Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA Baseball team will close out its regular season this weekend with a three-game series at eighth-ranked Washington from Friday, May 23 to Sunday, May 25. Game times are 7 p.m., 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, May 23 - 7 p.m.
UCLA – James Kaprielian, RHP, So. (6-6, 2.48)
WASH – Jared Fisher, RHP, Jr. (6-3, 4.23)
Saturday, May 24 - 7 p.m.
UCLA – Grant Watson, LHP, Jr. (4-9, 3.90)
WASH – Tyler Davis, RHP, Jr. (10-2, 1.71)
Sunday, May 25 - 3 p.m.
UCLA – Cody Poteet, RHP, So. (3-4, 4.00)
WASH – Jeff Brigham, RHP, Jr. (6-3, 3.20)
UCLA VS. WASHINGTON
The Bruins lead the all-time series with Washington, 44-17, and have won 17 consecutive games over the Huskies, with their last loss to Washington coming back on April 26, 2008. UCLA has also won the last seven series against Washington. Additionally, head coach John Savage has a record of 20-7 against the Huskies in his time at UCLA. Last season, the Bruins allowed only two runs to the Huskies in a three-game sweep, winning by scores of 3-2, 5-0 and 3-0. UCLA’s pitchers have also not allowed a run to Washington in their last 32 innings pitched against the Huskies.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY’S GAMES TO BE TELEVISED LIVE
The final two games of the Washington series will be nationally televised live by the Pac-12 Networks. Paul Sunderland and Eric Byrnes will have the call live from Husky Ballpark for both games. This season, UCLA has enjoyed more national exposure than ever with 19 televised games between the Pac-12 Networks and ESPN. After this weekend, UCLA will have made 17 total appearances on the Pac-12 Networks this season. The Bruins have already appeared twice on ESPNU this year as well. In total, eight of the 19 TV appearances came at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
All three games at Washington 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 Husky Ballpark for all three games. 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.
NO. 1 STARTER
Sophomore right-hander James Kaprielian will take the mound for the Bruins on Friday night in the series opener. After earning freshman All-America honors from Perfect Game USA and Collegiate Baseball in 2013, Kaprielian has continued that success into 2014, posting a 6-6 record with a 2.48 ERA (eighth-lowest in the Pac-12) and a conference-leading 97 strikeouts. His 97 strikeouts are also good for 17th-most in the nation. In addition, Kaprielian’s 2.48 ERA is the lowest among all UCLA starting pitchers and his 98 innings pitched leads all UCLA pitchers (fourth-most in the Pac-12). Kaprielian has also held opposing hitters to a .205 batting average against him, the fifth-lowest opposing average in the Pac-12, and has allowed two runs or less in 10 of his 14 starts this season. In addition, Kaprielian has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his 14 starts (including the last 10) and has logged double-digit strikeouts four times this season.
SATURDAY UNDER THE LIGHTS
Junior left-hander Grant Watson will start game two of the series on Saturday night for the Bruins. Watson is 4-9 in 16 appearances (14 starts) this season, striking out 68 batters in 90 innings pitched while posting a 3.90 ERA. His 90 innings pitched and 68 strikeouts both rank ninth in the conference. Watson also leads the Pac-12 with five pickoffs this season. In his career, Watson has logged a 21-13 record as a starter and has pitched at least six innings in 11 of his 14 starts this season. In addition, Watson has posted nine quality starts this year (6 IP, 3 ER or less).
Sophomore right-hander Cody Poteet will start for the Bruins on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale. Poteet served as UCLA’s midweek starter in 2013, posting a 4-6 overall record with a 4.84 ERA. He struck out 56 batters in 2013 and this past summer played with the Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League, being selected as one of the league’s All-Stars. This season, he is 3-4 in 16 appearances (14 starts), logging an ERA of 4.00 while striking out 48 batters. He has also surrendered just 15 walks all season, the fifth-fewest in the conference. Additionally, Poteet has logged quality starts in each of his last five starts and has received seven no-decisions in 14 starts this season.
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 44-17-1 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 27-9 in the last two seasons when scoring in the first inning.
Since the start of 2010, UCLA has gone 90-43-1 in all road and neutral site contests, good for a .675 winning percentage. The Bruins have also gone 46-23 in Pac-12 road games since 2010. In the last three seasons, UCLA has gone 45-21-1 on the road and 10-2 in neutral site games. The Bruins have logged six Pac-12 road sweeps in the last four years (2010 at Washington, California; 2011 at Oregon; 2012 at Washington, Utah; 2013 at USC; 2014 at California) and one non-conference road sweep (2012 at Georgia). The Bruins are currently 9-9-1 on the road this season.
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 73 times in 53 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 fifth-most in the conference. Sophomore Christoph Bono and senior Brian Carroll are right behind Moore with 11 and 10 hit by pitches respectively. UCLA has had a batter get hit by a pitch in 25 of its last 33 games and has had a total of 47 batters get hit by a pitch in those 33 games. Last season, the Bruins drew 82 hit by pitches, the most in the Pac-12 Conference.
ZEILE NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
Last week, junior catcher Shane Zeile was selected as one of 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, handed out to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. Overall, Zeile leads the Bruins and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with a .335 batting average while also leading UCLA with 27 RBI. Zeile, who was also named to the Gregg Olson Award Watch List for “Breakout Player of the Year,” has logged a team-high 21 multi-hit games while leading UCLA and the Pac-12 with 69 total hits. In addition, Zeile has posted a .410 on-base percentage (11th-best in the Pac-12) and he has reached base safely in 33 of his last 37 games. Additionally, Zeile is hitting .330 in his last 23 games, has logged at least one RBI in five of his last six games and is batting a team-leading .324 with 14 RBI and 13 runs scored in conference play. Behind the plate, Zeile has thrown out 17 attempted base stealers, tied for 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 .324, sophomores Trent Chatterton and Ty Moore are hitting .308 and .290 respectively in conference play. Moore has scored a team-leading 19 runs in Pac-12 games, logging 10 RBI and a team-high .450 slugging percentage as well, while Chatterton has scored 12 runs and driven in seven. Chatterton also leads the Bruins with a .394 on-base percentage in conference games only and has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 games overall. Additionally, Chatterton is batting .325 since the start of the Arizona series on April 11 while Moore leads the Bruins overall with 12 doubles on the year. Finally, freshman Luke Persico has also hit the ball well in Pac-12 play, batting at a .287 clip with nine runs scored and seven RBI.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks third in wins (142) and win percentage (.594), trailing only Arizona State and Oregon State. The Bruins are third in total wins (332) and overall win percentage (.610) 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.
Junior closer David Berg has enjoyed as fine a career as any reliever in the history of college baseball. In three seasons, Berg has made a school record 130 appearances, breaking the previous mark of 119 set by Bill Wenrick from 1984-87 and leading all active players in Division I baseball. He has also posted a 15-5 record with a 1.27 ERA in his career. Berg also owns the NCAA single-season record for saves with 24 in 2013 and tied the NCAA record for most appearances in a season with 51 last year. Additionally, he became the first reliever in conference history to win Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year last season and was UCLA’s first recipient of the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, given out to the nation’s top relief pitcher. Berg was named to the All-Pac-12 Team for the second time in his career in 2013, making him just the 25th UCLA player all-time to receive all-conference acclaim at least twice. In addition, he finished second in the country in both WHIP (0.85) and ERA last year. Berg is the only pitcher in UCLA history to lead the conference in ERA in back-to-back seasons and is UCLA’s all-time record holder for most postseason appearances (17), postseason saves (6) and career saves (34). This season, Berg has thrown 46 innings in 29 appearances, all while logging a 3-2 record, nine saves and a team-leading 1.57 ERA. Berg’s nine saves are the fourth-most in the conference. In addition, Berg has been named to the 2014 watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year.
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 record of 49-17 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 .667 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 .244 batting average, the fourth-lowest in the conference. The Bruins also own the third-most strikeouts (387) in the conference and have allowed 150 walks on the season, tied for the fewest in the Pac-12. Additionally, UCLA’s bullpen has posted an ERA of 3.07 in 53 games this season while holding opponents to a .233 batting average. UCLA’s starting pitchers have posted an ERA of 3.54. Junior Max Schuh leads the Pac-12 conference and is fourth in the nation with 35 appearances out of the bullpen while freshman Nick Kern is second in the conference to Schuh with 32. The Bruins have also allowed three runs or less to the opposition in 27 of their 53 games this season and in the last two seasons are 61-7 when holding the opposing team to three runs or fewer.