No. 8 UCLA Hosts UC Santa Barbara in Final Regular Season Home Game

May 20, 2013

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Los Angeles, Calif. - The eighth-ranked UCLA Baseball team (37-15) will play its final regular season home game on Tuesday night, hosting the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (31-22) at 6 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Tuesday, May 21 - 6:00 p.m.
UCSB - Justin Jacome, LHP, Fr. (5-3, 4.04)
UCLA - Cody Poteet, RHP, Fr. (3-6, 5.26)

Tuesday's game vs. UC Santa Barbara will feature a live audio broadcast online at John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium. Audio broadcasts of all UCLA home games and select road games will be available at this season. In addition, fans can follow pitch-by-pitch action of the UC Santa Barbara game through a gametracker link, which can be found here.

The Bruins and Gauchos have met 87 times on the baseball diamond, with UCLA winning 52 of those contests. Head coach John Savage has an all-time record of 12-9 against the Gauchos. 6-6 at UCLA. The two sides met earlier this season back in February, where the Bruins prevailed over UC Santa Barbara by a score of 12-3. Freshman Cody Poteet earned his first collegiate win in that game.

Entering the final weekend of conference play, the Bruins find themselves tied for second place with Oregon in the standings, just two games behind Pac-12 leaders Oregon State. The Bruins have clinched at least third place in the conference, marking the eighth consecutive season that they have finished in the top of three of the Pac-12, the only Pac-12 team to do so. UCLA will finish the conference season this weekend with a three-game series at Stanford.

The Bruins continued their winning streak in Pac-12 play over the weekend, sweeping all three games at USC. On Friday night, UCLA edged the Trojans, 2-1, in the series opener. Junior Zack Weiss picked up the win in relief for the Bruins, moving to 2-1 on the year after pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Freshman Brett Urabe scored the winning run in the top of the ninth, coming home on an error by USC second baseman Adam Landecker. Then on Saturday, the Bruins won another one-run game, this time defeating the Trojans by a score of 7-6. Junior Pat Valaika led the Bruins at the plate by going 2-5 with a RBI and a run while sophomore Eric Filia matched a career-high with three RBI. In the finale on Sunday, UCLA earned the sweep with a 5-2 win in what was the 400th career victory for head coach John Savage. Sophomore Grant Watson took home the victory, pitching five innings and giving up just two runs while sophomore Kevin Kramer went 3-5 with two runs and two RBI. Sophomore David Berg earned saves in each of UCLA's victories to bring his season total to 16. UCLA has now won 23 of the last 28 meetings against USC, including the last eight, and has won its last nine Pac-12 games.

With his three saves over the weekend, sophomore David Berg broke the UCLA single-season record for most saves in a season, surpassing Scott Griggs' 15 saves in 2012. Berg, a preseason All-American, currently leads the nation with a 0.59 ERA and is just four saves shy of matching the all-time record for saves at UCLA (Gabe Sollecito, 21). Berg has also allowed the fewest walks (7), runs (4) and hits (39) in the conference and is second in the nation in WHIP with a 0.75 mark. He has appeared in 38 games thus far (most in the Pac-12), posting a record of 6-0 with 62 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched. Additionally, Berg has allowed an opponent's batting average of just .183, the lowest opposing average in the Pac-12, and has not allowed a run in his last 34.2 innings of work. He also ranks seventh in the nation with his 16 saves.

Freshman right-hander Cody Poteet will take the mound in the final midweek game of the year for the Bruins. Poteet enters tomorrow's game with a 3-6 record on the year, logging a 5.26 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 26 appearances. He has thrown 63.1 innings for the Bruins thus far and is 3-4 with a 5.14 ERA as a starter. Poteet pitched in three games last week, starting last Tuesday's game against Cal State Fullerton before making two relief appearances in UCLA's three-game series at USC. Overall, he has allowed opponents to hit just .237 against him and has allowed the sixth-fewest hits in the conference (54).

Earlier this week, junior shortstop Pat Valaika was named to the updated Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award watch list. Valaika is one of 14 candidates on the updated watch list this year and one of just two shortstops from the Pac-12 that made the list. He is currently second on the team in batting average with a .271 mark, while leading the Bruins in doubles (13), slugging percentage (.429), home runs (5) and multi-hit games (16). He is also second on the team with 55 total hits and 37 RBI and tied for first with two triples. In the field, Valaika has started every game for the Bruins at shortstop, posting a fielding percentage of .981 and committing just four errors all season, tied for the fewest among all Pac-12 shortstops. In Pac-12 play, Valaika is hitting .287 with a team-high 31 hits and 19 RBI.

UCLA has won 17 of its last 21 midweek games dating back to last season. The Bruins concluded the 2012 regular-season schedule having gone 11-0 in all Tuesday ballgames and are also 15-4 in their last 19 games against Big West opponents. UCLA posted a perfect 9-0 record against Big West Conference foes in 2012. The Bruins are 6-4 in midweek games this season, defeating UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine on the road and Hawai'i and UC Irvine at home.

Since April 16, sophomore Kevin Kramer is batting .349 with 15 runs, 13 RBI, a .458 slugging percentage and a .407 on-base percentage. Kramer has also hit safely in 20 of his last 22 games and is currently on a career-high 12 game hitting streak. Overall, the Turlock, Calif. native leads the team in on-base percentage (.418), batting average (.297), hits (58), RBI (38) and multi-RBI games (11). In addition, he leads the team with 28 walks and 13 hit by pitches (second most in the Pac-12). Kramer is second on the team in runs scored (36), slugging percentage (.415) and home runs (3) as well.

UCLA's outfield pair of Eric Filia and Brian Carroll have led the Bruin offense to a recent surge in production. In his last 18 games, Filia is hitting .333 with 15 runs, five doubles and 11 RBI, all while slugging .409 and posting an on-base percentage of .450. Filia is also currently on a career-high 12-game hitting streak. Carroll has been a catalyst at the top of the lineup all season, stealing 27 bases in 32 attempts, good for second-most in the conference and 22nd-most in the country. Carroll's 27 stolen bases are also tied with Niko Gallego's 27 in 2010 for the most by a UCLA player in a single season since 1999. In addition, Carroll leads the team in runs scored (38) and has posted a high on-base percentage of .376.

Since the start of 2010, UCLA has gone 100-40 in all home contests, good for a .714 winning percentage. The Bruins have also gone 37-20 in conference home games since 2010. UCLA has logged five Pac-12 home sweeps in the last four years (2010 vs. USC; 2011 vs. Washington; 2012 vs. USC; 2013 vs. Washington, Utah, Arizona) and six non-conference home sweeps (2010 vs. Nebraska, Oral Roberts, Cal Poly; 2011 vs. San Francisco; 2012 vs. Sacramento State; 2013 vs. Wright State). The Bruins are 23-9 at Jackie Robinson Stadium this season.

The Bruins are outscoring their opponents 99-65 through the first three innings. UCLA is also 25-4 on the year when they score first and 14-2 when they score in the first inning. In addition, UCLA has a record of 32-4 when they score three or more runs in a ballgame. In one-run games, the Bruins are an outstanding 14-1 on the season, giving them the highest winning percentage in one-run games in the country (min. 10 games). They are also 30-0 when leading after seven innings and 29-0 when holding their opponent to three runs or fewer. Finally, Bruins have held their opponents to two runs or fewer in 24 of their 52 games this year.

UCLA came in at No. 8 in the most recent Baseball America top-25 poll, marking the 32nd consecutive week that the Bruins have been ranked in the top 25. The Bruins last dropped out of the poll on May 22, 2011. UCLA finished the 2012 season ranked No. 5 by Baseball America and reached No. 1 in the poll back on April 12, 2010. In the last three seasons, the Bruins have been ranked in the top 10 by Baseball America a total of 15 times.

UCLA's pitchers have combined to post a team ERA of 2.76, which ranks third in the Pac-12 and is 17th-best nationally. The Bruins also rank fifth in the country with an overall WHIP of 1.11. UCLA's starting pitchers have posted a combined ERA of 2.95 in 52 games, striking out a total of 205 batters, while UCLA's bullpen has combined for a record of 11-3 with a 2.43 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 174 innings pitched. As a team, the Bruins have held opponents to just a .224 batting average against them, second-lowest in the Pac-12, and have allowed the second-fewest walks (142) and second-fewest runs (168) in the conference. In addition to David Berg leading the conference in appearances, junior Zack Weiss ranks third with 35 appearances on the year. Weiss is 2-1 on the year with a 2.67 ERA.

Over the past three seasons, head coach John Savage has become one of eight head coaches in the history of college baseball to have led his team to the College World Series, produced a No. 1 overall MLB Draft selection and coached a Golden Spikes Award winner. Since 2010, Savage has won 171 out of 243 games played, giving him an outstanding winning percentage of .704 winning percentage.

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