Feb. 20, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 22 UCLA baseball team plays at Cal State Northridge (2-1) on Tuesday afternoon. Game time at CSUN's Matador Field is 2 p.m. The Bruins (1-2) opened their season with one win in three games against Maryland at Jackie Robinson Stadium last weekend.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday, Feb. 21 - 2 p.m.
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, Fr. (0-0, 0.00, 2.1 IP)
CSUN - Brandon Warner, RHP, Fr. (0-0, 3.86, 2.1 IP)
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here)
Tuesday's game at Cal State Northridge will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. UCLA's John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Matador Field. Audio broadcasts of all UCLA home games and select road games will be available at uclabruins.com this season. In addition, fans can follow pitch-by-pitch action online through GameTracker, available online at uclabruins.com.
BRUINS DROP OPENING SERIES
UCLA lost to Maryland on Friday and Sunday, winning Saturday's ballgame on the first weekend of the college baseball season. Cody Keefer led the Bruins' offense, batting .417 (5-for-12) with one RBI in the three-game series versus the Terrapins. UCLA's pitching staff logged a 2.42 ERA. Maryland scored two runs in the ninth inning to win on Friday, 2-1. UCLA earned a 6-5 victory on Saturday, and Maryland answered with a 5-1 win Sunday.
ABOUT THE MATADORS
The Bruins play their first midweek game of the season Tuesday afternoon, returning to Cal State Northridge for the first time since 2008. Last weekend, Cal State Northridge won two of three games against Sacramento State. Miles Williams led the offense, batting at a .500 clip (5-for-10) for the Matadors. Right-hander Brandon Warner, slated to start on Tuesday, allowed one hit and issued two walks in 2.1 innings of relief in his only appearance.
THE LAST MEETING
UCLA last played Cal State Northridge at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Feb. 21, 2010. The Bruins earned a 14-5 victory in that contest to improve to 3-0 on the season's opening weekend. UCLA last played CSUN at Matador Field on Feb. 26, 2008, defeating the Matadors, 22-2, in a game that was suspended in the seventh inning (darkness). The game was finished April 15, 2008, when Cal State Northridge was scheduled to play at UCLA later that evening.
FOLLOW THE BRUINS ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK
Fans can receive in-game updates and regular news about the UCLA baseball team by following the program on Twitter (twitter.com/uclabaseball). In addition, check out the baseball team's Facebook page at facebook.com/uclabaseball for regular updates, photos and more.
This season, UCLA returned six position players who had started at least 40 career games. Three of those veterans - juniors Beau Amaral (118), Cody Regis (112) and Cody Keefer (104) - have made at least 100 starts since the start of the 2010 season. Amaral, Regis and Keefer, along with Jeff Gelalich and Trevor Brown, were key contributors on UCLA's College World Series team in 2010 as freshmen and earned substantial playing time as sophomores in 2011. Gelalich (80), Valaika (53) and Brown (47) have each logged at least 45 starts.
ABOUT GRANT WATSON
Freshman left-hander Grant Watson will make his third appearance (first start) of the young season on Tuesday at Cal State Northridge. Watson made two relief appearances for UCLA against Maryland over the weekend, allowing one hit in 2.1 innings. The native of Bakersfield, Calif., struck out four batters and did not issue any walks. Watson went 9-1 with a 2.02 ERA and two saves in 13 outings as a senior last spring at Centennial High School (Bakersfield, Calif.).
IMPRESSIVE BEHIND THE PLATE
Junior Tyler Heineman batted .333 and threw out each of three attempted base stealers in UCLA's three-game series against Maryland. The Bruins' catcher from Pacific Palisades, Calif., takes over behind the plate this season for Steve Rodriguez, who served as a three-year (2009-11) starting catcher before being selected in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by Arizona. Heineman went 3-for-9 with one double and two runs for UCLA over the weekend.
UCLA used nine pitchers over the weekend, including six in a relief capacity. The Bruins' bullpen allowed four runs (three earned) in nine innings. The most impressive relief efforts came from Grant Watson and Ryan Deeter. Watson threw 2.1 scoreless innings in two appearances, and Deeter threw two hitless frames in two appearances, issuing just one walk. Scott Griggs earned the save on Saturday, throwing nine pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth inning after having absorbed the loss in relief on Friday night. Chase Brewer threw one scoreless inning in relief on Sunday afternoon.
UPCOMING HOME SERIES
The Bruins will play a three-game non-conference series against Baylor at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend. Friday's series opener is at 6 p.m.., while the series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. UCLA and Baylor have only played one baseball game against each other in the past, with that contest being played in 2009 at the Houston College Classic. Making his second career start, Gerrit Cole allowed one unearned run and two hits in six innings in a 5-1 loss to Baylor at Houston's Minute Maid Park the night of Feb. 28, 2009.
Head coach John Savage has produced 51 MLB Draft selections in his seven seasons at UCLA. Last June, right-handers Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh) and Trevor Bauer (Arizona) became the first and third overall selections in the MLB Draft. Three of Savage's pitchers have already been promoted to the major leagues (Hector Ambriz, David Huff and Josh Roenicke). Most recently, three-year UCLA shortstop Brandon Crawford was promoted to the San Francisco Giants in May 2011. Of the 51 draft selections, 16 have been selected in the first 10 rounds.
EYEING THE BIG LEAGUES
As major league Spring Training opens in Florida and Arizona this month, UCLA has 11 former players who have been invited to major league camp. Seven of those 11 players are currently listed on 40-man major league rosters. The full list of players includes Hector Ambriz (Cleveland), Trevor Bauer (Arizona), Charles Brewer (Arizona), Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh), Brandon Crawford (San Francsico), Ben Francisco (Toronto), David Huff (Cleveland), Casey Janssen (Toronto), Rob Rasmussen (Miami), Josh Roenicke (Colorado) and Chase Utley (Philadelphia).
UCLA's returning players account for 63 percent of the total at-bats from last season (1218 or 1936). Those veterans account for 64 percent of the team's total at-bats from last season (325 of 509). The Bruins return 30 percent of their total at-bats from the 2010 team (706 of 2362) and 32 percent of their total hits from that spring (229 of 718).
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.