May 29, 2006
Los Angeles - The UCLA baseball team has earned an at-large berth in the 2006 NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the Malibu Regional hosted by Pepperdine University. The Bruins will face No. 3-seed UC Irvine on Friday, June 2 at 11 a.m. in the first round of the Regional Championships. Pepperdine earned the site's top-seed and will face fourth-seeded Missouri in the other first-round matchup of the bracket.
UCLA finished the 2006 regular season with a 32-23 overall record and a 13-10 mark in the Pac-10 Conference. The Bruins will make their 12th NCAA Regional Championship appearance in school history, and their first since 2004.
Malibu Regional Schedule
Fri., June 2
11 a.m.: Game #1 - No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 UC Irvine
3 p.m.: Game #2 - No. 1 Pepperdine vs. No. 4 Missouri
Sat., June 3
11 a.m.: Game #3 - Loser game 1 vs. Loser game 2
3 p.m.: Game #4 - Winner game 1 vs. Winner game 2
Sun., June 4
11 a.m.: Game #5 - Winner game 3 vs. Loser game 4
3 p.m.: Game #6 - Winner game 4 vs. Winner game 5
Mon., June 5
11 a.m.: Game #7 - If necessary
All-Tourney passes will be on sale beginning Tuesday at www.PepperdineSports.com or by calling the Pepperdine ticket office at (310) 506-4935. Single game tickets can only be purchased on the day of the game.
Ticket prices for the tournament are as follows:
All-Tourney Pass: $50
Single Game Adult: $15
Single Game Seniors/Youth/Students: $10
A Look At UCLA:
UCLA makes the NCAA Tournament this season marking a remarkable turnaround from the 2005 season. The Bruins won 32 games this season, 17 more than the team achieved in 2005. Only two other tournament teams can boast a better season turnaround. St. Louis (32-27) and Jacksonville (42-17) won 19 more games this season then they did in 2005.
UCLA played 10 teams during the regular season that were selected among the NCAA tournament field of 64. The Bruins own a combined record of 15-12 against Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, Arizona State, Miami, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Stanford, and NC State.
UCLA was ranked in the national polls for the week of April 24-30. The Bruins entered that week ranked No. 22 in the nation by Baseball America, and No. 25 by the Rosenblatt Report. The week marked the first time since March of 2001 that UCLA has been ranked in the Top-25 by Baseball America.
UCLA has faced some of the toughest competition in the nation. 18 of the Bruins' first 22 games this season were against nationally ranked opposition, with a streak of 12-consecutive games versus ranked opponents once in effect. UCLA is 11-10 against ranked opposition on the season, and owns a series sweep of then-No. 17 ranked NC State on the road, and home series wins against No. 19 Ole Miss and No. 10 Arizona State. The Bruins also swept Long Beach State in a home-in-home series for the first time since 1995. UCLA also won at No. 5 Oregon State, as the Beavers were 22-3 at home before losing to the Bruins.
UCLA knocked off arch-rival USC to win two games of the three-game series and claim its fifth-consecutive home series of the season, a first since 1997.
UCLA beat Stanford two times in a three-game series for the first time since 1997. The series win marked the sixth-straight home series win for UCLA, a program first in more than 30 years.
UCLA has won nine of 14 three-game series so far this season, including six of its last seven series, and eight of its last 10 series.
UCLA is 13-11 on the road so far this season, as the Bruins have won series at Pacific, at No. 17 NC State, and at Arizona.
The Bruins have ripped 46 long balls in their last 42 games, a stretch that included home runs in 13-consecutive games from Feb. 26-March 19. UCLA has 54 home runs on the season, good for second in the Pac-10. 14 different Bruins have smacked round-trippers so far this season, with eight players already owning five-or-more home runs on the year.
UCLA currently owns a 3.82 team ERA. That mark is on track to be the lowest mark at UCLA since 1980 when the Bruins finished the year with a 3.55 team ERA.
UCLA's defense has been superb this year as the Bruins currently rank No. 1 in the Pac-10 Conference with a .977 fielding percentage, a mark that has been top-10 in the nation most of the season.
UCLA has garnered Pac-10 Player of the Week honors five times so far this season. Every pitcher in the Bruin starting rotation has earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors, as junior Hector Ambriz, Dave Huff, and Tyson Brummett have each been recognized as the Conference's Top hurler. Ambriz has also been named the Pac-10's Player of the Week, as has senior outfielder Chris Jensen.
UCLA has scored eight-or-more runs in six of the last nine games, and has recorded 11-or-more hits in seven of the last 10 games.
UCLA has won seven of its last nine games.
Since Feb. 28, UCLA is 27-14 (.659).
UCLA ranks in this week at No. 23 in the national RPI rankings, with a second-ranked strength of schedule, according to Boyd's World.