April 23, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team hosts a three-game Pac-10 series against No. 17 Oregon State (23-9, 8-4 Pac-10) beginning Friday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. First pitch Friday evening is slated for 6 p.m. The Bruins (17-20, 9-6 Pac-10) will send freshman right-hander Gerrit Cole to the mound for the series opener, which will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket. Freshman right-hander Trevor Bauer will make the start for UCLA on Saturday (2 p.m.), and junior right-hander Charles Brewer will take the mound Sunday afternoon. UCLA lost two of three games at Oregon State one year ago.
SERIES VS. OREGON STATE: UCLA leads, 27-19
CURRENT SERIES STREAK: Oregon State, one win
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, April 24 (6 p.m.) - TV: FSN, tape delayed
Oregon State - Tyler Waldron, RHP, So. (3-2, 4.81)
UCLA - Gerrit Cole, RHP, Fr. (3-3, 3.51)
Saturday, April 18 (2 p.m.)
Oregon State - Greg Peavey, RHP, So. (3-2, 3.94)
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, Fr. (6-3, 2.64)
Sunday, April 19 (1 p.m.)
Oregon State - Jorge Reyes, RHP, Jr. (5-1, 3.68)
UCLA - Charles Brewer, RHP, Jr. (1-4, 3.86)
- Winners of seven of their last 10 games, the Bruins seek their fourth consecutive Pac-10 victory on Friday.
- At the plate, UCLA has been led by first baseman Cody Decker's team-best 13 home runs and 34 RBI.
- Second baseman Eddie Murray has logged team-highs with 33 runs and a .479 on-base percentage.
- Right-hander Gerrit Cole ranks third (tied) in the Pac-10 Conference with 71 strikeouts.
- Right-hander Trevor Bauer lowered his ERA to 2.64 with a one-hit complete game shutout last week.
- UCLA enters the weekend in fourth place in the Pac-10 standings with a 9-6 conference record.
Friday's series opener between UCLA and Oregon State will be televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket on a tape-delayed basis. The game will air Saturday at 11 a.m. with replays following Sunday at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. and Monday at 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. Barry Tompkins and John Jackson will have the call for Fox Sports Net. Delayed broadcasts of Friday's game are also available on other Fox Sports Net and Comcast affiliates throughout the weekend around the nation. For updated times, check local listings.
GETTING TO JACKIE ROBINSON STADIUM
Admission to UCLA's home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium costs seven dollars for adults and five dollars for children. Located on the grounds of the Veteran Administration just west of UCLA's main campus, Jackie Robinson Stadium lies just west from the 405 freeway. For fans traveling the 405 South, exit at Sunset Blvd. and continue south on Church Street. Turn left at Montana and turn right at Sepulveda. Turn left to Constitution, driving underneath the freeway and the stadium is ahead off to the right. For those traveling the 405 North, exit Wilshire Blvd. (West) and turn left onto Sepulveda. Turn left to Constitution, driving underneath the freeway and the stadium is ahead off to the right. Driving Directions and Map
Right-hander Trevor Bauer earned Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors and was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on Monday. The freshman from Valencia, Calif., threw a one-hit complete game shutout against Washington last Saturday, leading UCLA to a 13-0 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Bauer, who notched a career-high nine strikeouts, became the first Bruin to hurl a one-hitter since April 13, 1998 (Tony Righetti vs. Hawaii-Hilo). He has earned the victory in each of his five starts this spring. Bauer has gone 4-0 in Pac-10 play, notching 28 strikeouts and just three walks in 31.1 conference innings.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole registered a career-high 13 strikeouts in UCLA's 4-2 victory against Washington on Friday evening. The former first-round draft selection limited the Huskies to one hit and two runs (both unearned) in a career-high eight innings to earn his third win. Through last weekend's action, Cole ranked seventh in the nation with an average of 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Overall, Cole has compiled a 3.51 ERA and 71 strikeouts (tied for third among Pac-10 pitchers with Washington State's Matt Way).
Senior first baseman Cody Decker enters the weekend against Oregon State with a .306 batting average and team highs of 13 home runs and 34 RBI. Through Tuesday's games, Decker ranked seventh in the Pac-10 with a .634 slugging percentage and was tied for second among Pac-10 hitters with 13 home runs (tied with Arizona State's Carlos Ramirez, one homer behind Washington's Kyle Conley). The resident of Santa Monica, Calif., has become the first Bruin to hit at least six homers in each of four seasons since current Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes belted 48 home runs from 1995-98.
Senior second baseman Eddie Murray has thrived at the top of UCLA's lineup. Murray ranks third on the team with a .317 batting average and is third in the Pac-10 Conference (through Tuesday's games) with a .479 on-base percentage. Additionally, Murray leads UCLA with 33 runs, 27 walks and 12 hit-by-pitches, having started at second base in 36 games. The Bruins' second baseman has registered 12 multiple-hit games (four three-hit efforts) and six multiple-RBI contests (two three-RBI games). Murray primarily served as a backup infielder his first three years at UCLA before earning the starting role at second base this season.
UCLA's began its season playing 22 of its first 33 games away from home. The Bruins have played among the nation's most travel-intensive slates. After opening the spring hosting UC Davis (Feb. 20-22), UCLA spent three consecutive weekends away from the West - at the Houston College Classic (Feb. 28-March 1), at Oklahoma (March 6-8) and at East Carolina (March 13-14) - before returning to Los Angeles to open Pac-10 Conference play at USC. UCLA has just two weekend road trips remaining on its regular-season slate - at Oregon (May 1-3) and at Arizona State (May 22-24) - in addition to two non-conference games in southern California.
HISTORY AGAINST OREGON STATE
UCLA owns a 27-19 all-time advantage against Oregon State, but has won just three of the past eight meetings. Last spring, UCLA dropped the series opener at Goss Stadium before rebounding Saturday with an 11-4 victory. Oregon State edged the Bruins, 8-7, in the series finale Sunday. In three seasons against OSU, first baseman Cody Decker has gone 8-for-30 with two homers and eight RBI. In two pitching appearances, right-hander Charles Brewer has limited the Beavers to three earned runs in 8.2 innings, logging 12 strikeouts.
GOT `EM SWINGING
Through Tuesday's games, UCLA's pitching staff ranks second in the Pac-10 with 351 strikeouts. Arizona State leads the pack with 356 and California follows with 316. UCLA is currently averaging 9.72 strikeouts per nine innings, the second-best average in the Pac-10. The Bruins have recorded 10 or more strikeouts in 17 games. UCLA totaled a season-best 17 strikeouts in an 8-6 win in the second game of a three-game series at East Carolina (March 13). In that contest, freshmen right-handers Gerrit Cole (12) and Trevor Bauer (5) combined for the 17 punchouts. UCLA ranks third in the Pac-10 with 144 strikeouts in conference games.
Junior Blair Dunlap has logged a .276 batting average as the Bruins' starting center fielder. Dunlap leads UCLA with 12 doubles in 37 games and ranks second on the ballclub in RBI (27) and third in home runs (five). Dunlap belted a grand slam in UCLA's 13-0 victory Saturday before blasting a three-run line drive homer in the team's 6-3 win on Sunday. The native of Mission Viejo, Calif., leads UCLA with 11 stolen bases in 15 attempts. Dunlap earned All-Regional Team honors at Pepperdine in 2006 and at Cal State Fullerton in 2008.
CLOSING THE DOOR
Junior left-hander Gavin Brooks has notched a team-high five saves this season, the most in a single season by a UCLA pitcher since Brant Rustich netted six saves in 2007. Brooks has compiled a 1.99 ERA since assuming UCLA's role as closer (last 26 games). In that span, the left-hander from Vista, Calif., has notched 26 strikeouts and 12 walks in 22.2 innings, limiting the opposition to a .171 batting average. In three appearances last week (two saves), Brooks allowed two hits in 3.1 innings, recording three strikeouts.
Junior right-hander Charles Brewer has made nine starts this spring and has limited the opposition to three earned runs or fewer in each of his outings. Last Sunday in the series finale against Washington (April 19), Brewer limited the visiting Huskies to two runs (one earned) and seven hits in 6.1 innings, recording a season-high eight strikeouts for the second time this year. Brewer has compiled a 1-4 record and 3.86 ERA in 49.0 innings, the third-highest total on the team. Hailing from Paradise Valley, Ariz., Brewer has logged 51 strikeouts and just 14 walks. In Pac-10 action, he has registered a 1-2 record and 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings.
Senior first baseman Cody Decker is tied for ninth place on UCLA's career home runs list with Steve Hisey (1984-87) at 39 home runs. With his team-leading 13th home run on Tuesday, Decker moved past Jim Auten's 38-home run total. Decker stands one home run behind current Colorado Rockies infielder Garrett Atkins (40 homers, 1998-00). Senior left-hander Brendan Lafferty (2005, 07-09) has climbed up UCLA's career pitching appearances list. The reliever from Riverside, Calif., moved into sole possession of third place on the appearances list Tuesday evening when he pitched in his 89th game as a Bruin (past Mike Kunes, 2000-03). Bill Wenrick (1984-87) leads the way with 119 games and is followed by Chuck Yaeger (1981-84), who appeared on the hill in 111 contests. Senior right-hander Jason Novak (2006-09) has moved into a tie for seventh place with Scott Bollens on the same list, having made his 80th pitching appearance at UC Riverside on Tuesday.
UCLA's 17-2 win at USC on Monday, March 23, proved to be a milestone victory in the crosstown rivalry's all-time series. The Bruins set a UCLA program record for margin of victory against the Trojans in the historic, 82-year history of the baseball rivalry. UCLA's previous high for margin of victory against USC was 14 runs, established in an 18-4 victory on May 17, 1955. That win also handed UCLA its ninth win over USC in the teams' last 12 meetings. Additionally, UCLA has won three of the last four season series against USC and has not dropped a season series to its crosstown rival since being swept in 2005 (tied, 2-2, in 2008).
Following this weekend's series against Oregon State, the Bruins will host Long Beach State the evening of Tuesday, April 28. Next weekend, UCLA plays a three-game series at Oregon, marking the Bruins' first games in Eugene, Ore., since 1969 (Oregon dropped baseball as an NCAA sport following the 1981 season and has resumed play this spring). UCLA opens its Pac-10 series against the Ducks on Friday, May 1. UCLA and Oregon continue their series on Saturday (11 a.m.) before closing the three-game set Sunday (1 p.m.).
IN HONOR OF JACK
A circular black patch with the initials "JG" adorn the left sleeve of UCLA's uniforms in 2009, in honor of the late Jack Gifford. Among the UCLA baseball program's most loyal and passionate supporters, Gifford played for the Bruins alongside former head coach Gary Adams in the early 1960s. Gifford, who passed away on Jan. 11, 2009, and his wife Rhodine generously funded the construction of UCLA's state-of-the-art hitting facility. Named in their honor - the Jack and Rhodine Gifford Hitting Facility - the practice complex stands 23-feet high behind the right field fence and spans 10,500-square feet.
MAJOR LEAGUE BRUINS
Four Bruins opened the 2009 season on major league rosters, and two former UCLA ballplayers began the year on the 15-day disabled list. Among those playing in the big-league ranks this spring include Garrett Atkins (Colorado Rockies), Eric Byrnes (Arizona Diamondbacks), Ben Francisco (Cleveland Indians) and Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies). Former UCLA standouts Troy Glaus (St. Louis Cardinals) and Casey Janssen (Toronto Blue Jays) have opened the 2009 campaign on the 15-day disabled list. UCLA also has two former players pitching at the triple-A minor league level - David Huff (Columbus Clippers, Cleveland affiliate) and Josh Roenicke (Louisville Bats, Cincinnati affiliate), who both starred at UCLA as recently as 2006.