May 7, 2008
LOS ANGELES - UCLA (24-20, 7-8 Pac-10) continues its conference schedule this weekend, playing three games at Oregon State (22-18, 9-9 Pac-10). Oregon State and UCLA stand 2.5 and 3.0 games out of first place, respectively, in the Pac-10 standings. Last season, Oregon State won two of three games at UCLA during the final weekend of the regular season before (May 25-27). Two seasons ago, both teams split two games in Corvallis, Ore., as game two was cancelled due to rain. Earlier this week, UCLA dropped a 5-3 decision to No. 8 San Diego at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium (May 6).
Friday, May 9 - 5 p.m. - at OSU's Goss Stadium
UCLA's Tim Murphy, LHP, Jr. (3-5, 3.64) vs. OSU's Mike Stutes, RHP, Sr. (2-6, 6.09)
Saturday, May 10 - 1 p.m. - at OSU's Goss Stadium
UCLA's Charles Brewer, RHP, So. (6-4, 5.45) vs. OSU's Tanner Robles, LHP, Fr. (3-1, 5.18)
Sunday, May 11 - 1 p.m. - at OSU's Goss Stadium
UCLA's Gavin Brooks, LHP, So. (5-2, 5.03) vs. OSU's Jorge Reyes, RHP, So. (3-2, 7.69)
LISTEN LIVE, THIS WEEKEND
Each of UCLA's three games at Oregon State can be listened to online for free at uclabruins.com. Danny Lee will have the call live from OSU's Goss Stadium. Upcoming games to be broadcast online include UCLA's final home series (vs. Washington State, May 16-18) and the Bruins' final three games of the regular season (at California, May 23-25). All remaining regular-season games can be followed live on CSTV's GameTracker, available at uclabruins.com.
WHAT'S ON DECK
With just 11 games remaining on their schedule, the Bruins look to win their third conference series of the season at Oregon State (May 9-11). UCLA has compiled a 26-17 all-time record against the Beavers, including a 13-8 mark at Oregon State. In last season's three-game series, then-freshman Gavin Brooks hurled his first career complete game, totaling seven strikeouts and just one walk while allowing two runs (one earned) and three hits in a 5-2 win on the final day of the regular season.
Senior Alden Carrithers has emerged as a legitimate All-America candidate, having registered a .384 batting average. The Portland, Ore., resident leads UCLA in numerous offensive categories, including on-base percentage (.469), hits (68), runs (37), stolen bases (17) and RBI (39). Carrithers has hit safely in 37 of 45 games and has tallied hit streaks of 11 and 10 games. Last week, Carrithers batted .438, going 7-for-16 with seven walks (.625 on-base percentage). Carrithers has made 34 starts at second base and 11 in left field.
ACCOLADES ALL AROUND
Several Bruins have garnered national attention within the college baseball community. Alden Carrithers has been named as one of 50 players to the Dick Howser Award watch list. Over the weekend, Carrithers was chosen as one of 100 players on the revised Brooks Wallace Award watch list. Prior to Opening Day, Ryan Babineau was named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list, a compilation of the nation's top 36 catchers. Brandon Crawford was tabbed as one of 50 players to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list.
Earlier this spring, UCLA became just the second team in the past two seasons to win a three-game series at Arizona, which currently boasts an 18-3 home mark. The Bruins took the first two of three games at Arizona (March 28-30) to open Pac-10 play. Last season, the Wildcats posted a 28-4 home record, losing one home series to USC. The weekend of April 25-27, UCLA won two of three games at Washington, where the Huskies had previously recorded an 18-5 home record with just one home series loss to Cal Poly.
CRUSHING IT FARTHER
Sophomore Casey Haerther leads UCLA with eight home runs and has belted seven of those round-trippers since going 7-for-7 at Arizona on March 29. In that 20-8 victory, Haerther established the Pac-10 and UCLA record for most hits in a game. UCLA's starting first baseman has batted .326 in 43 games (42 starts), totaling 37 RBI, 33 runs, 17 doubles and one triple. Haerther has logged a .561 slugging percentage and stolen nine bases in 11 attempts. Haerther crushed two home runs in an 18-7 rout of UC Riverside (April 12).
Junior Tim Murphy, a left-handed pitcher and center fielder, has played in 24 games this season. Murphy has logged a 3.64 ERA and 3-5 record in 13 pitching appearances (11 starts) and has registered a .258 batting average in 12 games on the field. The left-hander from Vista, Calif., has totaled 87 strikeouts, the second most among Pac-10 pitchers after Washington's Nick Haughian (88). Murphy has also logged 76.2 innings, the second most in the Pac-10 behind Arizona State's Mike Leake.
Sophomore Charles Brewer, a right-handed pitcher hailing from Scottsdale, Ariz., leads all Bruin pitchers with six wins. Brewer has logged 49 strikeouts and 22 walks in 72.2 innings, the second-highest total on the staff. Brewer earned the victory in UCLA's 8-3 win over then-No. 4 Arizona State in a nationally-televised contest last Saturday (May 3). Brewer limited the Sun Devils to three runs and six hits in 6.1 innings. Brewer has logged a 5.45 ERA in 14 appearances, including nine starts.
Sophomore Gavin Brooks, a left-handed pitcher from Vista, Calif., won four consective starts from April 6 to April 27. Brooks has compiled a 5-2 record and 5.45 ERA, logging 56 strikeouts in 72.2 innings this season. During his four-game win streak through the month of April, Brooks tallied 26 strikeouts in 29.1 innings, recording a 2.45 ERA and .194 opponent batting average.
THE STRETCH RUN
UCLA has played the eighth-most difficult schedule in the nation through 45 games, as ranked by Boyd's World, and the road gets more challenging for the Bruins. Through the Bruins' final 11 games, six of those contests will be played against top-20 competition (as ranked by Baseball America). Likewise, UCLA will play eight of its last 11 games on the road, including six of its final nine Pac-10 contests.
Left-hander Brendan Lafferty ranks third among Pac-10 pitchers with 25 appearances, all coming in relief. Lafferty has logged a 1-2 record and 4.32 ERA in a team-high 25 outings, totaling 45 strtikeouts in 50.0 innings. The junior from Riverside, Calif., hurled 4.1 scoreless innings of relief against Stanford (April 19), totaling four strikeouts and one walk. Lafferty earned his third save of the season in UCLA's 4-3 win at Washington (April 27) in the series finale, totaling four strikeouts in two innings of hitless relief.
UCLA has posted a 3-2 record in five extra-inning ballgames. Two of the team's first four games were extra-inning affairs. UCLA lost a 12-inning game, 3-2, to Oklahoma in the nightcap of a season-opening doubleheader (Feb. 23). The Bruins outlasted UC Santa Barbara, 5-4, in 13 innings (Feb. 27) in a five-hour, 35-minute affair. UCLA edged Arizona, 4-3, in 10 innings (March 28) in the Bruins' Pac-10 season opener. UC Irvine downed the Bruins, 6-5, in 10 innings at Jackie Robinson Stadium (April 8). UCLA used a two-out rally, keyed by Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the 11th inning, to defeat UNLV, 8-7 (April 22).
THIRD TO 100
John Savage earned his 100th victory as UCLA's head baseball coach on April 20, as the Bruins defeated Stanford, 8-2. Savage, who has tallied a 105-115 record midway through his fourth season, became just the third head coach in UCLA baseball history to reach the 100-win plateau. Former head coaches Gary Adams (1975-2004) and Arthur Reichle (1941, 1946-1974) have also reached the 100-win mark. Savage, who spent three years as UC Irvine's head baseball coach prior to arriving in Westwood, stands just seven wins shy of his 200th career victory as a college baseball head coach (193-199-1 career record).
HEAD OF THE PACK
Jermaine Curtis ranks second in the conference with a .441 average in Pac-10 games. Curtis has tallied six doubles, one triple, one home run, seven RBI and 13 runs in conference play. Curtis' .493 on-base percentage in Pac-10 play ranks fourth, and the Fontana, Calif., resident's .627 slugging percentage in conference action is ranked 10th. Casey Haerther's eight doubles in Pac-10 play leads all conference performers. Haerther also ranks ninth with a .371 Pac-10 batting average and fourth with a .694 slugging percentage.
SOAK UP THE SUN
Alden Carrithers has been hitting at a .438 clip in day games this season, recording a .522 on-base percentage and .630 slugging percentage in those 19 contests. Jermaine Curtis has compiled a .395 average during the day, including a .592 slugging percentage and .484 on-base percentage. Casey Haerther, who has belted seven of his eight home runs during the day, boasts a .342 batting average in day games.
NEARLY RECORD NUMBERS
Not only does Alden Carrithers lead the Bruins with a .384 batting average, the Bruins' second baseman has put himself near elite company. Carrithers' current batting average ranks ninth-highest in the school's all-time single-season list, just above current Colorado Rockies' third baseman Garrett Atkins' mark of .383 (1998). Carrithers has also compiled a .366 career batting average, a total that currently ranks fourth all-time in the career batting average list, above Eric Karros' .365 mark (1986-1988).
POUNDING THE DRUM
Left-hander Matt Drummond has logged a streak of 10.2 consecutive scoreless innings, all in relief. In UCLA's 8-3 win over Arizona State (May 3), Drummond hurled 3.1 scoreless innings to earn his third save of the year. Drummond has posted a 3.92 ERA and 2-2 record in 43.2 innings, making 15 appearances (three starts). The Paso Robles, Calif., resident ranks among the conference leaders in Pac-10 games. Drummond's 1.56 Pac-10 ERA is the second-lowest mark, and his .210 opponent batting average ranks fourth.
Alden Carrithers has registered five four-hit efforts this season. No Bruin has tallied that many games with four or more hits since Brian Baron logged seven four-hit performances in 2001. That season, Baron finished the year with 33 multi-hit games -- 19 two-hit efforts, seven three-hit contests and seven four-hit performances. Also, Casey Haerther's seven hits at Arizona (March 29) were the most hits in a game by a Bruin since Ryan McCarthy went 5-for-5 in 2004 against Arizona State (April 18).
Junior Ryan Babineau was named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list prior to the start of the season. The award is given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher. In 149 career games (143 starts, including two at designated hitter), Babineau has committed two errors in 1,175 chances (.998 pct.), throwing out 42 of 103 base stealers (40.8 pct). This season, Babineau has thrown out 10 of 21 base stealers (47.6 pct). Babineau has registered a career .258 batting average, collecting 11 home runs and 81 RBI.
THE POLL IN THE PAC
UCLA was selected third out of nine teams in the Pac-10 preseason coaches' poll. The Bruins were picked to finish behind Arizona and Arizona State, respectively. Arizona picked up six of nine first-place votes, and Arizona State recorded the other three first-place votes. Last season, UCLA was picked fourth in the preseason coaches' poll and finished third with a 14-10 mark in Pac-10 ballgames.
NEWLY-NAMED STEELE FIELD
The baseball program dedicated the field at Jackie Robinson Stadium in honor of the Steele Foundation prior to a Pac-10 game against Arizona State on Saturday, May 3. Thanks to a generous lead gift from the Steele Foundation, UCLA was able to complete several improvements to Jackie Robinson Stadium last offseason, the most significant renovation being the installation of a new major-league caliber playing surface.
2007 IN REVIEW
UCLA finished its 2007 season with its first trip to the NCAA Super Regionals since 2000 and totaled a 33-28 record. In the Super Regional, UCLA dropped both games to Cal State Fullerton (12-2 and 2-1). UCLA advanced after winning the Long Beach Regional, defeating No. 3-seed Pepperdine (7-3), No. 4-seed Illinois-Chicago (3-1) and No. 1-seed Long Beach State (7-4) at Blair Field. Last year, the Bruins advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season and for the third time in four years.
Sophomore outfielder/left-handed pitcher Justin Uribe will miss the remainder of the season with a left elbow injury (torn UCL). Freshman right-hander Dan Klein remains inactive with shoulder soreness. Freshman outfielder Jeff Rapoport (shoulder) missed the 2007 season with a shoulder injury and remains sidelined, along with freshman right-hander Erik Goeddel (elbow) and junior right-hander Tim Schlatter (shoulder).