March 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 7 UCLA baseball team opens a three-game Pac-12 series at home against Washington State (10-8, 1-2) on Friday at 6 p.m. The Bruins (15-4, 2-1) have won 13 of their last 14 games after having won two of three against Arizona State last weekend. UCLA will send sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko (2-1, 3.03) to the mound for Friday night's series opener.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, March 23 - 6 p.m.
WSU - J.D. Leckenby, RHP, So. (3-2, 2.54)
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (2-1, 3.03)
Saturday, March 24 - 2 p.m.
WSU - Joe Pistorese, LHP, Fr. (1-2, 1.38)
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (2-1, 4.13)
Sunday, March 25 - 1 p.m.
WSU - Kyle Swannack, RHP, Jr. (1-2, 6.04)
UCLA - TBD
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here)
Each game of UCLA's home games will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. In addition, UCLA will broadcast select road games throughout the season. UCLA's John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend as the Bruins face Washington State. Fans at the game, using a portable radio, 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 of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
TICKETS AND PARKING
Tickets to UCLA home baseball games at Jackie Robinson Stadium cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 16 and under). Parking on the West L.A. VA Grounds costs $8. Jackie Robinson Stadium is located on Constitution Ave. just west of the 405 freeway and Sepulveda Blvd. The Bruins have played at Jackie Robinson Stadium since the ballpark's founding in 1981.
UCLA HOSTS WASHINGTON STATE
The Bruins open their second Pac-12 series of the season on Friday evening, hosting a three-game series against Washington State. UCLA has won 13 of its last 14 games, including two of three against then-No. 11 Arizona State in Los Angeles last weekend. The Bruins have won five of their last seven games against Washington State, having won the season series against the Cougars each of the past two years
BRUINS PICK UP MOMENTUM
UCLA won two of three games against Arizona State last weekend, earning its fourth series victory of the year. The Bruins extended their winning streak to 12 games with a 6-5 victory on Friday night. UCLA played a doubleheader on Sunday (due to rain on Saturday), and split a pair of games against ASU. The Sun Devils snapped UCLA's winning streak in Game 1, defeating the Bruins, 4-3. UCLA answered with a 4-2 victory in Game 2.
The Bruins' pitching staff limited Arizona State to 15 hits in three games last weekend (.163 batting average). The first three hitters in ASU's lineup batted .121, going 4-for-33 against UCLA. Eric Filia-Snyder going 4-for-7 with one run in Sunday's doubleheader.
LOOKING AT LAST YEAR
UCLA won the first two games of the three-game series at Washington State in 2011. Gerrit Cole allowed one unearned run and one walk in a complete game as UCLA downed the Cougars, 3-1, in the season opener on Friday night. Trevor Bauer recorded 15 strikeouts and two walks in a complete game on Saturday, leading UCLA to a 10-3 win. Washington State scored three runs in the ninth inning Sunday to overcome a late 2-0 deficit.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko takes the mound Friday, sporting a 2-1 record and 3.03 ERA in five starts. Plutko has totaled a team-leading 36 strikeouts in 32.2 innings. He allowed five runs in 7.1 innings against Arizona State last Friday and did not earn a decision. The native of Upland, Calif., earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors after striking out 11 in a complete game shutout at then-No. 9 Georgia on Friday, March 9.
FRESHMAN STANDS TALL
Grant Watson, a freshman left-hander from Bakersfield, Calif., earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors on Monday. Last week, Watson went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three appearances (two starts). He earned the victory against USC on Tuesday, March 13, (at Dodger Stadium) and notched the win during Sunday's second game versus Arizona State. Watson has gone 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA, having registered 18 strikeouts in 32.2 innings.
LEADING UCLA'S OFFENSE
Jeff Gelalich enters the series against Washington State sporting a team-best .443 batting average in 19 games. The junior from La Verne, Calif., ranked No. 17 in the nation in batting average, through games played last Sunday. In addition, he leads UCLA in home runs (4), hits (31), runs (20), RBI (16) and on-base percentage (.518). Gelalich has hit safely in 18 of 19 contests, logging 10 multiple-hit efforts this spring.
WILLIAMS' WALK-OFF BLAST
Kevin Williams belted his first career home run last Tuesday during UCLA's 7-2 win against USC at Dodger Stadium. With UCLA leading, 2-1, in the bottom of the fifth, he unloaded on a ball to right-center field. In UCLA's next game, Williams belted a solo walk-off home run to right field to snap a 5-5 tie against Arizona State and send the Bruins to an improbable victory. UCLA trailed ASU, 5-0, after three innings before scoring five runs in the sixth.
Slated to start Saturday's game, Nick Vander Tuig has gone 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 32.2 innings. The sophomore rightr-hander from Oakdale, Calif., has recorded 23 strikeouts and nine walks in five starts. Vander Tuig allowed four runs and seven hits in eight innings against Arizona State last Sunday, notching eight strikeouts and one walk.
The Bruins' bullpen has combined for 59 appearances, logging a 6-1 record, 2.83 ERA and five saves in 60.1 innings. Scott Griggs has totaled five saves and 20 strikeouts in 12.1 innings, posting a 0-1 record and 2.19 ERA. Ryan Deeter has pitched in 14 of UCLA's 19 games, going 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 11.2 innings.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Through the first five weeks of the season, four UCLA players have secured either Pac-12 Player of the Week or Pitcher of the Week acclaim. Jeff Gelalich has twice captured Pac-12 Player of the Week honors (Feb. 28, March 13). Adam Plutko earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors (March 13) after throwing a complete game shutout at Georgia on March 9. Grant Watson was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on Monday after having gone 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three games (two starts) for UCLA last week.
IN THE PAC
UCLA will play a Pac-12 series in nine of the next 10 weekends to close the regular season. Following this weekend's home series against Washington State, the Bruins will hit the road for their first-ever trip at Utah (Salt Lake City). The Utes play at Spring Mobile Ballpark, home to the triple-A Salt Lake Bees (L.A. Angels' affiliate). The following week, the Bruins host a three-game series against Oregon on a Thursday-Friday-Saturday format.
NEWS AND NOTES
UCLA's 12-game winning streak which ended last weekend marked the program's longest such streak since opening the 2010 season with 22 consecutive victories ... the Bruins' series sweep at Georgia (March 9-11) was UCLA's first three-game series sweep on the road since March 2006 (at North Carolina State) ... dating back to last season, the Bruins have won 11 of their previous 14 road contests.