April 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 12 UCLA baseball team hosts UC Irvine on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in their final midweek home game of the 2012 season. UCLA and UC Irvine split a pair of midweek games last spring, before the Anteaters edged the Bruins, 4-3, in the final game of the NCAA Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA and UC Irvine have split the two midweek games each of the last five seasons (2007-11), with UCLA last sweeping the midweek series in 2006. The Bruins have posted a perfect 6-0 record in midweek ballgames this season.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday, April 24 - 6 p.m.
UC Irvine - Race Parmenter, RHP, Jr. (0-1, 2.57)
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, Fr. (7-1, 4.96)
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here) | 2012 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 on Tuesday when the Bruins face UC Irvine. 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 at the ballpark 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.
WATSON ON THE MOUND
Freshman left-hander Grant Watson is slated to start on the hill for UCLA this Tuesday. Watson has started each of UCLA's previous six midweek games, in addition to making four starts on the weekend. He is tied for the Pac-12 lead with seven wins, having gone 7-1 with a 4.96 ERA in 52.2 innings, the third-highest total on the staff. Watson has pitched in 20 games (10 starts), tied for the fourth-most appearances among Pac-12 pitchers. Watson did not receive a decision in last Tuesday's 12-4 win against Cal State Northridge.
WEEKEND AT OREGON STATE
UCLA lost two of three games at Oregon State over the weekend and is currently tied for second place in the Pac-12 standings with Oregon (11-7), as both teams are one game behind Arizona (12-6). Adam Plutko scattered two hits in 7.2 scoreless innings on Friday night to earn the victory as UCLA blanked the Beavers, 4-0. The Bruins were shut out, 3-0, on Saturday before losing, 7-6, in the series finale on Sunday. Shane Zeile (4-for-7, .571) and Cody Regis (4-for-10, .400, one home run) were UCLA's leading hitters in Corvallis, Ore.
HOT HITTING HEINEMAN
Junior catcher Tyler Heineman ranks second in the Pac-12 with a .405 batting average and leads the conference with a .500 on-base percentage. Heineman had a 15-game hitting streak snapped in UCLA's 4-0 victory at Oregon State on Friday night. The resident of Pacific Palisades, Calif., has hit safely in 31 of 35 games and has posted a team-leading .459 batting average in conference games. Heineman has made 30 starts behind the plate and five starts as the designated hitter, throwing out 12 of 30 attempted base stealers (40 percent).
Junior Trevor Brown enters Tuesday night's game batting .311 with a team-leading 31 RBI in 36 games. Brown has emerged the last three seasons as UCLA's most versatile position player. The former standout at Hart High School (Valencia, Calif.) can play behind the plate and at each of the four positions around the infield. He has made 16 career starts at catcher, started 30 games at first base this season and started 24 games at second base in 2011. In addition he has made seven career starts as UCLA's third baseman.
Junior center field Beau Amaral has raised his batting average over 100 points the last six weeks. A career .331 hitter for the Bruins, Amaral is currently hitting at a .344 clip with four home runs, four triples, seven doubles and a conference-best 44 runs. Amaral's 44 runs scored have already surpassed his team-leading 37 runs scored in 2011. Over UCLA's last 21 games, he has batted .420 (37-for-88) with 29 runs and 22 RBI. Amaral's career-best 21-game hitting streak ended on Sunday in UCLA's 7-6 loss to Oregon State.
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has gone 47-23 in all road and neutral site contests. The Bruins have opened this season with an 11-3 record away from home, posting a 6-3 record on the road in Pac-12 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. In conference action, UCLA has tallied a 26-10 road record since 2010.
Four UCLA pitchers rank among the top six in pitching appearances in the Pac-12. David Berg (24) and Ryan Deeter (22) are first and second, respectively, in that category. Scott Griggs, Grant Watson and ASU's Robert Rabago are tied for fourth in the category (20). In addition, Griggs is tied for second in the Pac-12 with eight saves, having gone 0-1 with a 1.27 ERA in 21.1 innings as the Bruins' closer (33 strikeouts, 18 walks).
Junior right fielder Jeff Gelalich leads UCLA with six home runs and enters Tuesday night's game with a .365 batting average, 26 RBI and 34 runs. Gelalich is tied for the conference lead in stolen bases (12) with Oregon's Aaron Payne. He has started all 36 games for the Bruins in right field and opened the season by reaching base safely in UCLA's first 25 contests. Gelalich has posted a career .312 batting average with 10 home runs and 52 RBI.
WHAT'S ON DECK
UCLA hosts a three-game Pac-12 series against No. 13 Stanford beginning Friday, April 27. Game time is 6 p.m. The Bruins will send sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko to the mound in the series opener. Stanford will counter with junior right-hander Mark Appel. Stanford won the first and third game of a three-game set at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, Calif., last season. Next week, UCLA plays at Long Beach State on Tuesday (May 1), before hosting a three-game series against No. 15 Purdue on Saturday (doubleheader) and Sunday.
UCLA's roster currently features five players who have played in at least 100 career games and eight players who have seen action in at least 60 career games. The Bruins' offense ranks second in the Pac-12 in batting average (.313), first in on-base percentage (.399) and tied for fourth in runs scored (239, with Arizona). Tyler Heineman (.405), Jeff Gelalich (.365) and Cody Keefer (.361) all rank within the top-10 in batting average in the Pac-12.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Through 10 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 9-3 with a 1.96 ERA in 124.0 innings, combining for 107 relief appearances through the team's first 36 games. In fact, the team's relief corps has held the opposition to 10 runs (eight earned) and 37 hits through the last 16 games (3-2 record, 1.19 ERA, with a .180 batting average). Scott Griggs has pitched nine scoreless innings, surrendering three hits, while logging 13 strikeouts and two hits in the last 16 games.
NEWS AND NOTES
UCLA had a 12-game winning streak earlier this year, the program's longest streak since opening 2010 with 22 consecutive victories ... Beau Amaral's 21-game hitting streak that ended April 22 was the longest by a UCLA ballplayer since 2001 (Josh Canales, 24-game streak) ... Tyler Heineman currently sports a .500 on-base percentage, which would stand as the program's highest OBP since 1997 (Troy Glaus, .520) were the season to end today ... UCLA closer Scott Griggs' eight saves ranks seventh (tied) on the school's single-season record list.