May 30, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA has advanced to NCAA postseason play for the seventh time in the last eight years and will host the NCAA Los Angeles Regional for the fourth consecutive season, opening postseason play against San Diego State on Friday evening at 6 p.m.
The Bruins finished the regular season with a third place in the Pac-12 to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 2013 squad also matched the UCLA record for most conference wins in a season (21, 1986). UCLA is one of just three schools to have earned an NCAA Regional host selection for the fourth consecutive season, along with South Carolina from the SEC and Virginia from the ACC.
NCAA LOS ANGELES REGIONAL SCHEDULE
at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium
Saturday, June 1
Game 3 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (2 p.m.)
Game 4 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (6 p.m.)
Sunday, June 2
Game 5 - Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (2 p.m.)
Game 6 - Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (6 p.m.)
Monday, June 3
Game 7 - Rematch of Game 6 (if necessary, at 6 p.m.)
No. 1 seed - UCLA (39-17, 21-9 in Pac-12 Conference)
No. 2 seed - Cal Poly (39-17, 17-10 in Big West Conference)
No. 3 seed - San Diego (35-23, 15-9 in West Coast Conference)
No. 4 seed - San Diego State (31-29, 15-15 in Mountain West Conference)
SDSU - Ryan Doran, RHP, Sr. (8-3, 2.63)
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, Jr. (7-3, 2.60)
LIVE AUDIO AVAILABLE (audio here)
UCLA will provide live audio of each of UCLA's games in the Regional online at uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call from Jackie Robinson Stadium. Similar to the Bruins' regular-season games, fans will be able to listen to an in-stadium broadcast of UCLA's contests by bringing a portable radio and tuning the dial to 87.7 FM. In addition, live stats of all NCAA Regional games will be available through CBS College Sports (through the Los Angeles Regional Central website here.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
UCLA has an all-time record of 47-30-2 against San Diego State. The two schools last faced each other on April 19, 2011 at Jackie Robinson Stadium, a game the Bruins won 14-6. Current junior Zack Weiss earned the victory in that game while fellow junior Kevin Williams went 4-5 with two runs and a RBI. UCLA has gone 15-7 in the all-time series against San Diego. The two schools last faced each other on Tuesday, May 6, 2008, with the Toreros earning a 5-3 win at UCLA. San Diego appeared at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional in 2012, but did not play the Bruins. Finally, the Bruins lead the all-time series with Cal Poly, 19-4. The two schools last met back in 2011 as well, splitting a doubleheader on March 21 at Cal Poly. Head coach John Savage has an all-time record of 10-10 vs. San Diego State (7-6 at UCLA), 4-6 vs. San Diego (1-1 at UCLA) and 14-6 vs. Cal Poly (7-4 at UCLA).
PAC-12 PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Sophomore reliever David Berg continued to pick up more accolades in his terrific sophomore season, as he was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year by the conference office on Wednesday. Berg is the third UCLA pitcher all-time to win the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year award (Trevor Bauer, 2011; Pete Janicki, 1992), and the second UCLA pitcher to earn the honor in the last three years. The Covina, Calif. native has posted a record of 6-0 with 18 saves in 2013, while leading the nation in ERA with a 0.70 mark. Berg's 18 saves are also a new UCLA single-season record and rank third in all of Division I baseball. In addition, he is second in the country in WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) with a mark of 0.78.
In addition to his Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year honors, Berg was named to the All-Pac-12 Team. This is the second time in his career that he has earned All-Pac-12 accolades, making him just the 25th UCLA player all-time to receive all-conference acclaims at least twice. Berg has allowed the lowest opposing batting average (.190) and fewest runs (5), walks (7) and hits (43) in the Pac-12, all while appearing in the most games in the conference (41) as well. At one point this season, he did not allow a run in 37 consecutive innings, which was the longest consecutive scoreless innings streak in the nation this season. Finally, Berg is also a semifinalist for the NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award and earlier this season was selected to the National Pitcher of the Year watch list.
PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Junior shortstop Pat Valaika became the first UCLA player to win Defensive Player of the Year honors from the conference on Wednesday. The Valencia, Calif. native has started every single game at shortstop for the Bruins this year, committing only five errors in 174 chances all season. His five errors are also tied for the fewest by any shortstop in the Pac-12. At the plate, Valaika is third on the team with a .262 average while leading UCLA in doubles (13), triples (3), home runs (5), RBI (39), slugging percentage (.421) and multi-hit games (17). He is also one of 14 candidates up for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. In conference play, Valaika led the Bruins with 20 RB and a .410 slugging percentage.
In addition to Berg and Valaika being named Pac-12 Pitcher and Defensive Player of the Year, the Bruins landed a total of four players on the All-Conference team. Berg and Valaika each were named to the squad, joining junior pitchers Adam Plutko and Nick Vander Tuig. Plutko received All-Conference honors for the third year in a row, joining Garrett Atkins (1998-2000),(Trevor Bauer (2009-11) and Dennis Delany (1976-78) as the only UCLA players to earn All-Conference acclaim three times. Vander Tuig received All-Pac-12 honors for the first time in his career after posting a 10-4 record with a 2.30 ERA during the regular season. Junior outfielder Brian Carroll and sophomore infielder Kevin Kramer received honorable mention acclaims as well.
FRIDAY NIGHT STARTER
Adam Plutko (7-3, 2.60) will take the mound in UCLA's Regional-opening contest against San Diego State on Friday at 6 p.m. Serving as UCLA's Friday starter all season, Plutko has 71 strikeouts in 97 innings pitched and has allowed just a .207 batting average against him, the fourth-lowest opposing average in the Pac-12. In his three-year career, Plutko is tied with Bill Brasher (1964-66) for third on UCLA's all-time career wins list with 26 victories and is currently tied with Josh Karp (1999-2001) for eighth on the Bruins' all-time strikeout list, logging 262 strikeouts. In his last eight starts, Plutko is 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA while in four career postseason starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.88 ERA.
Since April 16, sophomore Kevin Kramer is batting .327 with 17 runs, 13 RBI, a .429 slugging percentage and a .383 on-base percentage. Kramer has also hit safely in 21 of his last 24 games. Overall, the Turlock, Calif. native leads the team in on-base percentage (.407), batting average (.290), hits (61) and multi-RBI games (11). In addition, he leads the team with 14 hit by pitches (tied for second most in the Pac-12). Kramer is second on the team in runs scored (38), RBI (38) slugging percentage (.405) and home runs (3) as well.
The Bruins are outscoring their opponents 107-70 through the first three innings. UCLA is also 26-6 on the year when they score first and 15-2 when they score in the first inning. In addition, UCLA has a record of 33-5 when they score three or more runs in a ballgame. In one-run games, the Bruins are an outstanding 15-2 on the season. They are also 32-0 when leading after seven innings and 30-1 when holding their opponent to three runs or fewer. The Bruins have held their opponents to two runs or fewer in 26 of their 56 games this year. Finally, since 2010, head coach John Savage has won 173 out of 247 games played, giving him an outstanding winning percentage of .700.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Since the start of 2010, UCLA has gone 101-40 in all home contests, good for a .716 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 24-9 at Jackie Robinson Stadium this season.
UCLA's pitchers have combined to post a team ERA of 2.79, which ranks second in the Pac-12 and is 16th-best nationally. The Bruins also rank fourth in the country with an overall WHIP of 1.10. UCLA's starting pitchers have posted a combined ERA of 3.04 in 56 games, striking out a total of 217 batters, while UCLA's bullpen has combined for a record of 11-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 184.2 innings pitched. As a team, the Bruins have held opponents to just a .225 batting average against them, second-lowest in the Pac-12, and have allowed the second-fewest walks (144) and second-fewest runs (182) in the conference. In addition to David Berg leading the conference in appearances, junior Zack Weiss ranks second with 38 appearances on the year. Weiss is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA this season.
GOLD GLOVE DEFENSE
UCLA has been outstanding in the field this season, posting a team fielding percentage of .980, which is ranked eighth in the country and second in the Pac-12. The Bruins have committed only 45 errors thus far, tied for the fewest in the conference with Oregon. In 2012, UCLA's defense recorded a .976 fielding percentage, matching the second-highest mark in school history.
TOP THREE FINISHES
UCLA has finished among the top three in the Pac-12 Conference each of the last eight seasons (2006-2013). The Bruins are the only Pac-12 team to have finished in the top three each of the last eight years. Under John Savage, UCLA finished third from 2006 through 2009, before finishing second in 2010 and winning the confernece title in 2011 and 2012. This season, UCLA finished third with a 21-9 Pac-12 record. Never before in school history has UCLA enjoyed an eight-year span with as many top finishes in the standings.
ACE NUMBER TWO
Junior-right hander Nick Vander Tuig has enjoyed an outstanding season on the mound for the Bruins, serving as the team's Saturday starter all year. The right-hander from Oakdale, Calif. is 10-4 on the season with a 2.30 ERA. He leads the Bruins in strikeouts (74) and has allowed just 14 walks all season, fifth-fewest in the Pac-12. Vander Tuig's 10 wins are also tied for fourth-most in the conference. In Pac-12 play, Vander Tuig went 7-2 in 10 conference starts, logging a 2.35 ERA and two complete games. Additionally, he has thrown at least six innings in 13 of his 15 starts and is currently tied for sixth on UCLA's all-time career wins list with 23 career victories. Vander Tuig has appeared in six career postseason games, starting three of them and logging a 2-2 record with a 2.70 ERA. In the 2012 postseason, he went 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA, 24 strikeouts and three walks in 20.1 innings.
UCLA's outfield pair of Eric Filia and Brian Carroll have led the Bruin offense to a recent surge in production. In his last 22 games, Filia is hitting .291 with 15 runs, five doubles and 11 RBI, all while posting an on-base percentage of .417. Filia has also hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and has reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 games. Carroll has been a catalyst at the top of the lineup all season, stealing 29 bases in 36 attempts, good for second-most in the conference and 18th-most in the country. Carroll's 29 stolen bases are the most by a UCLA player in a single season since Eric Byrnes had 30 in 1998. In addition, Carroll leads the team in runs scored (40) and has posted a high on-base percentage of .375.
Sophomore left-hander Grant Watson has continued the success he enjoyed as a freshman, posting another solid season as UCLA's Sunday starter. Watson, who owns a career record of 15-4 as a starter, is 7-3 on the season with a 3.50 ERA. He has surrendered just 14 walks, good for fifth-fewest in the conference, and has struck out 47 batters in 79.2 innings pitched. In his last outing at Stanford, Watson earned the win, allowing three runs in five innings of work (none past the first inning) while walking none and striking out a batter. In 2012, he set a UCLA record for wins by a freshman with nine and was rewarded with freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.
UCLA is making its 19th appearance in the NCAA Regionals this season. UCLA head coach John Savage has led the Bruins to NCAA Regionals in seven of his nine seasons at the helm. The Bruins have previously hosted NCAA postseason games in five seasons - 1969, 1986, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Over the past three years, the Bruins have gone 12-3 in 15 postseason contests at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Senior Cody Regis is just one game shy of setting the all-time UCLA record for most career playoff games played. Regis is currently tied with former UCLA outfielder Beau Amaral with 24 career games played. He is also tied with Jeff Gelalich for most career playoff home runs (5) and Troy Glaus for most career playoff walks (13). In addition, Regis is second in all-time career playoff hits (25), at-bats (89), RBI (19) and runs scored (15). Overall, Regis is currently ninth on UCLA's all-time career walks list with 122, making him one walk shy of Troy Glaus for eighth. Sophomore Kevin Kramer leads the current UCLA team in postseason hitting with a .385 batting average, giving him the eighth-highest batting average in UCLA postseason history. On the pitching side, sophomore David Berg is UCLA's all-time career playoff leader in ERA, not allowing a run in 13.2 career playoff innings, and tied for first with Dan Klein for most playoff appearances (7). Junior Adam Plutko is second to Berg with a career playoff ERA of 0.88 and is third in playoff innings pitched (30.2) and fifth in strikeouts (27). Plutko is also tied with(Trevor Bauer most career playoff wins (4). Finally, junior Nick Vander Tuig is tied for third in postseason appearances with six and also ranks seventh on UCLA's all-time career postseason ERA list, logging a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched.
PLUTKO'S ONE HITTER
Facing a situation in which UCLA had to defeat San Francisco and UC Irvine in the same day to stay alive, then-freshman Adam Plutko was masterful in UCLA's 4-1 win in 2011 against the USF Dons. Plutko allowed one hit in 7.2 shutout innings. He issued one walk in the second inning and did not allow a hit until Travis Higgs opened the fifth with a double. Nick Vander Tuig pitched the final inning and one-third to earn the save. Plutko finished his first and only postseason start with six strikeouts and two walks.
Head coach John Savage has posted a 22-14 overall record for the Bruins in six trips to the postseason. The Bruins' eighth-year head coach has gone 14-6 at NCAA Regionals, including perfect 3-0 records at the 2007 Long Beach Regional and at the 2010 and 2012 Los Angeles Regionals. His ballclubs have gone 4-3 in three trips to NCAA Super Regionals. The Bruins posted a 3-3 record at the 2010 College World Series, advancing to the championship series for the first time in school history. Savage served as the pitching coach at USC from 1997-2000. He helped lead the Trojans to the 1998 national title and another apperance at the CWS in 2000.