May 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 9 UCLA baseball team plays its final non-conference game of the regular season this Tuesday, taking on UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark. Game time on Tuesday is 6:30 p.m. The Bruins (38-14) are currently tied for third place in the Pac-12 standings and have won 10 of their last 12 ballgames. UCLA has recorded a perfect 8-0 record against Big West Conference opponents this spring.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday, May 22 - 6:30 p.m.
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, Fr. (8-2, 4.67)
UC Irvine - Evan Brock, RHP, R-So. (1-0, 1.57)
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE (click here) | Radio Schedule
UCLA's remaining four 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 Anteater Ballpark in Irvine, Calif., this Tuesday. Live stats of all remaining games will be available through GameTracker, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates of the game in progress on uclabruins.com.
ENTERING THE FINAL STRETCH
UCLA has four games remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Bruins will face UC Irvine on the road Tuesday evening before returning home to open a three-game Pac-12 series against crosstown rival USC this weekend. UCLA will send freshman left-hander Grant Watson to the mound for Tuesday's game at UC Irvine. The Bruins earned a 9-3 victory against the Anteaters at Jackie Robinson Stadium on April 24, overcoming a 3-2 deficit with a four-run fifth inning. UCLA and UC Irvine have split their last four meetings.
The Bruins enter Tuesday's game at UC Irvine having compiled a perfect 10-0 record in midweek action this spring. UCLA defeated then-No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, 6-3, at Goodwin Field last Tuesday, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning to snap a 3-3 tie. Freshman Grant Watson has been a major factor in UCLA's midweek success. The left-hander from Bakersfield, Calif., has gone 8-2 this season, having posted a 5-0 record in the Bruins' 10 midweek games. UCLA has outscored its opposition by a 78-25 margin in midweek action.
GELALICH LEADS OFFENSE
Jeff Gelalich ranks first in batting average (.376) and third in on-base percentage (.463) in the Pac-12, through Sunday's games. The native of La Verne, Calif., leads UCLA with nine home runs and has logged eight doubles, 37 RBI and 46 runs in 52 games. Gelalich is also among the conference's top performers in hits (2nd, 76), runs (t-8th, 46), stolen bases (t-2nd, 15), slugging percentage (8th, .550) and total bases (8th, 113).
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has gone 55-24 in all road and neutral site contests. This spring, the Bruins have gone 19-4 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 (2010 Washington, California; 2011 Oregon; 2012 Washington, Utah).
The NCAA Tournament's 64-team bracket will be revealed on ESPNU on Monday, May 28, at 9 a.m. (PT). The tournament's 16 NCAA Regional host sites will be announced by 12:30 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, May 27. That announcement will be available online, at ncaasports.com. The Bruins have advanced to the postseason in five of the last six seasons and are seeking their third consecutive NCAA Regional berth this month.
HEINEMAN SELECTED AS SEMIFINALIST
Tyler Heineman has been named as one of 12 semifinalists for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award, presented at the end of each season to the nation's top college catcher by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. The switch-hitting catcher from Pacific Palisades, Calif., has batted .359 with one home run, 24 RBI and 35 runs in 47 games. Heineman has thrown out 15 of 35 attempted base stealers (42.9 percent) and has hit safely in 39 of 47 contests. As a team, UCLA's defense ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in caught stealing percentage (41.7 percent).
Junior Trevor Brown has emerged as UCLA's most versatile position player. In three seasons, he has played catcher, first base, second base, third base and right field. Batting .325 with three homers and a team-best 40 RBI this season, Brown has made 22 career starts at catcher and 38 starts at first base this season, after having started 24 games at second base in 2011. He has made nine career starts at third base. Brown made his debut in the outfield (right field) on May 8 at Pepperdine and has played shortstop in summer leagues.
REGULAR IN RELIEF
David Berg has tied UCLA's single-season appearances record, having pitched in 39 games as a freshman this season. Berg's 39 appearances, all in relief, is the highest total among Pac-12 pitchers this season. The right-hander from Covina, Calif., has pitched in each of UCLA's last 14 games. Berg ranks first in the Pac-12 in opposing batting average (.179) and third in ERA (1.80). He has compiled 44 strikeouts and 14 walks in 56.0 innings.
Beau Amaral has started in center field and in the leadoff spot in UCLA's batting lineup in all 52 games. He enters the final week of the regular season having batted .309 with four home runs, five triples, eight home runs, 39 RBI and 56 runs. Amaral has registered a career .321 batting average in 174 games (167 starts), the most career games played or starts of any player currently on UCLA's roster.
UCLA'S SAVES LEADER
Scott Griggs has established UCLA's single-season saves record this season, compiling 14 saves in 16 opportunities. The right-hander from Alamo, Calif., ranks second on the Bruins' ballclub with 56 strikeouts. Griggs has surrendered just 13 hits in 32.1 innings, posting a .117 opposing batting average in 31 relief appearances. Griggs' 14 career saves are tied for fourth on UCLA's all-time list with Bruce Baranick (14 saves from 1971-73).
The Bruins close the regular season with a three-game Pac-12 series against USC at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend. UCLA has won 16 of its last 21 games against USC. Earlier this season, the Bruins secured a 7-2 victory against the Trojans in a non-conference game at Dodger Stadium. UCLA has not lost the season series to its crosstown rival since 2005. The Bruins won the season series in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 (swept USC, 3-0, in 2007, and 4-0 in 2010). UCLA and USC split four games in 2008 and 2011.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Through 14 weeks, UCLA has had seven 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 (March 13, May 7) has twice secured Pitcher of the Week honors this season. Grant Watson was named Pitcher of the Week (March 20) after logging two wins in three games.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Deeter has secured Capital One Academic All-District VIII team honors, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Deeter has gone 1-0 with a 0.72 ERA in 25.0 innings. The Bruins' reliever from Newark, Calif., is tied for second among Pac-12 pitchers with 31 apperaances (all in relief). Deeter has logged 22 strikeouts and 14 walks, limiting the opposition to a .200 batting average.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Bruins have tallied the nation's second-highest winning percentage away from home (.826, trailing Central Florida's .833 percentage and 15-3 record) going 19-4 in those 23 contests ... UCLA has swept three teams on the road this season (at Georgia, at Utah, at Washington) ... the Bruins close a nine-game stretch of road games at UC Irvine this Tuesday before returning home to close the season against USC (May 25-27).