March 9, 2005
Mired in its first six game losing streak since 2003, UCLA travels to No. 9 Texas A&M for a three-game series at Olsen Field this weekend. The Bruins (7-10) will shake things up on the mound against the Aggies (12-5), giving one-time closer Adam Simon his first start of the season on Friday and pushing Hector Ambriz' and Bryan Beck's scheduled starting days back to Saturday and Sunday, respectively. UCLA has not won since Ambriz' 9-0 complete game victory over Pacific on February 25. Since then the Bruins dropped the final two games against Pacific, were swept by Nevada, Oklahoma and Cal State Fullerton at last weekend's Kia Baseball Bash and lost a midweek make-up contest to Cal State Northridge. This weekend's three-game set at Texas A&M will be the last games for UCLA until March 29. The Bruins will have a two week break from competition due to spring break and finals week.
UCLA (7-10) vs. Texas A&M (12-5)
March 11 - 5:00 p.m. (PST), Olsen Field, Texas A&M
March 12 - 5:00 p.m. (PST), Olsen Field, Texas A&M
March 13 - 11:00 a.m. (PST), Olsen Field, Texas A&M
UCLA and Texas A&M:
The Bruins and Aggies met last year for the first ever three-game series between the two schools. In those three games, Texas A&M took two of the three contests played at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium by scores of 6-8, 8-4, 8-2. Previously, the Aggies defeated the Bruins 3-0 at the 2003 Aggies' Domino Classic and back in 1993 by a score of 11-4 at the NCAA Central I Regional in College Station.
During UCLA's current six game losing streak the Bruins have been batting just .254 and have posted a team ERA over seven. The streak includes losses to five different teams. The last time the Bruins lost more than six games was during a seven-game skid in 2003. Center fielder Jarrad Page leads the Bruins with seven hits during those six games.
Shakin' It Up:
In an attempt to give itself the best chance to win against the Aggies, UCLA has decided to change its scheduled weekend rotation. Junior Adam Simon, who has been UCLA's closer up to this point in the season, will make his first start since February 23, 2003. Ironically enough, that start came against Texas A&M at the Dominos Pizza Aggie Classic. In that game, Simon suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits over five innings. UCLA's normal Friday starter Hector Ambriz will pitch on Saturday and the Bruins's Saturday starter Bryan Beck will pitch on Sunday.
UCLA right-hander/designated hitter Hector Ambriz has been a force force on the mound and at the plate this season. Ambriz has posted six multi-hit games (two four-hit performances) and has hit safely in 14 of 17 games this season. On the mound he is 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA.
Will the Thrill:
UCLA had no clear lead off hitter entering the season but sophomore Will Penniall has accepted the role with open arms. The left fielder is hitting .299, leads the team with two triples and is 8-for-24 (.333) when leading off an inning.
Savage Closing In:
Head Coach John Savage is just five wins away from career victory No. 100.