April 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 11 UCLA baseball team opens a three-game Pac-12 series at Oregon State (24-11, 6-6) on Friday evening. All three games will feature a live audio broadcast, available for free on uclabruins.com. UCLA (25-8, 10-5) enters the weekend tied for first place in the Pac-12 with Oregon and Arizona.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, April 20 - 5:35 p.m.
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, So. (4-2, 3.40)
OSU - TBA
Saturday, April 21 - 1:05 p.m.
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, So. (4-2, 5.24)
OSU - TBA
Sunday, April 22 - 1:05 p.m.
UCLA - Zack Weiss, RHP, So. (2-1, 3.48)
OSU - TBA
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here) | 2012 UCLA Broadcast Schedule
Each game of UCLA's remaining regular-season games will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. John Ramey will have the call at UCLA's three games at Oregon State this weekend. Fans can listen to a live in-stadium broadcast of home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium by tuning their portable radio to 87.7 FM. Live stats of all UCLA baseball games are available through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
BRUINS VERSUS OREGON STATE
UCLA continues its conference schedule with a three-game series at Oregon State this weekend. Last season, Oregon State won the first two of three games against UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles. The Bruins won the season series against the Beavers in 2009 and 2010. Tied for first place in the Pac-12 standings with Oregon and Arizona, UCLA has won 23 of its last 28 games after opening the season with a 2-3 record. The Bruins have won six of eight weekend series, including four of five weekend series in Pac-12 action.
The Bruins improved their record in midweek games to 6-0 on Tuesday, securing a 12-4 victory over Cal State Northridge under the lights at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Beau Amaral went 3-for-5 with one home run, two RBI and two runs, while Pat Valaika and Kevin Williams each added three hits against the Matadors. The game featured three lead changes in the first four innings before UCLA punched through with seven runs in the seventh inning to push ahead, 12-3. Six UCLA relief pitchers combined to limit CSUN to one run and five hits in 5.2 innings.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Beau Amaral was named NCBWA National Player of the Week and Pac-12 Player of the Week after going 9-for-18 with six RBI and seven runs for UCLA last week. Amaral captured his second Pac-12 Player of the Week award of the season, the third of his career. He extended his career-long hitting streak to 19 games on Tuesday night against Cal State Northridge. Amaral has batted .453 (29-for-64) with 24 runs, 18 RBI and 11 extra-base hits in UCLA's last 14 games, leading the Bruins to a 10-4 record in that span.
HOT HITTING HEINEMAN
Junior catcher Tyler Heineman leads the Pac-12 with a .426 batting average and has posted a conference-leading .509 batting average in Pac-12 games. Heineman has compiled a 15-game hitting streak, during which he has batted at a .547 clip (29-for-53). The native of Pacific Palisades, Calif., also leads the conference with a .518 on-base percentage. In three games at Arizona over the weekend, Heineman went 8-for-14 (.571) with two RBI and two runs. He has hit safely in 31 of the Bruins' 33 ballgames this spring.
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has gone 46-21 in all road and neutral site contests. The Bruins have opened this season with a 10-1 record away from home, most recently winning two of three games at then-No. 4 ranked Arizona. 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. In conference action, UCLA has tallied a 25-8 road record since 2010.
UCLA'S HITTING STREAKS
Boasting the conference's second highest team batting average (.317), UCLA has compiled several noteworthy hitting streaks this season. Beau Amaral currently rides a 19-game hitting streak, the longest such streak by any UCLA player since 2001, when Josh Canales compiled a 24-game hitting streak. Tyler Heineman opened the season with a 12-game hitting streak and has since followed that with a current 15-game hitting streak.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Adam Plutko will make his 10th start of the season on Friday night in Corvallis, Ore., carrying a 4-2 record and 3.40 ERA into the series opener. Plutko did not earn a decision last Friday at Arizona, allowing three runs and 11 hits in six innings. The sophomore right-hander's most dominant effort of the season came at then-No. 9 Georgia on March 11, when he registered 11 strikeouts and no walks in a complete game victory. Plutko enters this weekend's series ranking eighth in the conference in strikeouts (54).
Four UCLA pitchers rank among the top five in pitching appearances in the Pac-12. David Berg (22) and Ryan Deeter (21) are first and second, respectively, in that category. Scott Griggs, Grant Watson and ASU's Jake Barrett are tied for third with 19. Griggs is tied for second in the Pac-12 with eight saves, having gone 0-1 with a 1.34 ERA in 19.2 innings as the Bruins' closer (30 strikeouts, 18 walks).
VERSUS RANKED TEAMS
UCLA is playing through a 19-game stretch that features 13 contests against top-25 ranked teams (Baseball America). The Bruins have gone 11-5 against ranked teams this year, winning four of five weekend series against ranked competition. UCLA won two of three against Baylor (Feb. 24-26), swept a three-game series at Georgia (March 9-11), won two of three against Arizona State (March 16-18) and won two of three at Arizona (April 13-15).
SERIES VS. OSU
UCLA leads the all-time series against Oregon State, 32-23. The Bruins have gone 16-11 in Corvallis, Ore. When these teams met in 2010 at Goss Stadium, UCLA won the final two of three games. In the second game of that series, Oregon State tied the ballgame, 1-1, with one run in the bottom of the ninth before UCLA won the contest, 3-1, in 16 innings. Last season, Oregon State left-hander Josh Osich threw a no-hitter at UCLA on April 30. UCLA's Trevor Bauer allowed two runs and four hits, striking out 15 batters in a complete game.
CROSSING THE PLATE
Beau Amaral leads the Pac-12 with 43 runs scored, a figure that already eclipses his team-leading total of 37 runs in 2011. The last time any UCLA player finished a season with more than 55 runs was in 2000, when Chase Utley tallied a team-leading 81 runs (Cody Decker had 55 in 2009). Jeff Gelalich ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 33 runs. Through Tuesday's ballgames, UCLA was third in the conference with 229 runs scored.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Through nine weeks, UCLA has had six Pac-12 Player/Pitcher of the Week award selections. Beau Amaral (March 26, April 16) and Jeff Gelalich (Feb. 29, March 13) have twice captured Player of the Week honors. Adam Plutko earned Pitcher of the Week honors (March 13) after throwing a complete game shutout at Georgia (March 9). Grant Watson was named Pitcher of the Week (March 20) after logging two wins in three games.
UCLA's bullpen has gone 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 115.1 innings this season, combining for 100 relief appearances through the team's first 33 games. In fact, the team's relief corps has held the opposition to just six runs (five earned) and 27 hits through the last 13 games (3-1 record, 0.98 ERA, with a .172 batting average). David Berg has a 1.04 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 17.1 innings through UCLA's last 14 games (11 relief outings).
NEWS AND NOTES
UCLA had a 12-game winning streak earlier this year, the program's longest streak since opening the 2010 season with 22 consecutive victories ... through games played Sunday, April 15, UCLA ranked No. 17 in the nation in batting average (.312) and No. 19 in on-base percentage (.400) ... the pitching staff ranked No. 55 in ERA (3.40) and No. 13 in hits allowed per nine innings (7.71) ... Tyler Heineman's batting average (.332) ranked No. 8, while Beau Amaral ranked No. 5, nationally, in runs scored per game (1.28) and No. 13 in total runs (41).