June 2, 2004
UCLA Earns Postseason Berth, Travels to Oklahoma for NCAA Regional:
The Bruins (33-27, 14-10) will return to the postseason for the first time since 2000 when they travel to Oklahoma City for a NCAA Regional this week. UCLA, which finished third in the Pac-10 with a series win over Oregon State last weekend, is one of five teams from the conference headed for postseason play. It is the first time since 1999 that more than four Pac-10 teams have made the 64-team field.
Second-seeded and host school Oklahoma will be the third-seeded Bruins first opponent, as the teams face-off in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Bricktown Ballpark on Friday night. Florida, the top-seeded team in the regional and Central Connecticut State, the fourth-seed will play at 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon in the first game of the weekend. All times a Central Time.
The Bruins are not strangers to Oklahoma City, as UCLA won a regional in the same ballpark in 2000. After a opening day win over Delaware, UCLA took two games from the host Sooners before heading to Baton Rouge, LA for the super regional at LSU.
Oklahoma has also been a special state to other Bruin teams in this 2004 postseason. The UCLA softball team defended it national title from 2003 and claimed its tenth NCAA Championship in Oklahoma City on Monday night. In men's tennis, UCLA defeated Illinois in the national semi-final and ended their NCAA record 64-match win streak in Tulsa before falling to Baylor in the national championship round.
Each Bruin game of the regional will be broadcast on www.uclabruins.com. Dave Marcus and Chris Pritchett will call all the action from Oklahoma City.
Bruins Finish Third in Pac-10, Win Series at Oregon State:
After falling 3-2 on Friday night in Corvallis, UCLA claimed back-to-back wins over Oregon State to claim third place in the Pacific-10 conference. The finish was the Bruins best in conference since 2000 when they split the conference title with Stanford and Arizona State.
Casey Janssen held the Beavers to three hits on Friday night, despite suffering the loss. UCLA scored its only runs of the contest on a two-run homer from Ryan McCarthy. It was his 13th of the season and ninth in conference play, which it tied for tops in the Pac-10.
On Saturday, UCLA posted a 12-2 victory over the Oregon State. Starter David Johnson allowed only one run in six innings of work to earn his third win of the season. Sophomore catcher Chris Denove went 4-for-4 on the day with a home run and a double. Brett McMillan also added a home run to the Bruin tally.
Wes Whisler picked up the win on the mound and hit a three-run home run to lead UCLA to an 11-6 victory on Sunday. Billy Susdorf also hit a homer as the Bruins claimed their fifth straight conference series victory.
For the first time since the conference went from the Pac-8 to the Pac-10, UCLA earned series wins in every conference road trip of the season. The Bruins' 8-4 record on the road in conference play tied with Washington for the best mark in the league.
Tentative Lineup - 2004 Notes
1B Wes Whisler (6-5, 237, L/L, Jr.) - Has 14 multiple hit games
2B Mike Svetlic (5-9, 175, R/R, Sr.) - 11 sacrifice hits are a team-high
SS Ryan McCarthy (6-3, 180, R/R, Jr.) - Drove in 31 runs in conference play
3B Preston Griffin (5-11, 184, R/R, Sr.) - Has been hit by a pitch 12 times
LF Brandon Averill (6-4, 200, R/R, Sr.) - Eight home runs rank second
CF Jarrad Page (6-0, 200, S/R, Fr.) - Hit .308 in Pac-10 play with four SB
RF Matt Thayer (5-10, 180, R/L, Jr.) - Tops on team with 33 BB and 45 runs
C Chris Denove (6-1, 202, R/R, So.) - Driven in team-high 43 Bruin runs
DH Brett McMillan (6-5, 225, L/L, So.) - Team-high 12 multiple RBI games
SP Casey Janssen (6-4, 210, R/R, Sr.) - Threw CG win at Washington (5/21)
SP David Johnson (6-5, 210, R/R, Jr.) - Set career-high 7 SO's at Wichita State
SP Wes Whisler (6-5, 237, L/L, Jr.) - Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (5/18)
RP Kevin Brophy (5-11, 184, R/R, Fr.) - Five wins are second on the team
RP Adam Simon (5-10, 180, R/R, So.) - Has not allowed a run in last 8.0 IP
RP Kyle Wilson (6-2, 200, R/R, Jr.) - 2.84 ERA is lowest on the team
Oklahoma (37-21, 19-8 Big 12) will be the Bruins first opponent in Oklahoma City. Seeded second in the regional, the Sooners serve as the host school for the regional. Oklahoma was eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament by Baylor last week on the third day of the tourney.
The last time the Bruins and Sooners faced off was in the 2000 NCAA Regional in Oklahoma City, with UCLA winning both meetings. Since 1975, the Bruins have a 2-2 record against Sooners.
Ole Sheldon (So., OF) .376, 4 HR, 52 RBI - Roseburg, OR (Santa Rosa JC)
Eric Thorton (Jr., INF).335, 7 HR, 38 RBI - McLoud, OK (Cowley County CC)
Andrew McGuire (Sr., OF) .281, 8 HR, 27 RBI - Sherman, TX (Grayson CC)
Russell Raley (So., INF) .335, 1 HR, 23 RBI - Uvalde, TX (Uvalde HS)
Mark Roberts (Sr., RHP) 3.08 ERA, 9-4 - Owasso, OK (Owasso HS)
David Purcey (Jr., LHP) 3.28 ERA, 8-5 - Dallas, TX (Trinity Christian Academy)
Casey Brown (Sr, RHP) 4.22 ERA, 5-3 - Stigler, OK (Connors State College)
Florida (40-20, 17-13 SEC) is the top seeded team in the Oklahoma City regional. One of nine teams from the Southeastern Conference that earned regional spots, the Gators are also one of six teams to get a top-seeding in their regional. Florida will face Central Connecticut State in the regional's first game.
The Gators are led by head coach Pat McMahon who is in his third season at Florida. He has a 123-60-1 record while in Gainesville. UCLA has a 1-1 record against the Gators since 1975.
Ben Harrison (Sr., OF) .353, 16 HR, 60 RBI - Key West, FL (Key West HS)
C.J. Smith (Fr., OF).347, 14 HR, 62 RBI - Tampa, FL (Jesuit HS)
Justin Hoyman (Jr., RHP) 2.82 10-1 - Cocoa, FL (Brevard CC)
Connor Falkenbach (Jr., RHP) 3.35, 9-6 - Parkland, FL (Marjory Stoneman Douglas)
About Central Connecticut State...
Central Connecticut State (41-15-1) will head to the NCAA regional for the third startight year. The Blue Devils won their third consecutive Northeastern Conference Tournament last week. They will face-off with top-seeded Florida in the 3:00 p.m. game on Friday.
Head Coach Charlie Hickey is in his fifth head year at the helm of the Blue Devils. He has posted a 153-108-4 record during his tenure at Central Connecticut State. The Bruins and Blue Devils have never met before.
Keith Stegbauer (Sr., INF) .412, 4 HR, 45 RBI - Seminole, FL (St. Petersburg JC)
Rob Hosgood (Sr., OF).379, 9 HR, 48 RBI - Clifton Park, NY (Shenedehowa HS)
Lewis Pappariella (Sr., RHP) 3.56, 7-2 - Palmyra, PA (Palmyra HS)
Scott Vitelli (Jr., RHP) 2.70, 9-4 - West Haven, CT (West Haven HS)