March 7, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Mired in a five-game losing streak, UCLA will travel to Cal State Northridge at 2 p.m. Tuesday for the makeup of a rained out February 11 contest with the Matadors. Bruin right-hander Brant Rustich (1-1, 6.00 ERA will will attempt to get the Bruins back on the winning track after a weekend sweep at the Cal State Fullerton-hosted Kia Baseball Bash. In Fullerton, UCLA scored first in each of its three contests but eventually fell to Oklahoma, Nevada and Cal State Fullerton by scores of 7-2, 7-3 and 14-4, respectively.
Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - 2 p.m.
UCLA (7-9) vs. Cal State Northridge (5-5-1)
UCLA - RHP Brant Rustich (1-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. CSUN - LHP Kyle Jean (0-0, 4.76 ERA)
The Series: The Bruins have won the first two contests against the Matadors this season. In the teams' first matchup back on February 12 at Jackie Robinson Stadium UCLA pulled out a dramatic 5-4, extra-ining victory as Will Penniall drove in the game-winning run with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the tenth. In game two on February 13, Rustich helped himself earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors with an eight-hit, complete game victory in which he allowed just one unearned run. Hector Ambriz and Brett McMillan each homered in that contest. Cal State Northridge still leads the all-time series against UCLA 33-29-1, dating back to 1962.
The Bruins: After beginning the season an impressive 6-3, UCLA has now dropped six of its last seven and sit with a 7-9 record entering its last week of play before a two-and-a-half week, spring-break/finals induced hiatus. The Bruins, currently stuck in a five-game skid, have not won since a 9-0 series opening victory over Pacific on February 25. In that game, sophomore Hector Ambriz tossed his first career complete game shutout and Brett McMillan launched his second home run of the year. Since then, UCLA has been outscored 45-18 and its team ERA has risen from 3.03 to 4.50. The five-game skid marks the first of its type since a seven-game losing streak in April, 2003. Tuesday's scheduled starting pitcher, Brant Rustich, will be staring on one day's rest after throwing just 45 pitches in his start on Sunday against Cal State Fullerton. In that outing, Rustich was touched for nine runs (seven earned) on ten hits over 1.1 innings of work.
Coming Up: After Tuesday's contest at Cal State Northridge, UCLA will travel to College Station, Texas for a three-game series against No. 17 Texas A&M this weekend. The contests will mark legs No. 2-4 in an stretch in which the Bruins will play eight-consecutive games against currently ranked opponents (Cal State Fullerton, Texas A&M (3), Cal State Fullerton, Arizona (3)).