April 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 17 UCLA baseball team opens a three-game Pac-12 series at No. 4 Arizona (23-9, 9-3) on Friday evening at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz. Friday's game will be televised by FSN on a delayed basis. The Bruins (22-7) have won their last two games, including a 4-2 victory over No. 12 Cal State Fullerton at Jackie Robinson Stadium last Tuesday.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, April 13 - 6 p.m. (TV - FSN)
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (4-2, 3.26)
Arizona - Kurt Heyer, RHP, Jr. (5-1, 2.10)
Saturday, April 14 - 6 p.m.
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (3-2, 5.29)
Arizona - Konner Wade, RHP, So. (4-0, 3.71)
Sunday, April 15 - 12 p.m.
UCLA - Zack Weiss, RHP, So. (1-1, 3.58)
Arizona - James Farris, RHP, So. (4-1, 4.29)
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here) | 2012 UCLA Baseball Broadcast Schedule
Each game of UCLA's remaining regular-season games will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. UCLA's John Ramey will have the call live from Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz., this weekend. Ramey and Tim Wilhelm serve as the Bruins' broadcasters at all home games. Fans attending games at Jackie Robinson Stadium can listen to a live in-stadium broadcast on 87.7 FM. Live stats of the game are available through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates on uclabruins.com.
BRUINS HEADED TO TUCSON
The Bruins have won the last six season series against Arizona, winning two of three games from 2006 through 2011. Last spring, UCLA took the final two games of the series at Jackie Robinson Stadium after losing a 5-4 decision in the opening contest. Two years ago, UCLA won the first two games of the series at Arizona's Kindall Field. The Wildcats have won each of their eight weekend series this season, recording series sweeps versus Harvard, Eastern Michigan and Stanford.
FRIDAY TELEVISION INFORMATION
Steve Quis and Joe Borowsky will have the call on Friday night, as Fox Sports Net will televise the series opener on a tape delayed basis. The game will be aired on FS West on Saturday at 5 p.m. (PT) and Sunday at 1 p.m. (PT). In addition, FS Prime Ticket will broadcast the game Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (PT) and on Tuesday, April 17, at 2 p.m. FS Arizona will air the game Saturday at 4 p.m. (PT) and Sunday at 3 p.m. (PT).
THE PAST TWO WEEKS
After sweeping a three-game Pac-12 series at Utah the weekend of March 30-April 1, UCLA returned home last weekend, dropping the first two of three games in a Pac-12 series against Oregon. The Bruins salvaged the series with an 8-6 win on Sunday, overcoming an early 5-2 deficit against the Ducks. UCLA defeated Cal State Fullerton, 4-2, at home on Tuesday night. Grant Watson earned his conference-leading seventh win on Tuesday as UCLA's starting pitcher, as the Bruins led 4-0 after four innings and held on the rest of the way.
HOT HITTING HEINEMAN
Junior catcher Tyler Heineman enters this weekend's series with a team-best .412 batting average, having hit safely in each of UCLA's last 11 games. The resident of Pacific Palisades, Calif., has recorded at least one hit in 27 of the team's 29 games. He leads all Pac-12 hitters with a .516 on-base percentage and has batted .594 with two doubles, 13 runs and eight RBI in the Bruins' last 10 contests. In that 10-game span, Heineman has posted a .689 on-base percentage, drawing eight walks and four hit-by-pitches.
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has recorded a 44-20 record in all road and neutral site contests. The Bruins have opened this season with an 8-0 record away from home, most recently sweeping a three-game Pac-12 series at Utah. Last year, UCLA went 14-13 in road and neutral site games, while in 2010 the Bruins went 15-4 on the road and 7-3 at neutral sites. In conference action, UCLA has tallied a 23-7 road record since 2010.
FRIDAY NIGHT STARTER
Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko will start on the mound Friday night, entering the series opener with a 4-2 record and 3.26 ERA. The former standout at Glendora High School ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 54 strikeouts, while his .211 opposing batting average ranks sixth-best in the conference. Plutko's most dominant effort this spring came in a complete game shutout at then-No. 9 Georgia, where he logged a season-high 11 strikeouts.
AMARAL'S HIT STREAKS
Junior center fielder Beau Amaral enters the series at Arizona having compiled a 15-game hitting streak. Amaral had a 15-game hitting streak as a sophomore (2011) and as a freshman (2010). Former UCLA outfielder Chris Jensen was the last Bruin to hit in more than 15 consecutive games, logging a 19-game hitting streak as a junior in 2005. Amaral leads the Pac-12 with 35 runs and has batted .331 with two home runs and six doubles. An All-Pac-10 selection last year, Amaral has hit at a .426 clip with 22 runs in UCLA's last 15 games.
WATSON SHOWS RESILIENCE
Freshman left-hander Grant Watson limited Cal State Fullerton to two runs and four hits in six innings Tuesday, improving his record to 7-1. Watson has become one of six pitchers in school history to have notched at least seven wins during his freshman season. Trevor Bauer and Pete Janicki are tied for the school's single season freshman wins record - Bauer went 9-3 in 2009, while Janicki went 9-1 in 1990. As the team's starting pitcher in all five midweek games, Watson has gone 4-0 with a 2.96 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .221 batting average.
Ryan Deeter and David Berg share the conference lead for most pitching appearances (19). Grant Watson and Scott Griggs are tied for third on the list (17) with Arizona State's Jake Barrett. Griggs leads the Pac-12 with eight saves, having gone 0-1 with a 1.53 ERA in 17.2 innings as the Bruins' closer. The right-hander from Alamo, Calif., has allowed just four runs (three earned) and five hits, posting a .085 opponent batting average.
VERSUS RANKED TEAMS
UCLA is currently playing through a 19-game stretch that features 13 contests against teams ranked in Baseball America's weekly top-25 poll. The Bruins have gone 9-4 against ranked teams this season, winning three of four weekend series against top-25 ranked competition. UCLA won two of three games against Baylor (Feb. 24-26), swept a three-game series at Georgia (March 9-11) and won two of three versus Arizona State (March 16-18).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
John Savage is nearing win No. 250 as the Bruins' head coach (249-198 record midway through his eighth season at UCLA) ... with eight saves, Scott Griggs is just four shy of tying the school's single season saves record (Gabe Sollecito, with 12 in 1992) ... Zack Weiss has made three relief apperarances since March 31, and is slated to make his first start this Sunday since starting in UCLA's 7-3 win at Georgia on March 11 (shoulder soreness).
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Through the first eight weeks of the season, UCLA has had five Pac-12 Player of the Week or Pitcher of the Week award selections. Jeff Gelalich has twice captured Player of the Week honors (Feb. 28, March 13). Beau Amaral was named Player of the Week on March 26. Adam Plutko earned Pitcher of the Week honors (March 13) after throwing a complete game shutout at Georgia on March 9. Grant Watson was named Pitcher of the Week on March 20 after having gone 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three games (two starts) the previous week.
UCLA's bullpen has gone 8-1 with a 2.13 ERA in 101.1 innings this season, combining for 88 relief appearances through the team's first 29 games. In fact, the team's relief corps has held the opposition to just five runs and 23 hits through the last 10 games (2-0 record, 1.10 ERA, with a .168 batting average). David Berg has 13 strikeouts and a 2-0 record in 12.0 innings through UCLA's last 10 games (eight relief outings).
NEWS AND NOTES
UCLA had a 12-game winning streak earlier this year, the program's longest streak since opening the 2010 season with 22 consecutive victories ... through games played Sunday, April 8, UCLA ranked No. 19 in the nation in batting average (.311) and No. 14 in on-base percentage (.403) ... likewise, the pitching staff ranked No. 64 in ERA (3.51) and No. 16 in hits allowed per nine innings (7.64) ... former UCLA standout Trevor Bauer struck out 11 batters in 5.2 scoreless innings Tuesday in his second start this season at double-A Mobile (Southern League).
UCLA was selected fourth in the Pac-12's preseason coaches' poll. Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State earned the top three spots, respectively. The remaining seven teams include (in order) Oregon State, California, Oregon, USC, Washington State, Washington and Utah. UCLA has finished no lower than third place in the Pac-12 Conference since 2005. The Bruins won the Pac-10 title in outright fashion in 2011 for the first time since 1986.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (99) and win percentage (.604). Through games played on Tuesday, the Bruins rank fourth in total wins (234) and win percentage (.597). UCLA won the Pac-10 Conference title in outright fashion in 2011 for the first time since 1986 (three-way tie in 2000). The Bruins finished second in 2010 and earned a third-place finish from 2006 through 2009.