June 13, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - UCLA will make its fourth appearance at the College World Series beginning Friday, June 15, as the Bruins (47-14) open the 2012 tournament against Stony Brook (52-13). Game time is 2 p.m. (PT)/4 p.m. (CT). All games at the College World Series will be televised live on either ESPN or ESPN2. The Bruins will send sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko (11-3, 2.56) to the mound for the opening contest. UCLA is making its second appearance in three seasons at the College World Series.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha (Omaha, Neb.)
Friday, June 15 - 2 p.m. (PT) - TV: ESPN2
Stony Brook - TBD
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (11-3, 2.56)
Sunday, June 17 - 2 p.m. (PT) or 6 p.m. (PT) - TV: ESPN2
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (10-3, 4.35)
Arizona (43-17) or Florida State (48-15)
LIVE AUDIO AVAILABLE (audio here) | UCLA Broadcast Schedule
UCLA will provide a live audio broadcasts of each game at the College World Series on uclabruins.com, free of charge, from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. UCLA's John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from the second-year home of the College World Series. In addition, live stats of all College World Series games will be available through CBS College Sports.
JOIN THE BRUINS IN OMAHA
Fans interested in attending UCLA's College World Series games in Omaha, Neb., are encouraged to contact UCLA's Central Ticket Office (310-UCLA-WIN). For UCLA fans already in Omaha, DJ's Dugout will be holding a section in its downtown Omaha location dedicated for UCLA family and friends. Stop by pregame, postgame, or whenever the doors are open and ask to be seated in the UCLA section to enjoy your College World Series experience with fellow Bruins. For more information about UCLA's host, click here.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
UCLA enters the College World Series having won 19 of its last 21 games and rides a nine-game winning streak ... the Bruins went 5-0 in the NCAA Regional and Super Regional, outscoring their opposition by a 33-9 margin ... UCLA shared the Pac-12 title with Arizona, earning the tiebreak by virtue of a series win against the Wildcats ... John Savage (8th year) is UCLA's only head coach to have led the Bruins to the College World Series twice ... UCLA has compiled the nation's top record in road/neutral site games, going 20-4 away from home this year ... the Bruins have advanced to the postseason in six of the last seven years (CWS in two of last three seasons) ... seven UCLA ballplayers were selected in the 2012 MLB Draft (all within the draft's first 15 rounds) ... the Bruins are tied for ninth, nationally, with 133 wins in the last three seasons (ranks first among Pac-12 teams) ... UCLA is one of four schools to have hosted NCAA Regionals the last three years (Florida, South Carolina, Virginia).
UCLA returns to the College World Series this season after having lost to South Carolina in the championship series of the 2010 CWS. Seven players who contributed on the Bruins' 2010 squad are back in Omaha, Neb., for this season's College World Series (Beau Amaral, Trevor Brown, Jeff Gelalich, Scott Griggs, Tyler Heineman, Cody Keefer and Cody Regis). Six of those players saw action in the 2010 College World Series. The Bruins have compiled a 3-7 all-time record in three previous appearances at the College World Series, securing their first CWS wins in 2010.
The Bruins have posted a 47-14 record after having defeated TCU twice in the NCAA Los Angeles Super Regional. UCLA has totaled at least 40 wins for the second time in three seasons and for the eighth time in program history. The Bruins have won at least 40 games in each of their three previous College World Series seasons (1969, 1997, 2010). Prior to 2010, UCLA had not recorded 40 or more wins since going 45-21-1 in 1997. The Bruins have only reacehd the 50-win plateau during their record-setting 51-17 campaign in 2010.
BRUINS OUTLAST TCU
UCLA limited TCU to three runs, all via solo home runs, in two games to advance to the College World Series for the fourth time in school history. The Bruins won, 6-2, on Saturday, June 8, before closing the Super Regional with a 4-1 win on Saturday, June 9. Adam Plutko limited the visiting Horned Frogs to two runs and seven hits through seven innings in Game 1, earning the victory to improve to 11-3. Nick Vander Tuig held TCU to one run and five hits in six-plus innings in Game 2 to pick up the win. David Berg logged seven strikeouts in five scoreless innings of relief between both games.
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 (June 1-3). Jeff Gelalich captured Most Outstanding Player honors, going 5-for-11 (.455) with two home runs, seven RBI and two runs in three games. Adam Plutko threw a complete game shutout in the Bruins' first contest, a 3-0 win over Creighton. Nick Vander Tuig allowed one unearned run and one hit in eight innings in a 7-1 win over New Mexico before the Bruins downed Creighton, 13-5, in the regional's final contest on June 3.
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 (11-3, 2.56) has established himself as the ace of UCLA's pitching staff. He allowed two runs and seven hits in the Bruins' 6-2 win over TCU on Friday, June 8. One week earlier, he scattered two hits in a complete game shutout as UCLA blanked Creighton, 3-0. In three career postseason starts, Plutko has surrendered two runs and 10 hits in 23.2 innings (0.78 ERA) while going 3-0. Plutko and former UCLA standout Treovr Bauer are the only pitchers in school history to have logged at least three postseason wins (Bauer notched four). A former standout at Glendora High School, Plutko was a sixth-round MLB Draft selection by the Houston Astros in 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).
UCLA's trio of junior outfielders (Beau Amaral, Cody Keefer and Jeff Gelalich) has compiled a .321 career batting average (570-for-1773) in 502 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 59 of 61 games this season and in 77 career ballgames.
UCLA's bullpen has gone 15-5 with a 2.27 ERA and 16 saves in a combined 181 appearances this season. Four UCLA pitchers rank among the top six in the conference in total appearances. David Berg has pitched in a Pac-12 single-season record 47 games (all in relief). Berg's 47 appearances this season are tied for third on the NCAA Division I all-time single-season list. Scott Griggs and Ryan Deeter rank third (tied) in the Pac-12 with 35 appearances, while Grant Watson is sixth on the list this spring with 33 appearances.
UCLA'S JUNIOR CLASS
Led by the team's junior class, UCLA has achieved its highest three-year win total (133). 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 47 wins in 2012 are the two highest win totals in school history.
ALL-NCAA REGIONAL TEAM
Jeff Gelalich headlined the 2012 NCAA Los Angeles Regional's All-Tournament Team (June 1-3). 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.
ATOP THE LEADERBOARD
Jeff Gelalich ranks third in the Pac-12 with a .365 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, June 4. 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. Gelalich's younger brother, Matt, played center field as a freshman for Pepperdine this season.
Junior catcher Tyler Heineman was the only catcher selected to the All-Pac-12 Conference team. He enters the College World Series second on the Bruins' ballclub with a .343 batting average and ranks fourth in the conference with a .444 on-base percentage. Heineman has struck out just 14 times in 257 plate appearances (5.7 percent). The native of Pacific Palisades, Calif., has started 56 games (49 starts at catcher), batting primarily in the No. 2 slot in UCLA's lineup. Heineman has thrown out 22 of 46 attempted base stealers (47.8 percent clip).
Head coach John Savage has produced 58 MLB Draft selections in his eight seasons at UCLA. Earlier this month, 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 had tabbed UCLA with the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 RPI (ratings percentage index), respectively.
The Bruins have recorded the nation's best winning percentage away from home (.833) going 20-4 in those 24 contests. UCLA completed its midweek schedule with an 11-0 record and went 9-0 against Big West Conference opponents this season. The Bruins' only road losses came at Arizona (April 13), at Oregon State (April 21-22) and at California (May 20).
Junior Trevor Brown has emerged as UCLA's most versatile position player. In three years, he has played catcher, first base, second base, third base and right field. This season, he batted .328 with a team-leading 51 RBI in all 61 games. Brown has made 22 career starts at catcher and 39 starts at first base this season. He has started 32 career games at second base (including 24 starts at that position in 2011) and nine at third base. Brown made his debut in the outfield, playing right field, on May 8 in UCLA's 6-2 victory at Pepperdine.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
UCLA has never played Stony Brook on the baseball diamond, but is familiar with Pac-12 opponent Arizona. The Bruins have won the season series against the Wildcats each of the last seven seasons (2006-12). UCLA took two of three games at Arizona in April 2012, allowing the Bruins to win the tiebreak between the conference co-champions. Similar to Stony Brook, UCLA has never before faced Florida State. Opposite UCLA's side of the College World Series bracket, the Bruins played Florida and South Carolina at the 2010 College World Series and defeated Kent State at home in the 2010 NCAA Los Angeles Regional.