Dec. 21, 2005
Los Angeles - UCLA baseball head coach John Savage announced the finalized schedule for the upcoming 2006 season on Wednesday. The Bruins are set to play 56 games in 2006, 31 games at Jackie Robinson Stadium and 25 on the road, with 32 games scheduled against teams that competed in the NCAA Regional Championships last season.
"We think from top to bottom, our schedule is the toughest schedule in the country," Savage said. "Our schedule is a very diverse schedule in the sense that we play programs from several different conferences."
The Bruins will take on 12 teams that competed in the 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 NCAA Super Regional participants (Miami, Cal State Fullerton, Ole Miss, Arizona State, USC, Oregon State).
"The one thing about our schedule is that we better respect all the teams we play equally," Savage said. "Every team on our schedule is a Division-I program that has had a lot of success in each of their respective conferences."
UCLA will officially begin its 2006 campaign with its annual Alumni Game at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 12 p.m. The Bruins will open the regular season with a three-game series against Fresno State at home beginning Friday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m.
The Bruins will host marquee matchups at home against perennial powerhouses Miami (Feb. 10 - 12), Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 24), and Ole Miss (March 10 - 12).
UCLA will also play UC Riverside (Feb. 14), Pepperdine (Feb. 21), an exhibition game against Waseda University of Japan (Feb. 23), UNLV (March 14), San Diego State (March 17-19), UC Irvine (April 4), Long Beach State (April 18), and UC Santa Barbara (April 25) in its non-conference home slate.
The Bruins farthest road trip of the season will be to Raleigh, N.C., for a series with North Carolina State (March 3 - 5).
"The depth of our schedule is very strong because we want to be as challenged and be as competitive as we can go play in the Pac-10," Savage said.
As always, the Bruins will face a tough Pac-10 Conference schedule in 2006.
"We believe that the Pac-10 is the best conference in the nation," Savage said. "Every team in our conference is tough to beat. It is an extremely difficult conference with the best players and the best coaches. The strength of who you play in the Pac-10 alone, you can't find that in any other conference in the country."
UCLA will host exciting Pac-10 series with Washington State (April 7 - 9), Arizona State (April 21 - 23), USC (May 12 - 14), and Stanford (May 19 - 21). The Bruins will complete their conference schedule with road trips to Washington (March 31 - April 2), Arizona (April 13 - 15), California (April 28 - 30), and will finish its regular season schedule at Oregon State (May 26 - 28).
UCLA returns 22 players from last season, including six returning starters on the mound, and 11 starting position players, and welcomes 17 newcomers to the roster.