May 31, 2006
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 UC Irvine - Malibu Regional, Eddy D. Field Stadium, June 2, 11 a.m., Hector Ambriz, RHP (7-7, 3.97) vs. Justin Cassel, RHP (7-8, 3.41)
Get After It: The No. 2-seeded UCLA baseball team (32-23, 13-10 Pac-10) opens the 2006 postseason against No. 3-seed UC Irvine (36-22, 11-10 Big West) in the first round of the Malibu Regional on Friday, June 2 at 11 a.m. The Bruins will look to defeat the Anteaters for the third time in three weeks and advance to the winner's side of the bracket to face the winner of the No. 1-seed Pepperdine vs. No. 4-seed Missouri matchup.
Radio/Live Stats: All of UCLA's action at the Malibu Regional can be heard live online at www.uclabruins.com. Danny Lee and Darren Preston will call the action for the Bruins. As always, you can follow the live statistics of the game online with CSTV's Game Tracker.
About the Malibu Regional: Pepperdine University plays host to the 2006 Malibu Regional, as Pepperdine hosts a NCAA baseball regional for the first time in school history. Eddy D. Field Stadium will be the site for all of the first-round action, as four of the top teams in the nation battle it out for a chance to advance to the Super Regionals. Pepperdine is the bracket's No. 1 seed, followed by No. 2- seed UCLA, No.-3 seed UC Irvine, and No. 4-seed Missouri.
Malibu Regional Game Schedule:
Friday, June 2
Game 1 - No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 UC Irvine; 11 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 1 Pepperdine vs. No. 4 Missouri; 3 p.m.
Saturday, June 3
Game 3 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2; 11 a.m.
Game 4 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2; 3 p.m.
Sunday, June 4
Game 5 - Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4; 11 a.m.
Game 6 - Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4; 3 p.m.
Monday, June 5
Game 7 - Championship Game (if necessary); 11 a.m.
Ticket Information: All-Tournament passes are $50 with single game adult tickets priced at $15. Seniors, youth and student tickets are $10. All-tournament passes can be purchased prior to Friday and will be available beginning Tuesday at www.PepperdineSports.com or by calling the Pepperdine ticket office at (310) 506-4935.
How The Bruins Got Here: UCLA finished the regular season with a 32-23 overall record, and a 13-10 Pac-10 mark to receive an No. 2-seed at-large berth into the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins finished third in the Pac-10 standings by a half game, and own a top-25 RPI rating, and a top-5 strength of schedule.
Good Looking Deal: 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's Regional History: The Bruins are making their 12th NCAA Regional Championship appearance since 1975, and their first since 2004. In 2004, UCLA traveled to the Oklahoma City Regional and finished second in the bracket. UCLA has not played in a NCAA Regional Championship located in California since 1986, as the Bruins have made nine-consecutive postseason appearances out of state before this season. Since 1979, UCLA is 2-4 when playing in California during NCAA Regional competition.
Postseason Experience: UCLA has nine players who have played in a postseason game. Seniors Brett McMillan, Josh Roenicke, Daniel Miltenberger, Garett White, and juniors Brian Schroeder, Will Penniall and Kevin Brophy all played in the 2004 Regional Championships in Oklahoma City. Juniors Dave Huff and Tim Stewart played for UC Irvine in the 2004 Regional Championships under head coach John Savage.
Against The Malibu Regional Field: UCLA played both Pepperdine and UC Irvine twice during the 2006 regular season, going 3-1 in four games against the two schools. The Bruins split a home-and-home series with Pepperdine. UCLA beat the Waves at home 2-0 on Feb. 21, but lost to Pepperdine 6-1 at Eddy D. Field Stadium on March 7. UCLA swept UC Irvine in a home-and-home series, defeating the Anteaters 8-4 on May 16 at Anteater Ballpark, and 10-1 on May 23 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
UCLA has not played Missouri since March 28, 1985, a 10-7 Bruin win over the Tigers in Riverside, Calif.
Against The 2006 NCAA Tournament Field: 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.
A Look at 2007: Not that UCLA is trying to get ahead of itself, but the Bruins will also have full plate next season. The Bruins will play a total of 25 games in 2007 against this year's NCAA Tournament field. UCLA will play 11 games next season against four teams that are No. 1 seeds in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins will face Cal State Fullerton, Ole Miss, Pepperdine, and Oregon State, all top-teams in the nation this year. UCLA will also play three-game series against No. 2 seeds in Winthrop, Miami, and Arizona, and against No. 3 seeds Stanford and UC Irvine.
Oregon State Recap: The UCLA baseball finished its regular season at No. 5 Oregon State with a shot at the Pac-10 Title on the line. The Bruins needed to sweep the Beavers in a three-game series to force a first-place tie atop the Pac-10 standings, but came up short. Oregon State beat UCLA 9-2 on Friday to clinch its second-straight Pac-10 Title. After getting rained out on Saturday, UCLA rebounded to beat the Beavers 3-1 on Sunday.
About the Anteaters: The UC Irvine Anteaters make their second Division-I postseason appearance in school history with an overall record of 36-22 and an 11-10 mark in the Big West. UCI made its first Division-I postseason appearance in school history under John Savage in 2004 at the South Bend Regional. UCI is looking for its first win in Division-I NCAA Tournament play. The Anteaters are coming off a three-game series win against UC Riverside, as UCI took the first two games from the Highlanders before losing its regular season finale 8-6 at Anteater Ballpark. As team, UCI hits .280 (536-1912) with 20 home runs, 268 RBI, 302 runs scored and 104 stolen bases in 146 attempts. The Anteater pitching staff owns a 3.47 team ERA with 402 strikeouts in 523.1 innings pitched while limiting opponents to a .266 batting average. Head Coach Dave Serrano is in his second season at the helm of the Anteater program.
The UC Irvine-UCLA Series: UCLA leads the all-time series with UC Irvine with a mark of 37-20-1. UCLA knocked off UC Irvine on the road 8-4 on May 16 and 10-1 on home on May 23. The Bruins swept the Anteaters last year in a home-and-home series, winning 3-1 at home on April 26, and 11-1 at UC Irvine on May 10. When UC Irvine restarted its baseball program in 2002, led by head coach John Savage, the Anteaters were 4-0 against the Bruins. Savage is 4-0 against UCI as UCLA's head coach. UCLA and UCI have never played in the postseason.
Just Can't Get Enough: It seems like UCLA and UC Irvine just can't get enough of each other. On Friday, these two teams will play for the third time in three weeks, as the Bruins and the Anteaters faced off in back-to-back Tuesday games prior to the postseason.
Isn't It Ironic: UCLA Head Coach John Savage will face his former team on Friday, the same UC Irvine team he took to the 2004 postseason in his third year of rebuilding the Anteater program. Oddly enough, it makes perfect sense that Savage will try for his first postseason victory against his former team. In 2002, his first season as the head coach at UC Irvine, Savage earned his first career win against UCLA. In 2005, his first season at UCLA, Savage earned his 100th-career victory against UC Irvine. Furthermore, Savage replaced former UCLA head coach Gary Adams, who coached at UC Irvine before he coached for 30 years at UCLA. Ironically, it was Savage's UC Irvine team that beat UCLA in Adam's final game at Jackie Robinson Stadium in 2004.
Ant Eat This: UCLA put together two solid wins against UC Irvine in the past two weeks. In the two Bruin victories over the Anteaters, UCLA hit .342 (26-76) as a team with three home runs, 15 RBI, while outscoring UCI 18-5. The UCLA pitching staff posted a team ERA of 2.50 against the Anteaters with 16 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched.
Turning Point: UCLA's season has made a change for the better since the Bruins played Long Beach State on Feb. 28. Entering that February game, UCLA was 5-9 overall and fresh off being swept in three-games by Cal State Fullerton. The Bruins knocked off the No. 15 Dirtbags (6-3) that day, and went on to sweep No. 17 NC State on the road. Since Feb. 28, UCLA is 27-14 (.659).
Serie-ous: UCLA won nine of 14 three-game series during the regular season, including six of its last seven series, and eight of its last 10 series.
California Love: UCLA played 44 of its 55 games during the regular season in the Golden State. The Bruins went 25-19 in California, which included a 19-12 mark at home.
Stay Hot: UCLA enters the postseason winners of seven of the last nine games.
Punch First: UCLA is quite successful when making the scoreboard light up first in a game. So far this season, the Bruins are 19-5 when scoring in the first inning, and 22-7 when scoring before the opposition in a game. UCLA is 10-16 when opponents score first in a game, and oddly enough, is 11-5 record when opponents score in the first inning.
In the Fridge: When UCLA has a lead late in the ball game, the Bruins are pretty consistent at sealing the deal. During the regular season, UCLA is 29-3 when leading after six innings of play, and a perfect 30-0 when owning the lead after eight innings. Five different Bruins have two-or-more saves on the year, led by Senior Josh Roenicke with four. On the other side of things, UCLA is 1-16 when trailing after six innings and 0-21 when behind after eight innings of play.
Rank This: The UCLA baseball team was ranked in the national polls for the week of April 24-30. The Bruins entered the week ranked No. 22 in the nation by Baseball America, and No. 25 by the Rosenblatt Report. This week marked the first time since March of 2001 that UCLA has been ranked in the Top-25 by Baseball America.
Rank That: 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 12-11 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.
Chew On This: UCLA beat the No. 5 Oregon State Beavers at Goss Stadium on Sunday for the Bruins' 12th win against a ranked opponent this season. The Beavers were 22-3 at home before losing the UCLA in the regular season finale.
Speaks For Itself: UCLA ranks in this week at No. 23 in the national RPI rankings, with a second-ranked strength of schedule.
Magic Numbers: So far this season, UCLA is 28-5 when scoring five or more runs in a ball game, and owns a 17-0 record when holding opponents to two runs or less. The Bruins are also 23-5 this season when recording 10 or more hits in a game.
1-2 Step: UCLA has a knack for scoring runs early. So far this season, the Bruins have outscored the opposition 90-47 in the first two innings, outscoring opponents 52-25 in the first inning of games alone.
Ba Boom: 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 (Ambriz 5, Babineau 5, Crawford 6, Decker 5, Jensen 6, McMillan 6, Smith 6, Stewart 6). UCLA is 23-9 this season when a Bruin homers in a game.
Big Innings: UCLA likes to score its runs in bunches, as the Bruins have scored three or more runs in an inning 45 times this season. 166 of UCLA's 333 total runs (50 percent) this season have come when posting three or more runs in an inning. Scoring three or more runs in an inning in a game translates into success for UCLA, as the Bruins are 25-2 this season when scoring three or more runs in an inning. UCLA scored a season-high seven runs in an inning against NC State (March 5).
UCLA scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning in Friday's game against Stanford (5/19) to cruise to an 8-1 win over the Cardinal. In Sunday's game against Stanford (5/21), UCLA used a six-run fifth inning to erase a 5-0 deficit. The Bruins also posted a three spot and a four spot on the scoreboard in a 10-1 win over UC Irvine last Tuesday.
UCLA has posted three-or-more runs in an inning nine times in five of the last eight games.
Lotta Action: 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.
Dealing: 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.
Control: UCLA arms don't give up many free passes. Bruin pitchers have not issued more than three walks in the last six-consecutive games.
Good D: UCLA's defense has been superb all year, as the Bruins finished the regular season with the No. 1-defensive mark in the Pac-10 Conference with a .977 fielding percentage, a top-10 mark in the nation.
Don't Rub It: UCLA batters have been more like big targets as of late at the plate. A Bruin has been hit by a pitch in nine of the last 10 games, which included a stretch of eight-consecutive games, and 16 times in 12 of the last 13 games. On the other side, Bruin pitchers have only hit two opposing batters in the last 10 games.
Multi-hitters: UCLA hitters are very efficient at knocking the ball around the park more than once in a game. 13 different Bruins have at least five or more multi-hit games, seven different Bruins have at least 10 multi-hit games, and 16 different Bruins have recorded multiple hits in a game this season a total of 152 times. Freshman Brandon Crawford leads the team with 23 multi-hit games, and senior Chris Jensen is second on the squad with 22.
Four different Bruins had multiple hits against UCI last Tuesday.
Watch `Um Swang, Watch `Um Swang: UCLA has knocked an extra base hit in 51 of its 55 games so far this year. The Bruins have smacked 182 extra base hits with 114 doubles, 14 triples, and 54 home runs. UCLA has hit at least one double in its last 26-conscutive games, a season-high, posting 62 two-baggers in that span. UCLA hit two doubles and two home runs against UCI last Tuesday. The Bruins are 24-8 when they post three-or-more extra base hits in a game.
Home Cook'n: The Bruins played their final home game of the season at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday, a 10-1 win over UC Irvine. UCLA finishes its home schedule 19-12, as the Bruins won 16 of the final 22 games at Jackie Robinson Stadium. In the last 22 home games, the Bruins hit .320 (244-763) as a team with 31 home runs, 163 RBI, and 182 runs scored for an 8.3 runs-per-game average. UCLA will end the year hitting .305 (320-1048) with 38 home runs, 199 RBI, 221 runs scored (7.1 per game), and a 3.84 team ERA at Jackie Robinson Stadium this season.
Six Pack: UCLA defeated Stanford twice in a three-game series this past weekend to win its sixth-straight three-game home series of the season. Since 1975, that feat has never been accomplished.
Getting Some Props: UCLA garnered Pac-10 Player of the Week honors five times during the regular season. Every pitcher in the Bruin starting rotation has earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors, as junior Hector Ambriz (March 14), Dave Huff (April 25), and Tyson Brummett (March 7) have each been recognized as the conference's top hurler. Ambriz has also been named the Pac-10's Player of the Week (March 21), and Chris Jensen was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on May 16. Jensen is also a Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team selection.
Getting More Props: The UCLA baseball team had seven players earn 2006 All-Pacific-10 Conference honors, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Wednesday, May 31. Juniors Hector Ambriz and Dave Huff, and freshman Ryan Babineau each earned All-Pac-10 First-Team honors, the most All-Pac-10 Team selections for UCLA since 2001. Senior Chris Jensen, junior Paul Oseguera, and freshmen Brandon Crawford and Jermaine Curtis each earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention accolades.
Freshman Impact: Head Coach John Savage started six freshmen in the lineup on Sunday against No. 5 Oregon State, marking the 17th time this season UCLA has put five or more freshman in the starting lineup.
The Big Four: UCLA would not be in the position it is in this season without the play of its senior class. Four seniors in particular have led the way for a once young and inexperienced Bruin team. So far this season, seniors Chris Jensen, Brett McMillan, Josh Roenicke, and Sean Smith have combined for much of UCLA's offensive production. These four seniors have combined for 187 of the team's 542 hits (35 percent), 113 of the team's 298 RBI (38 percent) and 114 of the team's 333 runs scored (34 percent).
Smith has hit three home runs with 10 RBI in his last 10 games.
Keep Their Headz Ringin: Freshman Brandon Crawford has been a hit machine for UCLA all season long. Crawford has started all 55 games for UCLA up the middle, and owns a .320 batting average with a team-best 74 hits, six home runs, six triples, 29 RBI, and 41 runs scored. The 6-2 shortstop is currently riding a 10-game hit streak into the postseason. In his last 10 games, Crawford is hitting .390 (16-41) with a home run, two triples, three doubles, and 10 runs scored. This is the third time this season Crawford has posted a hit streak of 10-or-more games, as he started the season with a personal-best 11-game hit streak.
Batter Up: All freshman Jermaine Curtis does is get on base. Curtis was impressive in the regular season during Pac-10 play, posting a .390 batting average (23-59), fourth in the conference, with 13 RBI and 14 runs scored. Curtis finished third in Pac-10 play with a .500 on-base percentage. In the last 10 games, Curtis is hitting .394 with a .522 on-base percentage posting 13 hits, six walks, five hit-by-pitches, and eight runs scored.
Everyday CJ: Senior Chris Jensen has been a staple of consistency for the Bruins all year long. On the season, the UCLA right fielder has hit .327 (73-223) with six home runs, and team bests of 35 RBI and 45 runs scored, starting all 55 games for UCLA in right. In the last 10 games, Jensen is hitting .390 (16-41) with two home runs, nine RBI and nine run scored.
Huff Stuff: Junior Dave Huff has been a workhorse for the UCLA pitching staff this year. In eight Pac-10 starts, Huff has tossed 68.1 innings, with a 4-1 record, a 2.77 ERA, and 49 strikeouts. Huff had gone nine or more inning four-straight Pac-10 outings before a loss against Stanford, and five of his first six Pac-10 starts. On the season, Huff owns a 7-3 record with a 2.82 ERA, three complete-game victories, and 90 strikeouts in 121.1 innings pitched. Huff ranks second in the Pac-10 in innings pitched, third in strikeouts, and fifth in ERA.
Bailamos: Junior Paul Oseguera has been phenomenal out of the bullpen this season for UCLA. During the regular season, Oseguera posted a 3-1 record with a 1.71 ERA and two saves, striking out 46 batters in 47.1 innings pitched. In his last seven appearances, Oseguera has a 0.55 ERA with a win and 13 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched.
Bring It: This season, UCLA didn't back down from anyone, which showed in the toughness of its schedule. The Bruins played 32 games scheduled against teams that competed in the 2005 NCAA Regional Championships, with 11 teams listed in this year's 2005 preseason top-25 rankings.
UCLA took on 12 teams that competed in the 2005 NCAA Regional Championships last year (Miami, Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, NC State, Ole Miss, UNLV, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Stanford, and Oregon State), and will have 18 games during the season against 2005 NCAA Super Regional participants (Miami, Cal State Fullerton, Ole Miss, Arizona State, USC, Oregon State).
UCLA went 19-12 against those teams.
The Bruins' tough schedule was noted with the No. 1 strength of schedule nod by Boyd's World, a baseball statistics internet site.
Up Next: UCLA will play in the second round of the Malibu Regional on Saturday, June 3. If UCLA wins Friday's game, the Bruins will play at 3 p.m. on Saturday. If the Bruins lose on Friday, they will play at 11 a.m. on Saturday against either Pepperdine or Missouri.