Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA Baseball team will play its final home midweek game of the season this Tuesday, taking on the Cal State Fullerton Titans at 6 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday, May 6 - 6:00 p.m.
CSUF – Phil Bickford, RHP, Fr. (3-3, 2.34)
UCLA – Grant Dyer, RHP, Fr. (6-3, 3.50)
UCLA VS. CAL STATE FULLERTON
The Bruins and Titans have met 98 times in their history, with Fullerton leading the all-time series 64-32-2. However, UCLA has won six of the last 10 meetings. The two schools have also met four times in the NCAA postseason in the last seven years. In 2007, the Titans defeated the Bruins in the NCAA Fullerton Super Regional before beating UCLA again in the 2008 NCAA Fullerton Regional. The Bruins exacted revenge in 2010, taking the final two games of the NCAA Los Angeles Super Regional to advance to the College World Series before sweeping the Titans last season at the NCAA Fullerton Super Regional en route to their first NCAA Championship in school history. Last season, Fullerton defeated UCLA in both of the regular season matchups before UCLA won the two matchups in the postseason.
GAME TO BE TELEVISED BY PAC-12 NETWORKS
Tomorrow night’s game against Cal State Fullerton will be nationally televised live by the Pac-12 Networks. JB Long and Aubrey Huff will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium. This season, UCLA will enjoy more national exposure than ever with 19 televised games between the Pac-12 Networks and ESPN. UCLA has made eight appearances already on the Pac-12 Networks and will make 17 total appearances on the Pac-12 Networks this year. The Bruins have already appeared twice on ESPNU this season. In total, eight of the 19 TV appearances will come at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Tomorrow’s game vs. Cal State Fullerton will also feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium. Fans can also follow the game online through a live stats link, which provides pitch-by-pitch updates on uclabruins.com. Links can be found on the front page of uclabruins.com on the events calendar or on the 2014 UCLA Baseball schedule page.
TAKING THE MOUND
Freshman right-hander Grant Dyer will once again take the mound for the Bruins tomorrow night against the Titans. In nine midweek starts this season, he is 5-3 with a 3.42 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Overall, Dyer has posted a 6-3 record with a 3.50 ERA in 21 appearances. His six wins are tied with James Kaprielian for first on the team and rank seventh in the Pac-12. In his last six starts, Dyer is 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched. In high school, Dyer was a three-year varsity letterwinner at Dana Hills High School in Laguna Niguel, Calif., posting a 6-4 record as a senior in 2013. He also logged a 1.24 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched, all while holding opponents to a .208 batting average against him. Additionally, Dyer tossed four complete games and walked only eight batters during his senior season.
UCLA has won 23 of its last 31 midweek games dating back to the 2012 season. The Bruins went 7-4 in midweek games last season, defeating UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine on the road and Hawai’i, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine at home. This season, UCLA is 5-3-1 in midweek games, winning games against Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount twice. In addition, the Bruins are 22-10-1 in their last 33 games against Big West opponents. UCLA posted a perfect 9-0 record against Big West Conference foes in 2012.
PLAYING FROM AHEAD
In the last two seasons, UCLA has done a tremendous job of getting an early lead and then not relinquishing that lead. The Bruins are a combined 44-14-1 when they score first in the last two seasons and since the start of 2013 are 60-2 when leading after the seventh inning. Additionally, UCLA has a record of 27-7 in the last two seasons when scoring in the first inning.
UCLA has finished among the top three in the Pac-12 Conference in each of the last eight seasons (2006-2013), the only Pac-12 team to have done so. Under John Savage, UCLA finished third from 2006 through 2009, before finishing second in 2010 and winning the confernece title in 2011 and 2012. Last 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.
TAKING THE HITS
UCLA has done a remarkable job this season of reaching base via the hit by pitch. Overall, UCLA hitters have been hit 69 times in 45 games thus far, which ranks third in the Pac-12. Sophomore Ty Moore leads the Bruins individually with 13 hit by pitches, which is also good for fourth-most in the conference. Senior Brian Carroll and sophomore Christoph Bono are right behind Moore with 10 hit by pitches apiece. UCLA has had a batter get hit by a pitch in 21 of its last 25 games and has had a total of 43 batters get hit by a pitch in those 25 games. Last season, the Bruins drew 82 hit by pitches, the most in the Pac-12 Conference.
BEHIND THE PLATE
Junior catcher Shane Zeile has continued to hit the ball well during the 2014 season. The Valencia, Calif. native leads the Bruins and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with a .341 batting average. Zeile, who was named to the 2014 Johnny Bench Award Watch List, given out to the nation’s top collegiate catcher, has also logged a team-high 18 multi-hit games while leading UCLA with 60 total hits and a .415 on-base percentage (10th-best in the Pac-12). His 60 hits rank second in the Pac-12 and he has also reached base safely 26 of his last 29 games (including the last six games). Additionally, Zeile is hitting .329 in his last 17 games and is batting a team-leading .322 with nine RBI and 11 runs scored in conference play. Behind the plate, Zeile has thrown out 16 attempted base stealers, the most in the Pac-12 Conference.
SWINGING THE BATS
Several Bruins have been swinging the bat well in Pac-12 play this season. In addition to Shane Zeile hitting a team-high .322, sophomores Trent Chatterton and Ty Moore are hitting .314 and .295 respectively in conference play. Moore has scored a team-leading 16 runs in Pac-12 games, logging seven RBI and a .436 slugging percentage as well, while Chatterton has scored nine runs and driven in seven. Chatterton also leads the Bruins with a .385 on-base percentage in conference games only and is currently on a six-game hitting streak. Additionally, Chatterton is batting .354 in his last 14 games, hitting safely in 12 of them. Senior Kevin Williams has been hitting the ball with power in Pac-12 play, slugging .443 with two home runs and 19 RBI. Overall, Williams leads UCLA in RBI with 23.
UCLA welcomed in Stanford for a three-game set at Jackie Robinson Stadium over the weekend, dropping two of three to the Cardinal. On Friday night, the Bruins earned a 7-2 victory over Stanford in the series opener behind sophomore James Kaprielian’s 10 strikeouts. It was the third time that Kaprielian had struck out 10 or more batters in a game this season and the ninth time in 12 starts that Kaprielian allowed two runs or less. UCLA’s offense scored six runs in the bottom of the first to propel the Bruins to the five-run victory. After getting shut out, 5-0, in the second game of the series on Saturday, UCLA dropped the series finale to Stanford, 5-2, on Sunday. Sophomore Trent Chatterton led UCLA at the plate, going 3-4 with a RBI.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (142) and win percentage (.609), trailing only Arizona State. The Bruins are third in total wins (332) and overall win percentage (.619) among Pac-12 teams. UCLA and Arizona split the 2012 Pac-12 title, and UCLA won the 2011 Pac-10 championship in outright fashion for the first time since 1986. In 2013, UCLA won the first NCAA title in program history.
HEAD COACH JOHN SAVAGE
Head coach John Savage was named the 2013 National Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, the ABCA and Perfect Game USA. By guiding the Bruins to their second straight College World Series last year, Savage became one of just 10 coaches all-time from the Pac-12 to lead their teams to back-to-back College World Series appearances. Additionally, Savage is one of just five coaches in college baseball history to have led his team to one CWS championship, produced a No. 1 MLB Draft pick and coached a Golden Spikes Award winner. Savage helped UCLA post an overall 49-17 record in 2013, marking the second-highest single-season win total in school history, and is UCLA’s all-time winningest postseason manager with 32 postseason victories. UCLA also matched a school record with 21 conference victories in 2013. Finally, Savage has guided the Bruins to the postseason in seven of the last eight seasons and has a winning percentage of .684 since 2010.
UCLA’s pitching staff has picked up right where it left off in 2013 as the Bruins continue to string together great performances on the mound this season. UCLA as a team is holding opponents to a .236 batting average, the fourth-lowest in the conference. The Bruins have also allowed the fewest walks (122, tied with Oregon State) in the Pac-12 and own the third-lowest ERA (3.14) and second-most strikeouts (326). Additionally, UCLA’s bullpen has posted an ERA of 2.72 in 45 games this season while holding opponents to a .224 batting average. Sophomore Jake Ehret leads the Bruins with a 1.08 ERA while junior Max Schuh is right behind him with a 1.57 ERA. Schuh also leads the Pac-12 conference and is sixth in the nation with 29 appearances out of the bullpen. The Bruins have also allowed three runs or less to the opposition in 25 of their 45 games this season and in the last two seasons are 61-5 when holding the opposing team to three runs or fewer.