April 4, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The 10th-ranked UCLA Baseball team (18-7, 6-3 Pac-12) will take on the top-ranked team in the conference this weekend, hosting the sixth-ranked Oregon State Beavers in a three-game set from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game times are 6 p.m., 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, April 5 - 6 p.m.
OSU - TBD
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, Jr. (2-2, 3.45)
Saturday, April 6 - 2 p.m.
OSU - TBD
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, Jr. (4-2, 2.11)
Sunday, April 7 - 1 p.m.
OSU - TBD
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, So. (5-0, 2.30)
All three of the UCLA/Oregon State games this weekend will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium. Fans can also follow all three games online through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates on uclabruins.com. Links can be found on the front page of uclabruins.com on the events calendar or on the 2013 UCLA Baseball schedule page.
The Beavers are a half a game ahead of the Bruins in the Pac-12 standings for second place. UCLA holds a 33-25 edge over Oregon State in the all-time series, but last season, the Beavers took two out of three from the Bruins at Goss Stadium in Corvallis. UCLA last earned a series victory over Oregon State in 2010, taking two out of three from the Beavers at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
UCLA FALLS TO CAL STATE FULLERTON
UCLA saw its 14-game midweek winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night, as fourth-ranked Cal State Fullerton defeated the Bruins, 9-6, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Left-hander Tyler Peitzmeier earned the win for the Titans after throwing two innings of scoreless relief. Freshman right-hander Cody Poteet took the loss for the Bruins, allowing four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings of work. At the plate, sophomore Eric Filia posted his seventh multi-hit game of the year, matching a season-high with three hits, including two doubles. Freshman Trent Chatterton also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored while junior Pat Valaika blasted his third home run of the year, knocking in two runs with the homer. Valaika also extended his hitting streak to nine games with his 1-5 night, matching a career-high.
STARTING THE SERIES OPENER
Junior-right hander Adam Plutko will start the series opener on Friday night. Plutko owns a record of 2-2 entering this weekend's games, posting a 3.45 ERA in seven starts this season. He is coming off one of his best starts of the season, throwing his fourth career complete game last Thursday against Arizona State. Despite taking the loss in the game, he gave up just four hits, allowing four runs (three earned) while strikng out a season-high seven batters. He has 31 strikeouts in 44.1 innings this season and has allowed hitters to bat just .214 against him, which is eighth-best in the Pac-12. In addition, Plutko has twice been named to the All-Pac-12 team and in 2012, he captured third-team All-America honors from Baseball America.
GAME TWO STARTER
Junior-right hander Nick Vander Tuig will take the mound on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the series. In his last start at Arizona State, he threw five innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Overall, Vander Tuig enters this weekend's games against Oregon State with a 4-2 record and a 2.11 ERA in a team-high 47 innings pitched. He has also given up only six walks all year, which is seventh best in the Pac-12.
FINISHING OUT THE SERIES
Sophomore left-hander Grant Watson will finish out the series for the Bruins as he is slated to start Sunday's game. Watson, who owns a career record of 13-1 with a 3.31 ERA as a starter, has been outstanding thus far, making eight appearances (seven starts) with a 5-0 record and a 2.30 ERA. Watson has also posted a terrific 0.91 WHIP thus far. His five wins are tied for third best in the Pac-12 as well and his four walks rank as the second fewest in the conference. In addition, the Bakersfield native has allowed hitters to bat just .226 against him. Additionally, UCLA has won all seven of the games that Watson has started.
Through 25 games, the Bruins have posted a team on-base percentage of .386, which is good for third in the conference. They trail only Arizona (.408) and Washington State (.399) in the Pac-12. Freshman Trent Chatterton leads the team with a .461 OBP, which ranks fifth in the conference. Junior Brian Carroll is right behind Chatterton with a .451 mark while sophmore Kevin Kramer has a high on-base percentage of .424. Carroll and Kramer rank sixth and 11th respectively in the Pac-12 in on-base percentage. A lot of the Bruins' success in reaching base comes from their ability to draw walks. UCLA ranks second in the Pac-12 in walks with 125 on the year, trailing only Arizona's 130. Kramer leads the conference with 19 free passes while Carroll ranks eighth with 14.
Junior Brian Carroll has had a great first half of the season so far, leading the Bruins in multiple categories. Carroll has especially wreaked havoc on the basepaths, stealing 17 bases in 19 attempts. His 17 steals also rank second in the Pac-12 and 11th in the nation. In addition, Carroll leads UCLA with 23 runs scored, two triples and seven sacrifice bunts. He also has not committed an error in center field this season and is second on the team in hits (29) and batting average (.322).
Freshman Trent Chatterton is off to a great start in his inaugural season in Westwood, leading the Bruins with a .375 batting average. His .375 mark also ranks fourth in the conference. Additionally, Chatterton is tied for first on the team with four multi-RBI games and is second on the team to Pat Valaika with nine multi-hit games. He has especially been swinging a hot bat in the last two games, going a combined 5-7 with five runs scored and two RBI.
The Bruins are outscoring their opponents 20-9 in the first inning and 58-28 through the first three innings. UCLA is also 14-2 on the year when they score first and 9-1 when they score in the first inning. In addition, UCLA has a record of 17-2 when they score more than three runs in a ballgame. In one-run games, the Bruins are a perfect 6-0 on the season. They are also 14-0 when leading after seven innings and 15-0 when holding their opponent to three runs or fewer.
GOLD GLOVE DEFENSE
UCLA has been outstanding in the field this season, posting a team fielding percentage of .979, which ranks second in the conference behind only Oregon (.988) and ninth in the country. The Bruins have committed only 21 errors their 25 games thus far. In 2012, UCLA's defense recorded a .976 fielding percentage, matching the second-highest mark in school history.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (117) and win percentage (.613), trailing only Arizona State. The Bruins are fourth in total wins (278) and are fourth in overall win percentage (.616) among Pac-12 teams. UCLA and Arizona split the 2012 Pac-12 title, and UCLA won the 2011 Pac-10 championship in outright fashion for the first time since 1986. The Bruins finished second in 2010 and earned a third-place finish from 2006 through 2009.