Los Angeles, Calif. - The 21st-ranked UCLA Baseball team will begin a stretch this week where 10 of its next 11 games are on the road as the Bruins take on the Loyola Marymount Lions this Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Page Stadium on the LMU campus.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday, April 1 - 6:00 p.m.
UCLA – Grant Dyer, RHP, Fr. (3-2, 2.02)
LMU – Brenton Arriaga, LHP, Fr. (1-2, 5.65)
UCLA VS. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
The two schools met earlier in the season at Jackie Robinson Stadium where Loyola Marymount defeated UCLA, 6-1. Last season, the Bruins and the Lions met in a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium with UCLA winning two of those matchups. This will be the second of three games between the two schools this season while the all-time series between UCLA and Loyola Marymount is tied at 47-47-1.
Tomorrow’s game against Loyola Marymount will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Page Stadium. Fans can also follow the game online through a live stats link, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates on uclabruins.com. Links can be found on the front page of uclabruins.com on the events calendar or on the 2014 UCLA Baseball schedule page.
Freshman right-hander Grant Dyer will once again take the mound for the Bruins tomorrow night. Dyer made his collegiate debut on Feb. 15 against Portland, pitching a scoreless inning in relief in UCLA’s 12-1 win over the Pilots. In his first start against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 18, Dyer earned the win with five shutout innings while allowing just two hits and fanning three. In four midweek starts this season, he is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 15 strikeouts. Overall, Dyer has posted a 2.02 ERA in 11 appearances, the eighth-lowest ERA in the Pac-12, and has allowed the fourth-fewest hits (21) and fifth-lowest opposing batting average (.179) in the conference. In high school, Dyer was a three-year varsity letterwinner at Dana Hills High School in Laguna Niguel, Calif., posting a 6-4 record as a senior in 2013. He also logged a 1.24 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched, all while holding opponents to a .208 batting average against him. Additionally, Dyer tossed four complete games and walked only eight batters during his senior season.
UCLA’s pitching staff has picked up right where it left off in 2013 as the Bruins continue to string together great performances on the mound this season. UCLA as a team is holding opponents to a .210 batting average, the second-lowest in the conference. The Bruins have also allowed the third-fewest hits (178), fewest walks (62) and own the second-lowest ERA (2.68) in the Pac-12. The Bruins’ pitchers also own a WHIP of 1.01, tops in the Pac-12. UCLA’s starting quartet of James Kaprielian, Grant Watson, Cody Poteet and Grant Dyer have posted an ERA of 2.94 in 26 starts this season while holding opponents to a .211 batting average. The Bruins have also allowed two runs or less to the opposition in seven of their last 11 contests and in the last two seasons are 54-3 when holding the opposing team to three runs or fewer.
UCLA has won 21 of its last 27 midweek games dating back to the 2012 season. The Bruins went 7-4 in midweek games last season, defeating UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine on the road and Hawai’i, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine at home. This season, UCLA is 3-2 in midweek games.
PLAYING FROM AHEAD
In the last two seasons, UCLA has done a tremendous job of getting an early lead and then not relinquishing that lead. The Bruins are a combined 39-9 when they score first in the last two seasons and since the start of 2013 are 54-1 when leading after the seventh inning. Additionally, UCLA has a record of 25-5 in the last two seasons when scoring in the first inning.
The Bruins have done an excellent job this season of laying down sacrifice bunts. UCLA ranked 12th in the nation entering last week and is currently second in the Pac-12 with 40 sacrifice bunts. Freshman Luke Persico leads the Bruins and is fifth in the Pac-12 with seven sacrifice bunts while senior Brian Carroll is second on the team with six. Sophomore Trent Chatterton is right behind Carroll with five. Last season, UCLA set a school record with 76 sacrifice bunts. In the sacrifice fly category, the Bruins have recorded 10 on the year with sophomore Christoph Bono and junior Chris Keck leading the way with two sacrifice flies apiece.
Senior Kevin Williams has been swinging the bat well as of late since returning to the Bruins’ lineup from injury on March 7. Williams is currently on a five-game hitting streak while posting a batting average of .500, four runs and seven RBI in those five games. Overall, Williams leads the Bruins with a .324 batting average, nine RBI and two home runs in conference games. In his four-year career, Williams has played in 139 games, batting .262 with 56 runs and 51 RBI.
Since the start of 2010, UCLA has gone 85-34 in all road and neutral site contests, good for a .714 winning percentage. The Bruins have also gone 43-17 in Pac-12 road games since 2010. In the last two seasons, UCLA has gone 40-12 on the road and 10-2 in neutral site games. The Bruins have logged six Pac-12 road sweeps in the last four years (2010 at Washington, California; 2011 at Oregon; 2012 at Washington, Utah; 2013 at USC; 2014 at California) and one non-conference road sweep (2012 at Georgia). The Bruins went 17-8 on the road in 2013, winning series at Baylor, Oregon, Washington State and USC and are currently 4-0 on the road this season. UCLA has also won 15 consecutive games away from Jackie Robinson Stadium dating back to last season.
UCLA came in at No. 21 in this week’s Baseball America top-25 poll, marking the 42nd consecutive week that the Bruins have been ranked in the top 25. The Bruins last dropped out of the poll on May 22, 2011. UCLA finished the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in each of the nation’s major polls. In the last four seasons, the Bruins have been ranked in the top 10 by Baseball America a total of 17 times. UCLA also concluded the 2013 campaign with an RPI of 9 and the No. 2 strength of schedule according to boydsworld.com.
Senior Brian Carroll and sophomore Christoph Bono are both having strong 2014 seasons thus far. Carroll, a San Diego, Calif. native, is batting at a .319 clip so far, scoring a team-high 18 runs. Serving as the leadoff hitter in every game thus far, Carroll has posted a .443 on-base percentage and has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games. In the last 16 games, Carroll has batted .349 with 11 runs scored. He has also reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 games and his .443 on-base percentage ranks ninth in the Pac-12. Bono, Carroll’s counterpart in right field, has been on a tear as of late, hitting safely in 12 of his last 14 games and logging at least one RBI in nine of those 14 games. Bono is currently batting .296 overall with a team-high eight doubles, fifth-most in the conference, and has batted .321 since UCLA’s game on March 7 vs. Pepperdine. Bono also leads the team in RBI (16), is second to Shane Zeile for the team lead in multi-hit games (9), is second to Carroll with 13 runs scored and is third on the team with a .398 slugging percentage. Finally in left field, sophomore Ty Moore has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 contests and is batting .340 with nine RBI and a .450 OBP in his last 14 games.
TAKING THE HITS
UCLA has done a remarkable job this season of reaching base via the hit by pitch. Overall, UCLA hitters have been hit 43 times in 26 games thus far, second only to Washington for the Pac-12 lead. Senior Brian Carroll leads the Bruins individually with nine hit by pitches while sophomore Ty Moore has been hit eight times. Last weekend, UCLA drew 12 hit by pitches in its three-game set with Arizona State, including five in the series finale on Sunday. Last season, the Bruins drew 82 hit by pitches, the most in the Pac-12 Conference.
All-American closer David Berg has enjoyed as fine a career as any reliever in the history of college baseball. In three seasons, Berg has made a school record 122 appearances, breaking the previous mark of 119 set by Bill Wenrick from 1984-87, and has posted a 15-4 record with a 1.32 ERA. Berg also owns the NCAA single-season record for saves with 24 in 2013 and tied the NCAA record for most appearances in a season with 51 last year. Additionally, he became the first reliever in conference history to win Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year last season and was UCLA’s first recipient of the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, given out to the nation’s top relief pitcher. Berg was named to the All-Pac-12 Team for the second time in his career in 2013, making him just the 25th UCLA player all-time to receive all-conference acclaim at least twice. In addition, he finished second in the country in both WHIP (0.85) and ERA last year. Finally, Berg is the only pitcher in UCLA history to lead the conference in ERA in back-to-back seasons and is UCLA’s all-time record holder for most postseason appearances (17), postseason saves (6) and career saves (32). This season, Berg has thrown 32.1 innings in a conference-leading 21 appearances, all while logging a 3-1 record, seven saves and a 1.95 ERA (seventh-lowest in the Pac-12). Berg has also won his last 11 of his last 12 decisions dating back to 2012 and his seven saves are second-most in the conference.
Junior catcher Shane Zeile has continued to hit the ball well at the plate during the 2014 season. The Valencia, Calif. native leads the Bruins and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with a .367 batting average. Zeile, who was named to the 2014 Johnny Bench Award Watch List, given out to the nation’s top collegiate catcher, has also logged a team-high 10 multi-hit games while leading UCLA with 36 total hits, 12 walks and a .447 on-base percentage. His on-base percentage currently ranks eighth in the conference and his 33 hits ranks sixth. Zeile has also reached base safely in his last 10 games. Behind the plate, he has handled a pitching staff that has allowed the second-lowest opposing batting average (.210) and second-lowest ERA (2.68) in the conference.
HEAD COACH JOHN SAVAGE
Head coach John Savage was named the 2013 National Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, the ABCA and Perfect Game USA. By guiding the Bruins to their second straight College World Series last year, Savage became one of just 10 coaches all-time from the Pac-12 to lead their teams to back-to-back College World Series appearances. Additionally, Savage is one of just five coaches in college baseball history to have led his team to one CWS championship, produced a No. 1 MLB Draft pick and coached a Golden Spikes Award winner. Savage helped UCLA post an overall 49-17 record in 2013, marking the second-highest single-season win total in school history, and is UCLA’s all-time winningest postseason manager with 32 postseason victories. UCLA also matched a school record with 21 conference victories in 2013. Finally, Savage has guided the Bruins to the postseason in seven of the last eight seasons and has a staggering winning percentage staggering .703 since 2010.