Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA Baseball team will make a trip up the 101 freeway this Tuesday, traveling to Santa Barbara to square off against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at 3 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Tuesday, April 29 - 3:00 p.m.
UCLA – Grant Dyer, RHP, Fr. (6-3, 3.23)
UCSB – TBA
UCLA VS. UC SANTA BARBARA
The Bruins and Gauchos have met 89 times on the baseball diamond, with UCLA winning 53 of those contests. Additionally, head coach John Savage has an all-time record of 13-10 against the Gauchos. The Bruins swept the season series with the Gauchos last year, winning both games by scores of 12-3 and 2-1 respectively. Sophomore Cody Poteet picked up the win for the Bruins in both of their victories over UC Santa Barbara last year. The two schools met earlier this season at Jackie Robinson Stadium where the Gauchos defeated the Bruins, 6-4. Junior Shane Zeile went 3-4 with a RBI to lead UCLA in that ballgame while freshman Luke Persico went 2-3 with a run scored. Overall, UCLA has won five of the last seven meetings with UC Santa Barbara and has won the last two meetings at Santa Barbara.
Tomorrow’s game at UC Santa Barbara will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. John Ramey will have the call live from Caesar Uyesaka 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.
Freshman right-hander Grant Dyer will once again take the mound for the Bruins tomorrow afternoon at UCSB. In eight midweek starts this season, he is 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 23 strikeouts. Overall, Dyer has posted a 6-3 record with a 3.23 ERA in 19 appearances. His six wins rank first on the team and fifth in the Pac-12. In his last five starts, Dyer is 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 29.2 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 30 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 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 in their last 32 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 when they score first in the last two seasons and since the start of 2013 are 59-2 when leading after the seventh inning. Additionally, UCLA has a record of 26-7 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.
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 will appear on ESPNU one more time after having their game at Arizona on April 12 televised live by the network. In total, eight of the 19 TV appearances will come at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Since the start of 2010, UCLA has gone 90-39 in all road and neutral site contests, good for a .698 winning percentage. The Bruins have also gone 46-20 in Pac-12 road games since 2010. In the last three seasons, UCLA has gone 45-17 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 9-5 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 66 times in 41 games thus far, which is second to Oregon for the most in the Pac-12. Sophomore Ty Moore leads the Bruins individually with 12 hit by pitches, which is also good for third-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 18 of its last 21 games and has had a total of 40 batters get hit by a pitch in those 21 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 .346 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 17 multi-hit games while leading UCLA with 55 total hits and a .423 on-base percentage (eighth-best in the Pac-12). His 55 hits rank fourth in the Pac-12 and he has also reached base safely 22 of his last 25 games. Additionally, Zeile is hitting .339 in his last 14 games and is batting a team-leading .316 with nine RBI and 10 runs scored in conference play. Finally, he has recorded at least two hits or more in six of his last 11 games. Behind the plate, Zeile has thrown out 15 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 .316, freshman Luke Persico and sophomore Ty Moore are both hitting .309 in conference play. Moore has scored a team-leading 14 runs in Pac-12 games, logging seven RBI and a .441 slugging percentage as well, while Persico has scored eight runs and drove in five. Moore also leads the Bruins with a .377 on-base percentage in conference games only. Senior Kevin Williams has been hitting the ball with power in Pac-12 play, slugging a team-best .485 with two home runs and 17 RBI. Overall, Williams is tied with sophomore Christoph Bono for the team lead in RBI with 21 while Moore is tied with Bono with 10 doubles.
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 .688 since 2010.