April 3, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 5 UCLA baseball team hosts a three-game Pac-12 series against No. 22 Oregon (18-8, 6-3) beginning Thursday, April 5. The Bruins (20-5, 7-2) have won 18 of their last 20 games, most recently having swept a Pac-12 series at Utah last weekend. Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko (4-1, 2.58 ERA) will start on the mound in Thursday night's series opener at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Game time on Thursday and Friday is 6 p.m. Saturday's game will begin at 12 p.m.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Thursday, April 5 - 6 p.m.
Oregon - Alex Keudell, RHP, Sr. (3-3, 2.40)
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (4-1, 2.58)
Friday, April 6 - 6 p.m.
Oregon - Jake Reed, RHP, Fr. (2-2, 2.22)
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (3-1, 4.30)
Saturday, April 7 - 12 p.m.
Oregon - Brando Tessar, RHP, So. (4-0, 2.64)
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, Fr. (6-1, 5.36)
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here) | 2012 UCLA Baseball Broadcast Schedule
Each game of UCLA's remaining regular-season games 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 Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend as the Bruins face Oregon. Fans at the game, using a portable radio, can listen to a live in-stadium broadcast on 87.7 FM. Live stats of the game are available through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
TICKETS AND PARKING
Tickets to UCLA home baseball games at Jackie Robinson Stadium cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 16 and under). Parking on the West L.A. VA Grounds costs $8. Jackie Robinson Stadium is located on Constitution Ave. just west of the 405 freeway and Sepulveda Blvd. The Bruins have played at Jackie Robinson Stadium since the ballpark's founding in 1981.
SERIES AGAINST THE DUCKS
UCLA and Oregon enter this weekend's series in Los Angeles ranked among the top 25 in all five major college baseball polls. UCLA has posted a 6-3 record over the last three seasons against Oregon, since the Ducks reinstated their baseball program. Last May, the Bruins swept a three-game series at Oregon's PK Park, posting a .306 batting average and 0.67 ERA against the Ducks. UCLA has won 18 of its last 20 games, since opening the season with a 2-3 record.
GAME ONE STARTER
Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko will start on the mound Thursday, sporting a 4-1 record and 2.58 ERA. He earned the win in a 16-0 win at Utah last Friday, scattering four hits through six scoreless innings. Last season, Plutko closed UCLA's series at Oregon with a complete game shutout in the finale, striking out seven batters and scattering two hits in nine innings. He finished his freshman season going 7-4 with a 2.01 ERA, securing All-Pac-10 Team honors while pitching behind eventual first-round draft selections Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer.
BRUINS SWEEP UTAH
UCLA secured its sixth consecutive weekend series victory with a three-game Pac-12 sweep at Utah last Sunday. The Bruins blanked the Utes, 16-0, on Friday, before earning a 9-6 victory Saturday and 5-1 win Sunday. UCLA's offense batted .309, scoring 30 runs in the three-game series. The Bruins improved their road/neutral site record to 8-0, the baseball program's best-ever start away from home (on record, dating back to 1965). UCLA opened its 1997 campaign with six consecutive wins, before recording eon tie and winning its next six games.
Jeff Gelalich ranks second among Pac-12 hitters with a .415 batting average, and teammate Tyler Heineman ranks third (.400) through UCLA's first 25 games. Gelalich (.504) and Heineman (.400) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the conference in on-base percentage, while Beau Amaral has scored a Pac-12-leading 31 runs. UCLA has batted .312 through 25 games, marking a 66-point increase from the Bruins' .246 batting average 25 games into the 2011 season. Six Bruins are hitting above the .300 plateau this season.
PRODUCTIVE IN THE PAC
Entering this weekend's series against Oregon, UCLA leads the Pac-12 with a .325 batting average in conference games. Eric Filia-Snyder is third on the team in Pac-12 games with a .345 batting average, having gone 10-for-29 with seven RBI.
Through Sunday's games, the conference's top four leaders in pitching appearances all hail from UCLA. Ryan Deeter (18) leads the conference in that category and is followed by David Berg (16), Grant Watson (15) and Scott Griggs (15). The Bruins' bullpen has gone 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .207 batting average in 78 combined relief appearances. Griggs is tied for the Pac-12 lead with six saves.
GETTING ON BASE
Jeff Gelalich has reached base in all 25 games for UCLA, having hit safely in 21 contests. The junior right fielder from La Verne, Calif., leads UCLA with six home runs, while his team-best .660 slugging percentage ranks third in the Pac-12. Beau Amaral and Trevor Brown enter Thursday's game against Oregon carrying 11-game hitting streaks. Through Sunday's games, UCLA leads the conference with a .404 on-base percentage.
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has recorded a 44-20 record in all road and neutral site contests. The Bruins have opened this season with an 8-0 record away from home. Last year, UCLA went 14-13 in road and neutral site games, while in 2010 the Bruins went 15-4 on the road and 7-3 at neutral sites. In conference action, UCLA has tallied a 23-7 road record since 2010.
UCLA's starting outfielders have posted a combined .359 batting average (104-for-290) through 25 games. Left fielder Cody Keefer (.344), center fielder Beau Amaral (.321) and right fielder Jeff Gelalich (.415) have logged a combined 367 career starts (323 in the outfield) since their freshman seasons in 2010. Overall, the trio of veterans has tallied a .321 career batting average with 114 extra-base hits, including 21 home runs.
ROUNDING OUT THE ROTATION
Sophomore right-hander Nick Vander Tuig (3-1, 4.30) will start on Friday in the second game of the series against Oregon. Vander Tuig earned the win last Saturday at Utah, allowing four runs (three earned) in 5.2 innings as the Bruins held on for a 9-6 victory. Freshman left-hander Grant Watson (6-1, 5.36) will start in the series finale Saturday. He allowed one run and six hits in six innings on Sunday, securing his team-leading sixth win at Utah. Watson is one of eight pitchers in school history to have logged at least six wins as a freshman.
IN THE PAC
UCLA will play a Pac-12 series in seven of the next eight weekends to close the regular season. Following this weekend's three-game series against Oregon, the Bruins will hit the road for consecutive weekends, playing at No. 4 Arizona (April 13-15) and at No. 20 Oregon State (April 20-22). UCLA will play its first non-conference game in more than three weeks on Tuesday, April 10, hosting a midweek tilt against Cal State Fullerton.
NEWS AND NOTES
UCLA compiled a 12-game winning streak earlier this season, the program's longest such streak since opening the 2010 season with 22 consecutive victories ... through games played Sunday, April 1, UCLA ranks No. 21 in the nation in batting average (.312) and No. 18 in on-base percentage (.404) ... likewise, the Bruins' pitching staff ranks No. 46 in ERA (3.29) and No. 11 in hits allowed per nine innings (7.39).
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. UCLA has finished no lower than third place in the Pac-12 Conference since 2005. The Bruins won the Pac-10 title in outright fashion in 2011 for the first time since 1986.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (98) and win percentage (.609). Through games played on Sunday, April 1, the Bruins rank fourth in total wins (229) and win percentage (.596). UCLA won the Pac-10 title in outright fashion in 2011 for the first time since 1986. The Bruins finished second in 2010 and earned a third-place finish from 2006 through 2009.