March 7, 2013
ND/OU/USC at UCLA Game Notes | UCLA Baseball on Facebook
Los Angeles, Calif. -
The 12th-ranked UCLA Baseball team will host three opponents in non-conference games this weekend, taking on No. 22 Notre Dame on Friday at 6 p.m. before facing No. 17 Oklahoma on Saturday at 2 p.m. On Sunday, Notre Dame and Oklahoma will play each other at 10 a.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium before the Bruins square off against rivals USC at 3 p.m.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday, March 8 - 6 p.m.
ND - Sean Fitzgerald, RHP, Jr. (1-0, 3.26)
UCLA - Adam Plutko, RHP, Jr. (2-0, 2.89)
Saturday, March 9 - 2 p.m.
OU - Jonathan Gray, RHP, Jr. (2-1, 2.75)
UCLA - Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, Jr. (2-1, 1.86)
Sunday, March 10 - 3 p.m.
USC - Kyle Twomey, LHP, Fr. (1-1, 5.29)
UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, So. (2-0, 1.37)
IMPORTANT TRAFFIC INFO FOR THIS WEEKEND'S GAMES
The southbound I-405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Blvd. will be closed beginning Friday, March 8, 2013 at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2013. Due to the off-ramp closure, fans looking to come out to Jackie Robinson Stadium in the next two weekends should note that the only available entrance to the ballpark is now on Constitution Ave. off Sepulveda Blvd. Fans traveling on the I-405 should use either the Sunset or Santa Monica off-ramps to make their way to Sepulveda Blvd.
All three of UCLA's home games this weekend will 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 this weekend. Fans can also follow every UCLA home game online through GameTracker, 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 2013 UCLA Baseball schedule page.
Despite the Trojans holding a 253-126 advantage in the all-time series against UCLA, the Bruins have had remarkable success against their crosstown rivals in recent years. Since John Savage became head coach of the Bruins in the summer of 2004, the Bruins have gone 19-9 against USC and have not lost a season series to the Trojans since 2005. UCLA has also won 19 of its last 24 games against the Trojans, including the last four meetings.
Junior-right hander Adam Plutko will once again start for the Bruins on Friday night. Plutko owns a record of 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts this season. He has also struck out 13 batters in 18.2 innings pitched, allowing just four walks. A preseason All-American in 2013, Plutko is 9-0 with a 1.43 ERA and 50 strikeouts in his last 10 starts. Twice he has been named to the All-Pac-12 team and in 2012, captured third-team All-America honors from Baseball America.
ROUNDING OUT THE ROTATION
Junior-right hander Nick Vander Tuig and sophomore left-hander Grant Watson will round out UCLA's rotation this weekend, starting on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Both pitchers are off to a great start in 2013, combining to post a 1.62 ERA in their six starts. Vander Tuig has a record of 2-1 entering this weekend's games, throwing 19.1 innings with a 1.86 ERA and just two walks. Watson has been even better, striking out 14 batters in 19.2 innings and posting a 1.37 ERA. Watson is 2-0 on the young season and UCLA has won all three games that he has started.
BRUINS DEFEAT LONG BEACH STATE, 3-2
UCLA won its 13th consecutive midweek game on Tuesday, edging the Long Beach State Dirtbags, 3-2, at Blair Field. Junior Brenton Allen drew a pinch-hit bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth inning to bring in the winning run. On the mound, freshman Cody Poteet went 5.1 innings in his second collegiate start, giving up four hits and one earned run in a no-decision. Junior Ryan Deeter picked up his first win of the season for the Bruins after pitching a perfect eighth inning out of the bullpen. Sophomore David Berg came on in the bottom of the ninth and secured his third save in as many opportunities, sealing the 3-2 victory. Finally, sophomore Kevin Kramer led the Bruins at the plate, going 2-4 with a run and a RBI.
TAKING THE HITS
UCLA has had a total of 23 batters get hit by a pitch in its last eight games, bringing the season total to a Pac-12 best 32 hit batters through 11 games. Kevin Kramer leads the Bruins with six hit by pitches while Shane Zeile has been hit five times. Brian Carroll and Pat Valaika have each been hit four times. On Feb. 26 at UCSB, the Bruins had five batters hit by a pitch, the most since Nebraska hit five UCLA batters back on March 6, 2011. Overall, the Bruins have had a batter get hit by a pitch in all 11 of their games and their 32 overall hit batters rank second in the country, only behind Campbell's 39. UCLA had a school record 104 batters hit by a pitch back in 2010.
UCLA's starting rotation of Adam Plutko, Nick Vander Tuig, Grant Watson and Cody Poteet has combined to post a 1.99 ERA in their 11 starts thus far. UCLA's starters have allowed just 15 earned runs in 68 innings pitched so far, striking out a combined 39 hitters. As starters, Plutko, Vander Tuig, Watson and Poteet have a record of 7-1 through the first 11 games with three no-decisions. As a team, the Bruins have posted an ERA of 2.45, allowing just a .215 batting average against them and collectively posting a WHIP of 1.06.
OFF TO THE RACES
UCLA has gotten off to a fast start on the basepaths, stealing 18 bases in 25 attempts. Brian Carroll leads the team in stolen bases, swiping 10 bags in 11 attempts, which is also good for second best in the Pac-12. Carroll has also successfully stolen five bases in a row dating back to last weekend against Wright State. Kevin Kramer has stolen four bases in six attempts while Eric Filia is two for three on the basepaths. Last season, UCLA stole 62 bases in 98 attempts, good for a 63.2% success rate.
SHUTTING THE DOOR
Sophomore David Berg and freshman James Kaprielian have combined to go a perfect 5-5 in save opportunities through the first 11 games. Kaprielian earned his first two saves back in February, closing out both of UCLA's victories over Baylor. In three appearances this season, Kaprielian has struck out seven of the 13 batters he's faced and has allowed just one hit. Kaprielian was drafted in the 40th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners after posting a career record of 33-3 with a 0.96 ERA, 250 strikeouts and 23 complete games at Beckman High School in Irvine, Calif. Berg has been dominant in the early going, leading all UCLA relief pitchers with a 1.64 ERA in eight appearances while striking out 15 batters in just 11 innings pitched. Berg led the Pac-12 with a 1.46 ERA and .165 opposing batting average in 2012.
Through the first 11 games, the Bruins have posted an outstanding team on-base percentage of .413, which ranks first among all Pac-12 teams. Infielders Pat Valaika and Kevin Kramer have reached base at least once in all 11 games, posting OBP's of .528 and .407 respectivley. Juniors Pat Gallagher and Brian Carroll each have high OBP's of .525 and .500 respectively, while freshman Trent Chatterton has posted an on-base percentage of .483. Additionally, Kramer and Gallagher rank second and third in the conference respectively in OBP.
In conference games since 2006, UCLA ranks second in wins (111) and win percentage (.610). The Bruins are fourth in total wins (268) and in overall win percentage (.615) 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.