June 7, 2012
LOS ANGELES - UCLA will face TCU in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional beginning Friday, June 8, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins (45-14) last faced TCU (40-20) in three games at the 2010 College World Series. UCLA enters the weekend series having won 14 of its last 15 games, including a three-game sweep of the NCAA Los Angeles Regional last weekend.
All three Super Regional games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks (ESPN on Friday, ESPN2 on Saturday and Sunday). Clay Matvick and Kyle Peterson will be in the broadcast booth for ESPN, while Jenn Brown will serve as the dugout reporter.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
Friday, June 8 (6 p.m., PT)
TCU - TBD
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (10-3, 2.56)
Saturday, June 9 (6 p.m., PT)
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (9-3, 4.53)
TCU - TBD
Sunday, June 10 (7 p.m., PT, if necessary)
TCU - TBD
UCLA - TBD
Fans can purchase all-session reserved tickets online, by visting tickets.ucla.edu (or clicking here). All-session reserved seats cost $42 for adults and $30 for youth and students (ages 3-16, includes UCLA and TCU students).
LIVE AUDIO AVAILABLE (audio here) | UCLA Broadcast Schedule
UCLA will provide a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, of each NCAA Super Regional game at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend through uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call from Jackie Robinson Stadium. In addition, live stats of all NCAA Super Regional games will be available through CBS College Sports (through the Los Angeles Super Regional Central website - link here).
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
UCLA won the Pac-12 co-championship (with Arizona) before winning the NCAA Los Angeles Regional ... the Bruins' 45 wins are tied for the second-highest total in program history (UCLA went 45-21-1 in 1997) ... UCLA has won 14 of its last 15 games and rides a seven-game winning streak into this weekend's Super Regional ... UCLA ranks 11th in the nation in batting average (.312) and is hitting 49 points higher than last year (.263) ... the Bruins' pitching staff has posted a 3.18 ERA, the 29th lowest mark in the nation ... earlier this week, seven UCLA ballplayers were selected in the MLB Draft (all within the first 15 rounds) ... UCLA has gone to the postseason in six of the last seven years (Super Regionals in two of last three seasons).
Led by eighth-year head coach John Savage, the Bruins have reached the 40-win plateau for the second time in the last three years and for the eighth time in school history. UCLA has advanced to the College World Series in three previous seasons (1969, 1997, 2010). The Bruins played in the finals of the 2010 College World Series for the first time in school history, winning two of three games against TCU in Omaha to advance to the championship round against South Carolina. Prior to 2010, UCLA had not won as many as 40 games in any season since 1997 (45-21-1 overall).
The Bruins have captured a national seed for the second time in program history, securing the No. 2 spot (UCLA's highest-ever national seed). UCLA earned the No. 6 national seed in 2010 after having finished second in the Pac-10 Conference that season. Seven of the NCAA Tournament field's eight national seeds have advanced to this weekend's NCAA Super Regionals (North Carolina lost to St. John's). In three previous trips to the NCAA Super Regional round (since 1999), UCLA has advanced once to the College World Series (2010, defeated Cal State Fullerton).
One weekend after sweeping USC to win a share of the Pac-12 title, the Bruins won three consecutive games in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional to advance to this weekend's NCAA Super Regional. Adam Plutko threw a complete game shutout Friday, leading the Bruins past Creighton, 3-0. That game marked UCLA's first postseason shutout since May 23, 1992, when the Bruins blanked Yale, 8-0. Nick Vander Tuig allowed one unearned run and one hit in eight innings Saturday, guiding UCLA past New Mexico, 7-1. The Bruins downed Creighton, 13-5, on Sunday evening.
Six Bruins secured All-Pac-12 Conference acclaim, the largest number of selections from UCLA since the 1997 team had seven players chosen. Center fielder Beau Amaral and starting pitcher Adam Plutko earned their second career all-conference team selections. In addition, relievers David Berg and Scott Griggs, outfielder Jeff Gelalich and catcher Tyler Heineman earned All-Pac-12 team honors. Reliever Ryan Deeter was named an honorable mention selection. Berg was one of two freshmen (with Oregon State's Michael Conforto) to earn All-Pac-12 team honors.
PLUTKO ON THE HILL
Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko (10-3, 2.56) will take the mound for UCLA on Friday night. Plutko scattered two hits in a complete game shutout last Friday evening, as UCLA blanked Creighton, 3-0. In two career postseason starts, Plutko has pitched 16.2 scoreless innings, allowing three hits while going 2-0. Plutko is just one of seven pitchers in UCLA history to have logged two or more career postseason victories. Opponents have batted at a .057 clip against Plutko in the postseason. He was a sixth-round MLB Draft selection by the Houston Astros in June 2010.
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 (at Washington and California in 2010, at Oregon in 2011, and at Utah and Washington in 2012).
ATOP THE LEADERBOARD
Jeff Gelalich ranks second in the Pac-12 with a .372 batting average and is fourth in the conference with 11 home runs. The junior from La Verne, Calif., was selected No. 57 overall (supplemental first round) by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2012 MLB Draft on Monday night. Gelalich's draft selection came just 24 hours after he earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional on a night in which he went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBI.
Junior catcher Tyler Heineman was the only catcher selected to the All-Pac-12 Conference team. He enters this weekend's NCAA Super Regional batting .351 with a .451 on-base percentage, having started 54 games (47 starts at catcher). Heineman has totaled 26 RBI and 40 runs, batting primarily in the No. 2 slot in UCLA's lineup. Heineman has played very well behind the plate, having thrown out 20 of 44 attempted base stealers (45.5 percent clip).
UCLA's trio of junior outfielders (Beau Amaral, Cody Keefer and Jeff Gelalich) has compiled a .324 career batting average (567-for-1752) in 496 combined games played the last three seasons. Amaral and Keefer have served as UCLA's starting center fielder and left fielder, respectively, since the start of their freshman year. Gelalich played in the outfield and served as a designated hitter the last two years before starting in right field this season. Amaral, Keefer and Gelalich have started in the outfield together in 57 of 59 games this season and in 75 career ballgames.
Beau Amaral (CF, Junior - Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Enters the Super Regional batting .320 with four home runs, five triples, nine doubles, 45 RBI and 61 runs ... was selected in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds ... ranks second in the Pac-12 Conference with 61 runs, far above his team-leading 37 runs scored in 2011 ... has played in 181 career games, making 174 starts (171 in center field) ... became one of just 24 players in school history to have earned all-conference honors twice or more ... ranks first on UCLA's all-time postseason list for games (19, tied), hits (28) and at-bats (78).
Cody Keefer (LF, Junior - Davis, Calif.)
Enters the Super Regional batting .342 with 12 doubles, 35 RBI and 41 runs in 58 games (all starts in left field) ... was selected in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Miami Marlins ... compiled a .322 career batting average with three home runs, 34 doubles, 84 RBI and 99 runs in 161 games ... has not gone hitless in back-to-back games since 2011 (May 29, June 3 during his sophomore season) ... posted a batting average over the .300 pleateau in each of his three seasons at UCLA ... ranks second among all current Bruins with 34 career doubles and 89 career walks.
Jeff Gelalich (RF, Junior - La Verne, Calif.)
Had been chosen as one of 30 semifinalists for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award (presented to nation's top player) ... was selected as a supplemental first round pick (No. 57 overall) in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds ... leads UCLA and ranks second in the Pac-12 with a .372 batting average; also has 11 home runs, 46 RBI ... reached base safely via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch safely in 56 of 59 games this season ... has thrived in the postseason, batting .349 (22-for-63) with five homers, 15 RBI and 12 runs in 18 games ... currently second in the Pac-12 in on-base percentage (.462) and tied for fifth in slugging (.566).
UCLA's bullpen has gone 15-5 with a 2.33 ERA and 15 saves in a combined 179 appearances this season. Four UCLA pitchers lead the conference in total appearances. David Berg has pitched in a Pac-12 single-season record 45 games (all in relief). Scott Griggs and Ryan Deeter rank second in the Pac-12 with 35 appearances, while Grant Watson is tied with Oregon's Jimmy Sherfy for fourth in the list with 33 appearances.
David Berg (RHP, Freshman - Covina, Calif.)
Has gone 5-3 and leads the Pac-12 in ERA (1.71) and opposing batting average (.176) in 45 appearances ... crrently tied for seventh on the NCAA's all-time single-season appearances list (with three other pitchers) ... had a streak earlier this season where he pitched in 18 consecutive ballgames (April 28-May 27) ... ranks third, nationally, in hits allowed per nine innings (5.55), second in WHIP (0.87) and seventh in ERA (1.71) ... one of two Pac-12 freshmen named to the all-conference team (with Oregon State's Michael Conforto).
Ryan Deeter (RHP, RS Sophomore - Newark, Calif.)
Has gone 1-0 with a 0.94 ERA, 25 strikeouts and 16 walks in 28.2 innings, all in relief ... named a Capital One Academic All-District VIII selection earlier this season ... secured first-team Pac-12 Conference All-Academic honors, having compiled a cumulative 3.90 GPA ... among UCLA's best performers in the classroom, is majoring in math/economics ... has not allowed more than three hits or one run in any relief appearance this season.
Scott Griggs (RHP, Junior - Alamo, Calif.)
Ranks second in the Pac-12 and ninth in the nation with 15 saves, UCLA's new single-season record ... was selected in the eighth round of the 2012 MLB Draft earlier this week by the Los Angeles Dodgers ... has tallied 64 strikeouts, second-highest total on UCLA's staff, and 31 walks in 36.2 innings ... secured All-Pac-12 Conference honors for the first time in his career ... has recorded three strikeouts in one inning six times this season.
UCLA'S JUNIOR CLASS
Led by the team's junior class, UCLA has achieved its highest three-year win total (131). Five of the team's 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 45 wins in 2012 are the two highest win totals in the last 15 years.
ALL-NCAA REGIONAL TEAM
Jeff Gelalich headlined the 2012 NCAA Los Angeles Regional's All-Tournament Team last weekend. Joining Gelalich from UCLA on the All-Tournament Team included second baseman Trevor Brown, shortstop Pat Valaika, outfielders Beau Amaral and Cody Keefer, along with right-handed pitchers Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig (UCLA). Amaral, a junior from Huntington Beach, Calif., has earned NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team honors in each of his three seasons at UCLA. Keefer and Gelalich have secured All-Tournament Team acclaim at the last two NCAA L.A. Regionals.
2012 MLB DRAFT
This season's MLB Draft marked just the second time in the draft's 48-year history in which UCLA had seven or more players selected within the first 15 rounds. Tyler Heineman became UCLA's highest-drafted catcher since 1990, when Paul Ellis was taken in the supplemental first round (No. 30) by the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff Gelalich became the highest-drafted UCLA position player since Chase Utley went No. 15 overall to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2000. Over the last 16 seasons (1997-2012), UCLA has seen nine of its players selected in the first round or suppplemental first round.
Head coach John Savage has produced 58 MLB Draft selections in his eight seasons at UCLA. Earlier this week, Jeff Gelalich became the fourth UCLA player under Savage's tenure to have been picked in the first round or supplemental first round. 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 58 draft selections, 21 have been selected in the first 10 rounds.
UCLA's 34-man roster features 31 players from California and one from Arizona, Nevada and Washington. The team includes nine juniors, 12 sophomores and 13 freshmen. Redshirt junior Chase Brewer is the team's most veteran member. Brewer, along with juniors Beau Amaral, Trevor Brown, Jeff Gelalich, Scott Griggs, Tyler Heineman, Cody Keefer and Cody Regis, and redshirt sophomores Ryan Deeter, Matt Giovinazzo and Aaron Weimer are the remaining members from UCLA's 2010 College World Series team.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
UCLA has gone 15-8 against teams ranked in Baseball America's weekly top-25 poll this season. The Bruins enter this week having played the No. 1-ranked strength of schedule, as ranked by Boyd's World (boydsworld.com, a nationally-respected ranking service). Entering the NCAA Tournament, WarrenNolan.com and BoydsWorld.com have tabbed UCLA with the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 RPI (ratings percentage index), respectively.