a further 27 times via walk or HBP. His 41 free passes (31 BB, 10 HBP) rank second on a team that has excelled in that area, and he's raised his batting average 126 points (from .175 to .301) since Mar. 6.
Spreading Around the Saves
Six different pitchers have recorded a save for UCLA this year, the most of any Bruin team coached by John Savage (the 2005, 2006, and 2008 squads all had five pitchers with a save). Alonzo Tredwell leads the Bruins with three saves, Gage Jump and Ethan Flanagan both have a pair, and Luke Jewett, Kelly Austin, and Chris Aldrich have also nailed down a save.