1997 Year in Review

UCLA Reaches Omaha

The Bruins reached the College World Series for the first time since 1969 thanks to an explosive offense and a great pitching staff. After cruising through the regular season, UCLA earned a No. 1 seed at the Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma. But UCLA was upset in its first game, losing to Harvard, 7-3.

However, the Bruins fought back, winning five straight games. UCLA elimianted four of the other five teams at the Midwest Regional. The Bruins defeated Ohio, 15-1, one day after losing to Harvard. The next day, UCLA held off Tennessee, winning 5-3. Later that day, UCLA defeated Harvard, 14-9. The following day, UCLA defeated Oklahoma State twice on its home field, winning 14-2 and 22-2. The Bruins outhit the Cowboys 51-14 in the two games. In the final game of the Midwest Regional, pitching coach Tim Leary wanted the Cowboys lefthanded lineup to face lefthander Tom Jacquez so he started righthander Tony Righetti and then brought in Jacquez after two batters. The strategy worked brilliantly. Jon Heinrichs knocked home eight runs and UCLA easily won the championship.

The Bruins lost two heartbreakers in Omaha. Trailing Miami 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Troy Glaus belted a two-run home run to tie the game. But Miami scored four runs in the 12th inning to win 7-3. UCLA led Mississippi State, 4-3, in the eighth inning, but the Bulldogs scored four runs in the eighth and beat UCLA 7-5.

The team broke 10 records: wins in a season (45), runs scored in a season (631), runs scored in an inning (13), hits in an inning (10), runs scored in an inning without an out being recorded (13), hits in a game (31), hits in a doubleheader (51), runs in a doubleheader (36), home runs in a season (142) and doubles in a season (173).

UCLA Takes Stanford To The Wire

The Bruins were seeking to win their first Pac-10 title since 1986. UCLA hosted Stanford for a three-game series to conclude league play. The Bruins needed a sweep over the first place Cardinal to win the title. The series turned out to be extremely exciting. In the first game, UCLA blew an 8-0 lead, but Eric Valent hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give UCLA a 10-9 victory. In the second game, the Bruins scored at least one run in each of the first seven innings and held off the Cardinal, 13-8. This meant the winner of the third game would win the Pac-10, Southern Division. Stanford took a 9-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but UCLA rallied only to fall short of the victory. Stanford won 9-6 and claimed the title.

Five Bruins Earn All-American Honors

UCLA had an uphill battle to fight at the Midwest Regional after losing to Harvard in the first round but thanks to great efforts from All-Tournament selections Eric Valent, Nick Theodorou, Troy Glaus, Peter Zamora and Jim Parque, the team came back to win the Midwest Regional. Valent blasted six home runs and was named as the MVP. Theodorou registered 16 hits, a new UCLA postseason record. Glaus recorded nine hits in his last four games at the Midwest Regional to go along with three walks. In the hardest fought game, Zamora defeated Tennessee, allowing just two earned runs in 8.2 innings. Parque limited an explosive Oklahoma State team to just one run in eight innings. He had pitched three shutout innings vs. Ohio two days earlier. Five Bruins Earn All-American Honors

A school-record five players were selected to All-American teams. They were Troy Glaus, Jim Parque, Jon Heinrichs Eric Valent and Peter Zamora. Glaus and Parque were first-team selections by Baseball America and NCBWA..

Valent Hits For The Cycle

On April 27 vs. USC, Eric Valent hit for the cycle, tripling in the first inning, homering in the second, singling in the fifth and doubling in the sixth.

Record-High Seven Bruins Named To All-Pac-10 Conference Team

Troy Glaus, the Pac-10 Player of the Year, Jon Heinrichs, Eric Valent, Eric Byrnes, Peter Zamora, Jim Parque and Tom Jacquez were all selected to the All-Pac-10 first team.. It was the first time in school history that seven Bruins were selected and the eighth time in the last 11 years that at least three Bruins were selected. Nick Theodorou and Jake Meyer earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention accolades.

Adams Sets Record; UCLA Wins Hormel Foods Classic

March 2, 1997 will be a day head coach Gary Adams remembers. His team defeated Minnesota, 13-5, to win the Hormel Foods Classic. With the victory, Adams won his 748th game at UCLA and became UCLAs all-time winningest baseball coach, surpassing Art Reichle, who won 747 games. Troy Glaus, the MVP of the Classic, belted a grand slam in the championship game and Jim Parque allowed just two earned runs in eight innings. Parque, Eric Valent, Jon Heinrichs, Peter Zamora and Tom Jacquez, who tied a tournament record with 14 strikeouts, joined Glaus on the All-Tournament Team.

Glaus Breaks Pac-10 Career Home Run Record: Troy Glaus home r4un on May 9 vs. Stanford was the 57th of his career, making him the all-time Pac-10 leader. At the College World Series, he hit his 34th home run of the season, breaking Mark McGwires Pac-10 single-season record.

Ten Bruins Finish Careers

Troy Glaus: Glaus will go down as one of the greatest players ever to put on a UCLA uniform. He belted 34 home runs in 1997, breaking the Pac-10 record previously held by Mark McGwire. The shortstop/third baseman hit 62 home runs in his career, setting a new Pac-10 record. Glaus was named as the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1997 and earned first-team All-American honors after batting .409. He reached base safely in all 67 of UCLAs games in 1997 and accumulated 227 total bases, a new Pac-10 record. Glaus represented the United States in the 1996 Olympic Games, starting at third base. He was the third pick overall in the 1997 draft by the Anaheim Angels.

Jon Heinrichs: The team captain provided great leadership on and off the field. After hitting three home runs in 1996, Heinrichs blasted 28 in 1997, the second highest total in the Pac-10. The left fielder established himself as the top leadoff hitter in the nation. His 223 total bases in 1997 was the second highest total in Pac-10 history. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and Collegiate Baseball second-team All-American honors. His 28 doubles in 1997 set a new school record. He also broke the schools career record in doubles with 57. The dependable Heinrichs started all 67 games and tallied 299 at bats, the most ever by a Bruin. He was drafted in the ninth round by the Florida Marlins

Tom Jacquez: After missing most of the 1996 season due to an injury, this lefthander emerged as one of the top pitchers in the country in 1997. He posted a 10-4 record and a 3.06 ERA. His 129.1 innings placed him first on the team and second in the Pac-10. Jacquez pitched a three-hit shutout (no walks) on March 28. The prior week, he was named as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after defeating USC. Jacquez struck out 14 batters vs. Washington in the Minnesota Metrodome, tying a tournament record. His performance in the championship game at the Midwest Regional (one earned run in 5.2 innings) propelled UCLA into the College World Series. Jacquez was drafted in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Mike Jaramillo: Jaramillo returned to UCLA in 1996 after transferring to East Los Angeles JC. He was the teams opening night catcher in 1997 and ended up starting 13 games. Jaramillo hit a home run on February 15 @Loyola Marymount. JHe graduated after the season.

Chad Matoian: Matoian played with great inspiration during his playing career. He will always be remembered for his game-winning double against USC his freshman year, back in 1994. In 1996, he set a school record with 11 consecutive hits. In 1997, he was the teams designated hitter and batted .314. Matoian excelled both on and off the field. He was a two-time District VIII GTE/CoSida Academic selection and a three-time All-Pac-10 Academic selection. He was an extremely valuable member of the team, playing in the infield and outfield and serving as a quality pinch hitter when not starting.

Jake Meyer: Meyer bounced back from an arm injury which caused him to miss the 1994 and 1995 seasons to become one of the nations top closers. In 1996, he served as a short reliever and then served as the closer for the 1997 team. Meyer saved eight games, tied for the fifth highest single-season total in school history. He earned two saves in Berkeley against California and was selected as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. Meyer led the team in ERA (2.64) as a sophomore in 1996 and held opponents to a .239 batting average as a junior in 1997. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round.

Ryan OToole: The hard-throwing righthander pitched at UCLA from 1994 to 1997. He had his best season in 1995 when he had a 3.60 ERA and held opponents to a .231 batting average. He also saved two games in 1995. OToole was signed by the Cincinnati Reds and earned a promotion to A ball after pitching extremely well in rookie ball.

Jim Parque: Parque established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the country. The 1997 first-team All-American (Baseball America) earned 13 wins his senior season, giving him 25 for his career, the most by a lefthander in school history. Parque struck out 319 batters in his career, the second highest total in school history. He was the teams ace in all three of his years at UCLA. In 1996,. he earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, serving as the only lefthanded pitcher. He will always be remembered for his incredible performances at the NCAA Regionals with hostile crowds. In 1996, he pitched a complete game against Texas on its home field, allowing just two runs to earn the victory. In 1997, he allowed just one run in eight innings against Oklahoma State on its home field. Parque was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the supplemental first round and became the first player from the 1997 draft to reach AAA.

Royce Valent: Valent caught at UCLA in 1996 and 1997, appearing in 28 games. He provided good leadership and earned a spot on the teams postseason 25-man roster. Valent had transferred to UCLA from Fullerton Community College where he received the Ken Humphrey Award for his determination and hustle. He is now serving as an undergraduate assistant coach.

Peter Zamora: Zamora started at first base and was a key member of the pitching staff all three years he was at UCLA. He will always be remembered for his game-winning grand slam against Arizona on April 14, 1995. He earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors as a true freshman and again as a junior. In 1996, he posted a 4-0 record in league play, becoming just the fifth pitcher in school history to remain undefeated throughout league play. In 1997, he batted .379 with 16 home runs . He won six games and did the best pitching of his career down the stretch. He held Tennessee to three runs in 8.2 innings in a critical victory at the NCAA Midwest Regional.