May 12, 2005
Things to Think About...
Junior Chris Jensen has a 16-game hitting streak
Junior catcher Chris Denove has thrown out the last six would-be base stealers
Reliever Brian Schroeder has allowed just four runs in his last 12.1 innings pitched
Junior Brett McMillan has posted three consecutive two-hit games.
Leading Off: UCLA (12-33, 1-14) travels to Stanford (27-17, 8-7) this weekend for a three-game Pac-10 series with the No. 21 Cardinal. The Bruins are fresh off a blowout victory of UC Irvine, an 11-1 thrashing on Tuesday which afforded first-year UCLA head coach John Savage his 100th career victory. This Week In the Media: All three games this weekend will be carried live on the internet via uclaBruins.com.
On the Mound: Right-hander Hector Ambriz will make his 14th start of the season on Friday night for UCLA. On Saturday night, right-hander Bryan Beck will take the mound in search of his first victory of the seaosn. Right-hander Brant Rustich will start in Sunday's finale.
Savage Notches Win No. 100: UCLA Head Coach John Savage earned his 100th career victory on Tuesday, May 10 in ironic fashion as his Bruins defeated his former school UC Irvine, 11-1. Savage is now 2-0 against the Anteaters. Back in 2002 when with UCI, Savage earned his first career head coaching win against UCLA.
Fighting the Good Fight: BoydsWorld.com, a statistics-based college baseball website currently ranks UCLA's 2005 strength of schedule as the second toughest in the country (USC is No. 1). The site also lists the Pac-10 Conference third in Iterative Strength Rating (ISR) and fourth in Psuedo-RPI.
Terrific Tuesdays: The Bruins have now won three consecutive Tuesday contests and are now 4-5 in those midweek games. UCLA defeated UC Irvine on April 26 then downed the University of San Diego on May 3 before defeating UCI again on May 10.
Where Have You Been?: Junior right fielder Chris Jensen missed the first two months of the season due to a hamstring injury but returned to the UCLA lineup full time on April 15 and has been absolutely on fire since. Jensen has racked up a 16-game hitting streak - has a hit in every game since joining lineup - while pacing the Bruins with a .469 average, five doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI in that span. He has contributed two, four-hit games, including a 4-for-5 day against UC Irvine on May 10 in which he was a triple short of the cycle. On April 16 against UCSB, Jensen was 4-for-5 with a career high four RBI.
Denove Firing On All Cylinders: Junior catcher Chris Denove has thrown out the last six and eight of the last ten would-be base stealers attempting to swipe an extra bag. In Baseball America's preseason rankings, Denove was listed as having the best arm and defensive skills of any catcher in the Pac-10 Conference. The Agoura Hills native has also been getting hot at the plate, raising his average over forty points over the last ten games. Since April 24 at Arizona State, Denove is batting .324 (12-for-37) with eight RBI.
Comeback Bruins: Standing with an 8-28 record entering its April 26 game against UC Irvine, UCLA had not won a single game in which they had been trailing. Since then, the Bruins have pulled off three come-from-behind wins, starting with the contest against UC Irvine. UCLA fell behind the Anteaters 1-0 in the first but scored three unanswered runs in the game's final eight innings for its first comeback win of the season. Five days later against California, the Bruins scored three times in the eighth to take a 4-2 contest from the Golden Bears for their second comeback win in four games. Then on May 3 against the University of San Diego, the Bruins overcame multiple deficits, including the Torero's two-run first inning, to complete the 8-5 comeback victory.
I Feel The Need... The Need For Speed: UCLA is 42 of 58 in stolen base attempts this season. At two points this season the Bruins have stolen eleven and ten bases consecutively without being thrown out. Leading the way on the paths is left fielder Will Penniall and his ten swipes
Flying Solo: Eleven of UCLA's 17 home runs hit this season have been solo home runs. The Bruins have two grand slams this season - Brett McMillan has hit both.
Lucky 7: Outside of the cleanup spot in the UCLA lineup, the seven-spot has been the most productive this season in terms of pure average. Bruin hitters hitting in that spot are sporting a .291 clip with 23 RBI and two home runs. Only the number four hole can boast better numbers with a .325 average and 55 hits, nine doubles, a triple and a home run. The five spot has been least productive with a .203 average but does have 21 RBI.
Hector's High Honors: All-America candidate Hector Ambriz has pulled double duty for the Bruins all season long as UCLA's Friday night starting pitcher and as the team's designated hitter. The sophomore from Placentia, Calif., has been a leader for the Bruins, posting a team-high .333 batting average and another team best 4.00 ERA. Ambriz is also slugging a team-high .447 and has a team-high on-base percentage of .440 (.887 OPS). He leads the team with 12 doubles, including five in the last ten games, and in strikeouts as a pitcher with 74 in 81.0 innings. Ambriz is the only two-way player in the Pac-10 Conference.
Beck-oning for a W: UCLA senior right-hander Bryan Beck has fallen to an undeserving 0-9 this season after coming into the year with a 5-5 career mark. Beck has lasted at least six innings in seven of his ten starts this season, including a complete game in a loss on April 30. His overall ERA of 5.87 is fourth and his innings pitched mark (69) and strikeouts (48) are second. In his complete game on April 30, Beck fanned a career-high tying seven batters.
The Loveable Lefty: Paul Oseguera earned his first collegiate win on May 10 against UC Irvine in his third career start and fifth ever appearance. A junior, Oseguera has battled back from three successive injuries dating back to his senior year in high school just to be able to take the mound in 2005. Oseguera underwent Tommy John surgery prior to his freshman year at UCLA, then was sidelined as a sophomore after more surgery to remove scar tissue and then broke his collar bone last summer prior to this season's fall practice. Prior to this season, Oseguera has not pitched competitively since his junior season in high school. He made his collegiate debut with a scoreless 1.2 innings pitched on March 6 against Cal State Fullerton. He earned his first career save last Saturday in UCLA's 9-8 win over UC Santa Barbara.
Will the Thrill: Left-fielder Will Penniall began this season as UCLA's leadoff hitter but has since been moved around since demonstrating his power. Penniall launched his first home run of the year on May 1 and was inserted into the No. 6 slot in the lineup the next game. The sophomore from La Canada is third on the squad with a .275 batting average and leads the team with ten stolen bases and three tripes.
B-Mac Attack: Junior first baseman Brett McMillan leads UCLA with 28 RBI. The interesting part about that number is that 12 of those RBI have come from just three games. McMillan has posted an unprecedented three, four-RBI performances this season. McMillan first did it against Cal State Northridge on February 13 and then blasted grand slams against Pacific (2/25) and Texas A&M (3/11). He picked up the game-winning RBI in UCLA's streak-breaking 9-8 win over UC Santa Barbara on April 16. McMillan leads the team with six home runs, including the game-winner against UC Irvine on April 26. He currently has three consecutive two-hit games.