Feb. 20, 2013
UCLA at Baylor Game Notes | UCLA Baseball on Facebook
Los Angeles, Calif. -
The No. 2 ranked UCLA baseball team will will make its first ever trip to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears in a three-game series from Friday, Feb. 22-Sunday Feb. 24 at Baylor Ballpark. Junior right-hander Adam Plutko will take the mound in the series opener while junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig and sophomore left-hander Grant Watson will start on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Fans can follow all three of the games via Gametracker. Links can be found on the front page of uclabruins.com on the events calendar or on the 2013 UCLA Baseball schedule page.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, Feb. 22 - 4:35 p.m. PT
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, Jr. (0-0, 2.70)
BU - Max Garner, RHP, Sr. (0-1, 7.36)
Saturday, Feb. 23 - 1:05 p.m. PT
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, Jr. (1-0, 0.00)
BU - Dillon Newman, RHP, Jr. (0-0, 5.79)
Sunday, Feb. 24 - 11:05 a.m. PT
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, So. (1-0, 0.00)
BU - TBD
UCLA VS. BAYLOR
The Bruins have only played Baylor on the baseball diamond four times, splitting the series 2-2. Last season, UCLA took two out of three from the Bears at Jackie Robinson Stadium, dropping the first contest, 15-3, before winning the next two games, 9-3, and, 8-6, respectively. In 2009, the Bruins dropped a 5-1 decision to the Bears at the 2009 Houston College Classic (Feb. 28, 2009). In that contest, then-freshman Gerrit Cole made his second career start for UCLA, limiting Baylor to one run and two hits while striking out eight batters in six innings at the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park.
BRUINS TAKE OPENING SERIES OVER MINNESOTA
UCLA opened the 2013 season by taking two out of three games from Minnesota. The Bruins dropped Friday's contest by a score of 6-2 in 10 innings. The Golden Gophers scored two runs in the seventh inning and four in the 10th to secure the victory. UCLA bounced back on Saturday though, routing Minnesota, 14-0. Junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig threw six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the year. At the plate, sophomore Eric Filia scored three runs and knocked in three RBI, including his first-career home run in the second inning. A total of six Bruins had a mult-hit day while five Bruins posted two RBI or more in the game. In the rubber match on Sunday, sophomore left-hander Grant Watson shut down the Golden Gophers with six scoreless innings and a career-high eight strikeouts. UCLA's offense exploded for 14 runs again to earn the 14-1 victory over Minnesota. Freshman Trent Chatterton and junior Brian Carroll each had three hits in the game while sophomore Kevin Kramer and junior Pat Gallagher put up three RBI each.
UCLA outscored Minnesota by a 30-7 margin in the opening series and combined to score 28 runs in the final two games. Sophomore Kevin Kramer led the way for the Bruins, going 6-11 with seven RBI in the opening series. Junior Brian Carroll and freshman Trent Chatterton followed that up with 5-11 efforts, combining to knock in 3 RBI. UCLA's 14-0 victory on Saturday was the largest margin of victory since March 30, 2012 when the Bruins beat Utah, 16-0, on the road. The 14 runs were also the most runs that a UCLA team has scored since that same game at Utah back in 2012, when the Bruins put up 16 runs. On Sunday, a total of 10 UCLA players both crossed the plate at least once and recorded at least one hit. Overall, the 30 runs the Bruins scored over the weekend was the most the Bruins have scored in a three-game series since the 2012 team scored 30 at Utah from March 30 to April 1.
ON THE HILL
Taking the mound for the series opener will be junior right-hander Adam Plutko. Plutko struck out six batters and scattered seven hits in 6.2 innings of work in the season opener vs. Minnesota, earning a no-decision in the process. He captured All-American honors as a sophomore in 2012 and earned All-Pac-12 honors for the second consecutive year. Plutko was also named a preseason All-American in 2013 and in three seasons in Westwood, has gone 19-7 with a 2.27 ERA and 197 strikeouts. Plutko finished the 2012 season winning his last seven starts, pitching at least six innings in each of those games and posting an ERA of just 0.89.
STARTING THIS WEEKEND
Junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig and sophomore left-hander Grant Watson are slated to start for UCLA on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Vander Tuig threw six shutout innings against Minnesota last Saturday to earn his first win of the year while Watson struck a career-high eight batters in six scoreless innings to earn the victory in the rubber match on Sunday. Vander Tuig went 10-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 2012, recording 77 strikeouts and 25 walks in 109.2 innings. He also served as UCLA's closer in 2011, logging a 2.90 ERA and nine saves in 14 opportunities. Watson went 9-2 in 35 appearances (15 starts) as a freshman last year, posting a 4.45 ERA and tying the school record for wins by a freshman. Overall, Watson is 9-1 with a 3.46 ERA as a starter.
Since the start 2010, UCLA has gone 57-26 in all road and neutral site contests. In 2012, the Bruins went 21-6 in games played away from home, posting an 11-4 mark in Pac-12 road games. In 2011, UCLA went 14-13 in road/neutral site games, while in 2010 the Bruins recorded a 22-7 record away from home (including 7-3 at neutral site games). UCLA has gone 31-11 in Pac-12 road games since 2010. In addition, the Bruins have logged five Pac-12 road sweeps in the last three years (2010 at Washington, California; 2011 at Oregon; 2012 at Washington, Utah) and one non-conference road sweep (2012 at Georgia).
UCLA's returning pitchers accounted for almost 87% of the total innings thrown in 2012. Right-hander Adam Plutko boasts the most career starts and innings on the staff, starting 34 games and throwing 234.0 innings. Sophomore David Berg has made the most appearances, appearing in 52 career games, 50 of which came in 2012.
John Savage has seen 58 MLB draft selections at UCLA in his previous eight seasons at the helm. Five of Savage's pitchers have been promoted to the majors (Hector Ambriz, Trevor Bauer, Tyson Brummett, David Huff and Josh Roenicke). Of those 58 draft picks, 20 have been selected in the draft's first 10 rounds. Last season, seven Bruins were drafted, with outfielder Jeff Gelalich leading the way as a supplemental first-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds.
UCLA was selected to finish second in the Pac-12's preseason coaches' poll. Stanford was picked to finish first while Oregon State, Oregon and Arizona rounded out the top five in that order. The remaining six teams include (in order) Arizona State, California, USC/Washington State (tie), Washington and Utah.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (111) and win percentage (.610). The Bruins are fourth in total wins (262) and in overall win percentage (.611) 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. The Bruins finished second in 2010 and earned a third-place finish from 2006 through 2009.