May 14, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA baseball team opens a three-game series against No. 5 Cal State Fullerton (36-13) on Friday evening. Game time at Fullerton's Goodwin Field is 7 p.m. The series shifts to Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday, when the Bruins host the final two games. UCLA (25-24) will turn to freshman right-hander Gerrit Cole on the mound for Friday's series opener. The Bruins will send right-handers Trevor Bauer and Charles Brewer to the hill on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
SERIES VS. CAL STATE FULLERTON: Cal State Fullerton leads, 55-25-2
CURRENT SERIES STREAK: Cal State Fullerton, two wins
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, May 15 (7 p.m. - at Cal State Fullerton)
UCLA - Gerrit Cole, RHP, Fr. (4-5, 3.34)
Cal State Fullerton - Daniel Renken, RHP, So. (7-2, 2.35)
Saturday, May 16 (6 p.m. - at UCLA)
Cal State Fullerton - Noe Ramirez, RHP, Fr. (6-1, 2.91)
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, Fr. (8-3, 2.68)
Sunday, May 17 (1 p.m. - at UCLA)
Cal State Fullerton - Tyler Pill, RHP, Fr. (8-2, 3.61)
UCLA - Charles Brewer, RHP, Jr. (3-5, 3.96)
UCLA will offer live audio broadcasts of each game against Cal State Fullerton this weekend, free of charge. All broadcasts are available online at uclabruins.com. Tim Wilhelm will have the call at Cal State Fullerton's Goodwin Field on Friday evening and will be joined by Danny Lee behind the mic on Saturday and Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
GETTING TO FULLERTON'S GOODWIN FIELD
Goodwin Field, located on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, is adjacent to the Orange (57) Freeway. From the 57, exit Yorba Linda Blvd. and head west towards State College Blvd. By turning left at Associated Rd. (before State College), fans can enter LOT G just beyond the left field wall. Fans continuing towards State College Blvd. can head south on State College (left) and access LOT A. Goodwin Field is accessible from both Lots A and G. Parking for baseball games at Goodwin Field requires an $8.00 parking permit.
GETTING TO UCLA'S JACKIE ROBINSON STADIUM
Jackie Robinson Stadium, located on the grounds of the Veteran Administration in West Lost Angeles, is adjacent to the 405 Freeway. For fans traveling on the 405 North, exit Wilshire Blvd. (West exit). After the offramp, turn right onto Sepulveda Blvd. and continue north to Constitution Ave. Turn left at Constitution, drive under the freeway and the baseball facility is located no more than 1,000 feet ahead, slightly to the right. For fans traveling on the 405 South, take the Sunset Blvd. exit and turn left from the offramp onto Church Lane. Continue driving south on Church Lane and turn left at Montana Ave. (residential area). Turn right from Montana onto Sepulveda Blvd., and continue on Sepulveda approximately one-half mile to Constitution Ave. Turn right at Constitution, drive under the freeway, and the baseball facility is located no more than 1,000 feet ahead, slightly to the right. Parking costs $5.00 and tickets cost $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.
- UCLA has seven games left on the regular-season schedule, including five road games (three Pac-10 contests).
- The Bruins have gone 14-10 in Pac-10 play and currently reside in third place in the conference standings.
- UCLA has spent seven of 12 weekends playing series on the road (six involving air travel).
- The Bruins have won seven of its 11 three-game weekend series this spring, including two of the last three.
- Right-hander Trevor Bauer leads UCLA's staff with eight wins and three complete games in 87.1 innings.
- Infielders Cody Decker (17 HR, 41 RBI) and Casey Haerther (8 HR, 37 RBI) have bolstered UCLA's offense.
SERIES AT A GLANCE
UCLA enters this weekend's series against Cal State Fullerton having won 12 of its last 17 games. Since opening the season 2-10, UCLA has rebounded with a 23-14 record in their last 37 contests. The Bruins rank fourth in team batting average (.286) and ERA (4.17) in the Pac-10 Conference. Cal State Fullerton ranks third in team batting average (.318) and first in ERA (3.47) in the Big West Conference. The Titans enter the three-game set against UCLA with a 36-13 record and 14-7 Big West mark at second place in the conference.
A LOOK AT THE PACK
UCLA enters the penultimate weekend of the regular season in third place in the Pac-10. At 14-10, the Bruins currently trail conference leader Arizona State (16-5) by 3.5 games. Washington State (14-7) stands in second place, and Washington (12-9) and Oregon State (12-9) are tied for fourth place. Stanford (10-11) and USC (10-11) are tied for sixth place, while Arizona (8-13), California (8-16) and Oregon (4-17) round out the conference's 10 teams. UCLA closes its regular-season schedule and Pac-10 slate at Arizona State (May 22-24).
A fixture in UCLA's rotation since the first weekend of the 2009 season, freshman right-hander Gerrit Cole has logged a 4-5 record and 3.34 ERA, third-lowest on the team. Cole leads UCLA with 93 strikeouts, tied for the third-highest total among Pac-10 pitchers. Cole's .189 opponent batting average ranks second in the conference. Through Sunday's games, Cole ranked fourth in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (5.94). He is tied for 10th in the Pac-10 with 72.2 innings. His most dominant outings have come at East Carolina (March 13, 5.0 IP, 12 K) and in a one-hit effort versus Washington (8.0 IP, 13 K, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 H).
Freshman right-hander Trevor Bauer leads UCLA with eight wins (8-3 record) and a 2.68 ERA in a team-high 87.1 innings. Bauer began the season pitching out of the bullpen before moving into a midweek starting role. After shutting down San Diego State (March 11) and Pepperdine (March 25) in midweek starts, Bauer has excelled in the weekend rotation. In eight starts, Bauer has gone 6-0 with a 2.77 ERA, collecting 54 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. In Pac-10 action, Bauer leads the Bruins with a 6-0 record, having logged 49 strikeouts and nine walks in 57.1 innings. The native of Valencia, Calif., ranks third in the Pac-10 with 87.1 innings.
UCLA's pitching staff has logged 457 strikeouts in 432.0 innings this spring, the highest strikeout total in the Pac-10 Conference through Wednesday's action. The Bruins' staff is on pace to record more strikeouts than any previous UCLA team since 2000 (531 strikeouts, highest team total on record at UCLA). The Bruins' pitching staff has registered 10 or more strikeouts in 23 games this spring, including each of the last five contests (59 strikeouts in last 45.0 innings). Through Sunday's games, UCLA's pitching staff ranked eighth in the nation and first in the Pac-10 in strikeouts per nine innings (9.4).
Senior first baseman Cody Decker has tallied a team-leading 17 home runs and 41 RBI in 49 games. Hitting at a .322 clip, Decker also leads UCLA with a .667 slugging percentage, 45 runs and 32 walks and is second with 55 hits (tied, Casey Haerther). He has hit safely in 12 of the last 14 games and has reached base via a hit or walk in the last 17 contests. Decker has twice belted two home runs in a game this season and has accomplished that feat four times in four seasons. He leads all current Bruins with career totals of 43 home runs, 141 RBI, 169 hits, 81 walks and 184 games played (156 starts).
The Bruins have played among the nation's most challenging schedules. After opening the season with a three-game home series, the Bruins spent four consecutive weekends on the road - in the Houston College Classic (Feb. 27-March 1), at Oklahoma (March 6-8), at East Carolina (March 13-14) and at USC (March 21-23). UCLA has played seven of its 12 weekends on the road, including six of those weekend trips away from southern California. The Bruins began their 2009 slate playing 22 of their first 33 games away from home. UCLA will play five of its last seven games on the road, including each of its final four contests.
CASEY AT THE BAT
Junior infielder Casey Haerther has compiled a .318 average and .486 slugging percentage. Haerther has belted eight homers and collected 37 RBI. The resident of Chatsworth, Calif., logged a career-high five RBI in a 2-for-4 effort against Long Beach State on April 28. Haerther's most impressive performance of the season came in a 17-2 victory at USC on March 23, when the Bruins' infielder went 4-for-4 with three runs and three RBI at Dedeaux Field. Over the past two seasons combined, he has tallied 20 home runs and 89 RBI.
Junior Blair Dunlap has started 48 games in center field for UCLA this spring. Headed into the three-game set against Cal State Fullerton, Dunlap has registered a .291 batting average and leads UCLA with 57 hits, 15 doubles and 13 stolen bases. The resident of Mission Viejo, Calif., ranks second on the team with 92 total bases and is third with 37 runs and 34 RBI. A career .444 hitter against Cal State Fullerton (12-for-27), Dunlap has batted .341 (15-for-44) in the Bruins' last 12 games.
PATROLLING IN RIGHT
Junior Justin Uribe has made 35 outfield starts this spring, including 24 in right field. The Santa Ana, Calif., resident and former standout at Foothill High School has compiled a .338 batting average, second-highest on the team. Uribe has recorded a .477 slugging percentage and .433 on-base percentage in 41 games. Sophomore Chris Giovinazzo has started 19 games (17 in right), and is batting .308 with seven doubles, two triples and one homer. Giovinazzo went 2-for-4 with a two-RBI double against Long Beach State (May 12).
STARRING ON SUNDAYS
Junior right-hander Charles Brewer has gone 3-5 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 games (12 starts). Brewer has notched 61 strikeouts and 17 walks in 63.2 innings, the third-highest total on the staff. He has not allowed more than four earned runs in any start. Brewer has pitched 6.0 innings or more in four of his last six starts. In seven Pac-10 starts, he has gone 3-3 with a 3.77 ERA, 36 strikeouts and nine walks in 43.1 innings. Over the past two seasons combined, Brewer has recorded 130 strikeouts in 160.2 innings.
CLOSING THE DOOR
Junior left-hander Gavin Brooks is tied with Arizona's Jason Stoffel for the Pac-10 lead in saves with eight. Brooks has become the first Bruin pitcher to register eight saves since Jake Meyer led UCLA with eight in 1997. The native of Vista, Calif., has compiled a 4.70 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 30.2 innings this season. He hurled five innings of no-hit baseball in relief at Oklahoma on Sunday, March 8.
UCLA's double-play combination of shortstop Niko Gallego and second baseman Eddie Murray have steadied the Bruins up the middle and in the lineup this spring. Murray ranks sixth on the club with a .297 batting average and second with a .451 on-base percentage. Murray is second on the team with 31 walks and first with 17 hit-by-pitches. Gallego enters this weekend's action batting .264 in 48 starts at shortstop. The former standout at Esperanza High School has collected 24 runs and 22 RBI as a sophomore.
Senior first baseman Cody Decker ranks eighth on UCLA's career home runs list with 43 (trails Ryan McGuire, 47). Decker has surpassed Garrett Atkins' 41-home run total. Senior left-hander Brendan Lafferty has moved into third place on the career pitching appearances list (92), trailing Chuck Yeager (111) and Bill Wenrick (119). Senior right-hander Jason Novak is tied for sixth on the same list, having pitched in 83 career games. Junior left-hander Gavin Brooks is tied with four other players for 10th place on the career saves list (8), and is tied for fifth on the single-season saves list (8).
HONORING OUR SENIORS
UCLA will honor seven seniors with a special "Senior Day" ceremony prior to first pitch on Sunday, as the Bruins host their final regular season home game in 2009. Included in the senior ceremony will be Gino Aielli, Cody Decker, Blair Dunlap, Brendan Lafferty, Eddie Murray, Jason Novak and Dustin Quist.
IN HONOR OF JACK
A circular black patch with the initials "JG" adorn the left sleeve of UCLA's uniforms, in honor of the late Jack Gifford. Among the program's most loyal and passionate supporters, Gifford played for UCLA alongside former head coach Gary Adams in the early 1960s. Gifford, who passed away on Jan. 11, 2009, and his wife Rhodine generously funded the construction of UCLA's state-of-the-art hitting facility. Named in their honor, the Jack and Rhodine Gifford Hitting Facility stands 23-feet high and spans 10,500-square feet.
MAJOR LEAGUE BRUINS
Four Bruins opened the season on major league rosters, and two former UCLA players began the year on the 15-day disabled list. Among those playing on MLB rosters are Garrett Atkins (Colorado), Eric Byrnes (Arizona), Ben Francisco (Cleveland) and Chase Utley (Philadelphia). Former UCLA standouts Troy Glaus (St. Louis) and Casey Janssen (Toronto) have opened the 2009 campaign on the 15-day disabled list.
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE
Four former UCLA pitchers are pitching in the minors at the triple-A level - Hector Ambriz (Reno Aces, Arizona), David Huff (Columbus Clippers, Cleveland), Dave Johnson (Memphis Sounds, Milwaukee), and Josh Roenicke (Louisville Bats, Cincinnati). Ambriz, Huff and Roenicke all starred on the mound at UCLA as recently as 2006 under head coach John Savage. Former UCLA shortstop Brandon Crawford (2006-08) has been promoted from San Jose (high-A) to Connecticut (double-A, San Francisco Giants).