Los Angeles, Calif. - The Bruins will head to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to take on No. 2 ranked Oregon State in a three-game series from Friday, May 9 to Sunday, May 11 at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. Game times are 7:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, May 9 - 7:30 p.m.
UCLA – James Kaprielian, RHP, So. (6-4, 2.43)
OSU – Ben Wetzler, LHP, Sr. (8-1, 0.78)
Saturday, May 10 - 7 p.m.
UCLA – Grant Watson, LHP, Jr. (4-7, 3.81)
OSU – Andrew Moore, RHP, So. (4-3, 2.81)
Sunday, May 11 - 3 p.m.
UCLA – Cody Poteet, RHP, So. (3-3, 3.90)
OSU – Jace Fry, LHP, Jr. (9-1, 1.59)
UCLA VS. OREGON STATE
UCLA holds a 34-27 edge over Oregon State in the all-time series, but last season the Beavers took two out of three from the Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium by winning the final two games of the three-game set. UCLA has dropped two of three to Oregon State in each of the last three seasons, last winning the season series against the Beavers in 2010. Head coach John Savage also has a record of 10-16 against Oregon State in his time at UCLA.
ALL THREE GAMES TO BE TELEVISED BY PAC-12 NETWORKS
All three games of the Oregon State series will be nationally televised live by the Pac-12 Networks. JB Long and JT Snow will have the call live from Goss 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 nine 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.
All three of UCLA's games at Oregon State this weekend will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com. John Ramey will have the call live from Goss Stadium Stadium. Fans can also follow all three games 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 6-4 record with a 2.43 ERA (eighth-lowest in the Pac-12) and a conference-leading 82 strikeouts. His 82 strikeouts are also good for 21st-most in the nation. In addition, Kaprielian’s 2.43 ERA is the lowest among all UCLA starting pitchers and his 81.1 innings pitched leads all UCLA pitchers (fifth-most in the Pac-12). Kaprielian has also held opposing hitters to a .203 batting average against him, the fifth-lowest opposing average in the Pac-12, and has allowed two runs or less in nine of his 12 starts this season. In addition, Kaprielian has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his 12 starts (including the last eight) and has logged double-digit strikeouts three times this season.
Junior left-hander Grant Watson will start game two of the series on Saturday night for the Bruins. Watson is 4-7 in 14 appearances (12 starts) this season, striking out 54 batters in 78 innings pitched while posting a 3.81 ERA. His 78 innings pitched ranks seventh in the conference. Watson also leads the Pac-12 with four pick offs this season. In his career, Watson has logged a 21-11 record as a starter and has pitched at least six innings in nine of his 12 starts this season.
CLOSING OUT THE SERIES
Sophomore right-hander Cody Poteet will start for the Bruins on Sunday afternoon in the series 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 3-3 in 14 appearances (12 starts), logging an ERA of 3.90 while striking out 40 batters. He has also surrendered just 11 walks all season, the third-fewest in the conference.
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.
Since the start of 2010, UCLA has gone 90-39-1 in all road and neutral site contests, good for a .696 winning percentage. The Bruins have also gone 46-20 in Pac-12 road games since 2010. In the last three seasons, UCLA has gone 45-17-1 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 9-5-1 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 70 times in 46 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. 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 22 of its last 26 games and has had a total of 44 batters get hit by a pitch in those 26 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 seventh in the Pac-12 with a .335 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 .412 on-base percentage (10th-best in the Pac-12). His 60 hits rank third in the Pac-12 and he has also reached base safely 27 of his last 30 games (including the last seven games). Additionally, Zeile is hitting .310 in his last 18 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, 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 .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 has hit safely in six of his last seven games. Additionally, Chatterton is batting .333 in his last 15 games, logging at least one hit 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 played its final home midweek game of the season on Tuesday night, dropping a close one to Southern California rivals Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Matt Chapman provided the only run of the game for the Titans with a solo home run in the top of the third. Phil Bickford (4-3) picked up the win for the Titans, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings while surrendering four hits and striking out six. Freshman Grant Dyer (6-4) took the loss for the Bruins, allowing one run on seven hits in four innings of work. Dyer struck out two and walked two as well. Sophomore Ty Moore and senior Pat Gallagher led UCLA with two hits apiece while sophomores Christoph Bono and Justin Hazard provided the other hits for the Bruins.
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 127 appearances, breaking the previous mark of 119 set by Bill Wenrick from 1984-87, and has posted a 15-4 record with a 1.26 ERA. 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 40.1 innings in 26 appearances, all while logging a 3-1 record, nine saves and a 1.56 ERA. Berg has also won 11 of his last 12 decisions dating back to 2012 and his nine saves are the fourth-most in the conference. In addition, Berg has been named to the 2014 watch lists for both the National Pitcher of the Year and 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 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 .682 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 .237 batting average, the fourth-lowest in the conference. The Bruins have also allowed the fewest walks (124) in the Pac-12 and own the third-lowest ERA (3.10) and second-most strikeouts (331). Additionally, UCLA’s bullpen has posted an ERA of 2.63 in 46 games this season while holding opponents to a .222 batting average. Sophomore Jake Ehret leads the Bruins with a 0.98 ERA while junior Max Schuh is right behind him with a 1.57 ERA. Schuh, along with freshman Nick Kern, also lead the Pac-12 conference and are sixth in the nation with 29 appearances out of the bullpen. The Bruins have also allowed three runs or less to the opposition in 26 of their 46 games this season and in the last two seasons are 61-6 when holding the opposing team to three runs or fewer.