UCLA Visits UC Irvine for Final Midweek of 2022
No. 22 UCLA (33-18) at UC Irvine (28-21)
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Irvine, Calif. (Anteater Ballpark)
Audio: UCLA Lean Player
Play-by-Play Talent: Nick Koop
Bruins Face UC Irvine in Final Midweek of 2022
No. 22-ranked UCLA (33-18) heads to Orange County this Tuesday for its final midweek game of the season, facing UC Irvine (28-21) in a 6:00 p.m. matchup. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast (featuring Nick Koop on play-by-play), live stats on uclalivestats.com, and Twitter updates from @UCLABaseball.
- UCLA is 33-18 so far on the year, and enters the week in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 17-10
- UCLA ranks top-10 nationally in ERA (3.38, fourth), WHIP (1.16, 3rd), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.5, 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 nine of their 12 weekend series this year
- UCLA has an identical 8-4 record in series openers, series middle games, and series finales
- UCLA is 67-79 this season in stolen base tries (85% success rate), including a team-high 19 SBs from Kenny Oyama
- The Bruins have struck out 10+ batters in 23 of 51 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 17 - 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Daniel Colwell, LHP, Sr. (2-1, 4.10 ERA)
UCI – Andre Antone, RHP, RSr. (1-0, 5.00 ERA)
The Week In Review
UCLA went 3-1 last week, dropping a road midweek to Cal State Fullerton before sweeping Washington State at home over the weekend:
- UCLA absorbed a 9-2 loss at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night. The Titans scored in each of the first four innings en route to an 8-0 lead before Cody Schrier and Jake Palmer added RBI singles late for the Bruins. Jake Palmer went 3-4 and extended his reached-base streak to 30 games. Josh Hahn and Charles Harrison each turned in a 1-2-3 relief inning to lead UCLA on the mound.
- Max Rajcic threw the first eight innings of a combined one-hitter as UCLA blanked Washington State 4-0 on Friday night. Rajcic was dealing all night, striking out a career-high 14 batters and facing just two over the minimum. Alonzo Tredwell added a 1-2-3 ninth to cap UCLA's first one-hitter in over two years. The Bruins produced all their runs in the first inning with a rally highlighted by a two-run Ethan Gourson double that opened the scoring.
- The Bruins used an early burst of offense to record a series-clinching 10-1 win on Saturday. The Bruins went through the whole lineup twice over the first two innings of the game, and built a 10-0 lead by the end of the third. Kyle Karros (three-run homer) and Kenny Oyama (3-4, three RBIs) led the Bruins offensively, while Ethan Gourson (3-4) and Jake Palmer (3-5) added three-hit days. Ethan Flanagan drew the start and tossed four scoreless, and a trio of relievers combined to limit WSU to one run the rest of the way.
- Cody Schrier hit a walk-off single in the ninth to deliver a sweep-clinching 8-7 Sunday win. The Bruins built another early lead, scoring four in the first inning and leading 6-1 after five. WSU took its first lead of the series with a six-run sixth, but the Bruins immediately punched back with a single run in the bottom half to tie it, setting up Schrier's heroics. Kyle Karros hit a three-run home run in the first inning for the second consecutive day, and Michael Curialle had three singles. Kelly Austin started the Bruins off with five innings of one-run ball, and Alonzo Tredwell held WSU scoreless over the final three frames of the contest.
- UCLA outscored WSU 22-8 for the weekend, scored 4+ runs in the first inning of all three games, and only trailed for one half-inning
In The Polls
UCLA appeared in all five major national polls this week, checking in as high as No. 14 (Collegiate Baseball) while also appearing at No. 22 (Baseball America), No. 23 (D1Baseball, USA TODAY Coaches Poll), and No. 25 (NCBWA). The Bruins have been ranked as high as No. 6 this season (May 2, Collegiate Baseball) and entered the year ranked as high as No. 22 in the preseason polls.
The All-Time Series Against UC Irvine
UCLA owns a 57-35-1 record all-time against the Anteaters, including a 25-14 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. Current Bruins with solid career numbers against UCI include Daniel Colwell (4 IP, 0 R), Michael Curialle (4-14, two RBIs), and Cody Schrier (2-5, double, RBI).
Last Time Out Against UCI
UC Irvine grabbed a 4-2 win over UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium earlier this season (Apr. 26). UCLA led 2-1 after fiving innings, but Irvine went ahead for good with a two-spot in the sixth. The Bruins loaded the bases to get the go-ahead run on base in the bottom of the ninth, but UCI was able to weather the storm to escape with the win. Cody Schrier (2-5, double) led UCLA offensively, while Jake Palmer added a single in his first-career game against his alma mater.
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 28-6 in midweek contests since the start of 2019 (7-5 this year)
- In 2022, UCLA has swept UCSB and LMU ... split with LBSU, CSF, and Pepperdine ... and is 0-1 against Omaha and UC Irvine
- This season, UCLA is outhitting its midweek opponents .271 to .233, and has a 3.57 to 4.29 advantage in team ERA
- The Bruins went undefeated in midweeks in 2019 (11-0) and 2021 (8-0)
- Midweek standouts this year include Kyle Karros (.344/.333/.500), Michael Curialle (.340/.404/.660, three HRs, 11 RBIs), Jake Palmer (.313 BA), Cody Schrier (.877 OPS, three HRs, nine RBIs), and Alonzo Tredwell (8 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 18 K).
- Five Bruins are hitting .300 or better in midweek action (Karros, Curialle, Knight, Palmer, Oyama)
- UCLA won seven straight midweeks from Mar. 1 to Apr. 19
Rajcic Named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for Second Time in May
UCLA sophomore right-hander Max Rajcic was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the second time this month on Monday (he had previously picked up the honor on May 2 after taking a one-hitter into the ninth inning against ASU). Rajcic threw the first eight innings of a combined one-hitter over WSU on Friday, fanning a career-high 14 batters. He is the first Bruin coached by John Savage to strike out at least 14 batters in a game without issuing a walk. He retired 14 batters in a row after allowing a two-out single in the first, and faced just two over the minimum (the other reached on a dropped third strike).
He is the tenth Bruin to pick up multiple Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors in a single season since the league moved to its current format in 1999 (Zach Pettway, 2020; Ryan Garcia, 2019; Jack Ralston, 2019; Griffin Canning, 2017; Adam Plutko, 2012; Trever Bauer, 2009, 2011; Tim Murphy, 2008; Tyson Brummett, 2007; Rob Henkel, 2000).
In The Zone
As is the case most years, the Bruins have been adept so far in 2022 at limiting free passes. Entering the weekend, UCLA is third in the country in WHIP (1.16), sixth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.7), and sixth in K-BB ratio (3.5). The Bruins have sizable advantages over their opponents in walks drawn vs. issued (257-139) and HBPs drawn vs. issued (89-36).
- UCLA's +53 differential in HBPs is fifth-best in the country
- UCLA's +118 walk differential is sixth-best in the country
- Combined, the Bruins have a +171 differential for extra runners via BB/HBP. That total ranks third in the country, behind only the top-two ranked teams in the country (Tennessee, Oregon State)
Palmer Locked In
Graduate first baseman Jake Palmer has been red-hot over a 33-game reached base streak, going 46-123 (.374) while reaching a further 34 times via walk or HBP. His 48 free passes (36 BB, 12 HBP) rank second on a team that has excelled in that area, and he's nearly doubled his batting average since Mar. 6 (from .175 to .321). He was a Pac-12 Player of the Week nominee after going 9-15 (.600) with a pair of three-hit games and five runs scored against Cal State Fullerton and Washington State.
UCLA is outscoring its opponents by a healthy margin (313-210) 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 133-62 (plus-71), including a 65-22 advantage in the first inning alone. The Bruins are 25-7 this season when scoring first and 18-6 when scoring in the first inning.
UCLA's starting pitching has been excellent in 2022, as the group of Jake Brooks, Max Rajcic, Kelly Austin, Ethan Flanagan, Thatcher Hurd, Gage Jump, and Daniel Colwell have combined for the following stats:
- 3.39 ERA and 263-59 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 241 1/3 innings
- 91 total earned runs allowed (1.8 per game)
- 1.09 WHIP, 9.8 K/9
- Allowed 0 ER or fewer in 13 of 51 games, 1 ER or fewer in 26 of 51 games, and 2 ER or fewer in 39 of 51 games
- Allowed more than four hits just 15 times in 51 games
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 five first-year Bruin pitchers with more than spot duty (Luke Jewett, Thatcher Hurd, Ethan Flanagan, Gage Jump, and Alonzo Tredwell) have combined for some gaudy numbers: 10-3, eight saves, 2.31 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a 202-57 K-BB ratio over 160 innings. The top three ERAs on the staff belong to freshmen (Hurd, Flanagan, Tredwell).
Don't Tempt Yates
Sophomore outfielder Carson Yates has done well with increased playing time over the last few weeks, hitting safely in 10 consecutive games and reaching base in 12 straight contests. He's just the second Bruin this year to put together a double-figure hitting streak (Schrier, 11 games). Yates is slashing .366/.395/.620 during streak, leading the Bruins in slugging over that span.