May 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES - No. 9 UCLA (39-14, 17-10) hosts a three-game Pac-12 series against crosstown rival USC (23-29, 8-19), beginning Friday (6 p.m.) at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Adam Plutko will start on the mound Friday for the Bruins, who have won 11 of their last 13 games.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, May 25 - 6 p.m.
USC - Ben Mount, RHP, Sr. (1-7, 4.79)
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (8-3, 2.88)
Saturday, May 26 - 2 p.m.
USC - Andrew Triggs, RHP, R-Sr. (5-6, 3.34)
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (8-3, 4.97)
Sunday, May 27 - 1 p.m.
USC - Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Fr. (5-3, 2.85)
UCLA - Zack Weiss, RHP, So. (2-2, 3.90)
GAMEDAY AT UCLA
Tickets to all regular-season home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 16 and under). Parking at the stadium, located on the West Los Angeles V.A. Grounds, costs $8.
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here) | UCLA Broadcast Schedule
Each of UCLA's three games against USC at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. UCLA's John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call. Fans can listen to an in-stadium broadcast by bringing a portable radio and tuning the dial to 87.7 FM. In addition, live stats of all remaining games will be available through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
UCLA closes its regular season with a three-game series against USC beginning Friday. Since John Savage took over as UCLA's head coach in the summer of 2004, the Bruins have gone 16-9 against USC. UCLA has won 16 of its last 21 games against the Trojans. Earlier this season, the Bruins secured a 7-2 victory against USC in a non-conference game at Dodger Stadium. UCLA has not lost the season series to its crosstown rival since 2005. The Bruins won the season series in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and split four games in 2008 and 2011.
Five teams in the Pac-12 standings are separated by two games, entering the final weekend of the regular season. UCLA is tied for third place with Stanford (17-10) and Arizona State (17-10). Oregon (19-8) leads the conference and has a one-game lead over second-place Arizona (18-9) and a two-game lead over the Bruins. Oregon State hosts a three-game series against Oregon, while Arizona welcomes in-state foe Arizona State for a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field. UCLA won the 2011 Pac-10 title in outright fashion for the first time since 1986.
GELALICH LEADS OFFENSE
Jeff Gelalich ranks first in batting average (.376) and third in on-base percentage (.460) in the Pac-12 Conference. The native of La Verne, Calif., leads UCLA with nine home runs and has logged eight doubles, 37 RBI and 47 runs in 53 games. Gelalich is also among the conference's top performers in hits (t-1st, 77), runs (t-7th, 47), stolen bases (t-2nd, 15), slugging percentage (8th, .546) and total bases (8th, 112).
HEINEMAN SELECTED AS SEMIFINALIST
Tyler Heineman has been named as one of 12 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, presented at the end of each season to the nation's top college catcher by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Heineman has batted .363 with one home run, 24 RBI and 36 runs in 48 games. He has thrown out 15 of 36 attempted base stealers (41.6 percent) and has hit safely in 40 of 48 contests.
The Bruins have advanced to the NCAA postseason in five of John Savage's seven years as UCLA's head coach. Savage became UCLA's first head coach to lead the Bruins to NCAA Regionals in three consecutive years (2006-08). Next week, he could become the program's first head coach to guide UCLA to three consecutive seasons in which the Bruins host an NCAA Regional. The 16 regional hosts will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. The 64-team NCAA Tournament bracket will be revealed Monday at 9 a.m. on ESPNU.
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has gone 56-24 in all road and neutral site contests. This spring, the Bruins have gone 20-4 away from home, posting an 11-4 mark in Pac-12 road games. Last year, UCLA went 14-13 in road/neutral site games, while in 2010 the Bruins went 15-4 on the road and 7-3 at neutral sites. UCLA has gone 31-11 in Pac-12 Conference road games since 2010. In addition, the Bruins have logged five Pac-12 road sweeps in the last three years (2010 Washington, California; 2011 Oregon; 2012 Washington, Utah).
Junior Trevor Brown has emerged as UCLA's most versatile position player. In three seasons, he has played catcher, first base, second base, third base and right field. Batting .328 with three homers and a team-best 43 RBI this season, Brown has made 22 career starts at catcher and 38 starts at first base this season. He has started 25 games at second base (including 24 starts at that position in 2011) and nine career starts at third base. Brown made his debut in the outfield (right field) on May 8 at Pepperdine.
REGULAR IN RELIEF
Freshman right-hander David Berg established UCLA's single-season apperances record (40) last Tuesday at UC Irvine, throwing one scoreless inning in his 15th consecutive appearance. Berg's school-record 40 appearances, all in relief, is the highest total among Pac-12 pitchers this season. The right-hander from Covina, Calif., ranks first in the Pac-12 in opposing batting average (.181) and third in ERA (1.89). He has logged 44 strikeouts and 15 walks in 57.0 innings.
Beau Amaral has started in center field and in the leadoff spot in UCLA's batting lineup in all 53 games. He enters the final week of the regular season having batted .306 with four home runs, five triples, eight home runs, 40 RBI and 56 runs. Amaral has registered a career .320 batting average in 175 games (168 starts), the most career games played or starts of any player currently on UCLA's roster.
UCLA'S JUNIOR CLASS
Led by the team's junior class, UCLA has achieved its highest three-year win total (125). The Bruins are seeking their eighth 40-win season. Five of the team's current juniors played extensively as freshmen in 2010, helping guide UCLA to the finals of the College World Series and to a record-setting 51-win total that season. UCLA won 120 games from 1967 through 1969 and had multiple three-year stints that featured 113 victories. UCLA's 51 wins in 2010 and 39 wins in 2012 are the two highest win totals in the last 15 years.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Through 14 weeks, UCLA has had seven Pac-12 Player/Pitcher of the Week award selections. Beau Amaral (March 26, April 16) and Jeff Gelalich (Feb. 29, March 13) have twice captured Player of the Week honors. Adam Plutko (March 13, May 7) has twice secured Pitcher of the Week honors this season. Grant Watson was named Pitcher of the Week (March 20) after logging two wins in three games.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Deeter has secured Capital One Academic All-District VIII team honors, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Deeter has gone 1-0 with a 0.72 ERA in 25.0 innings. The Bruins' reliever from Newark, Calif., is tied for second among Pac-12 pitchers with 31 apperaances (all in relief). Deeter has logged 22 strikeouts and 14 walks, limiting the opposition to a .200 batting average.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Bruins are tied for the nation's best winning percentage away from home (.833, tied with Central Florida, which is 15-3) going 19-4 in those 23 contests ... UCLA completed its midweek schedule with an 11-0 record and has gone 9-0 against Big West Conference opponents ... Scott Griggs has established UCLA's single-season saves record (14), eclipsing Gabe Sollecito's 12 saves in 1992.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (108) and win percentage (.603). Through games played May 23, the Bruins are third in total wins (251) and rank fourth in win percentage (.605). 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.