Friday, 15 May 2015 14:05

No. 2 UCLA Ready For Arizona

Written by  UCLA Official Press Release

Jackie Robinson Stadium#2 UCLA BRUINS vs ARIZONA WILDCATS

Friday, May 15                      7:00pm PT

ARIZ - Cody Hamlin, RHP, Jr. (6-3, 4.53 ERA)

UCLA - James Kaprielian, RHP, Jr. (9-4, 2.15 ERA)

Saturday, May 16                  4:00pm PT

ARIZ - Nathan Bannister, RHP, Jr. (6-4, 4.20 ERA)

UCLA - Grant Watson, LHP, Sr. (7-4, 2.20 ERA)

Sunday, May 17                     1:00pm PT

ARIZ - Bobby Dalbec, RHP, So. (2-6, 3.22 ERA)




No. 2 UCLA (37-12, 19-6) hosts its final Pac-12 home series of the season this weekend against the Arizona Wildcats (28-20, 12-15). The series begins on Friday, May 15, at 7:00pm PT. UCLA holds the all-time series edge over Arizona, 125-116-2, including going 18-9 since 2006. The Bruins had won eight consecutive series over the Wildcats prior to last season.


This weekend’s games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks where JB Long (play-by-play) and Randy Flores (color) will have the call. The games will also feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at Tim Wilhelm will have the call live from Jackie Robinson Stadium. This season, fans can listen to all 56 games live via Bruins TV Audio & Video.


On Friday, May 15, UCLA legend Eric Karros will throw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of a Bruins in the Big Leagues celebration. Then, on Sunday, May 17, the Bruins will honor their six graduating seniors (David Berg, Christoph Bono, Justin Hazard, Chris Keck, Kevin Kramer and Grant Watson) with a pregame ceremony.


Arizona enters the weekend with an overall record of 28-20 and 12-15 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Wildcats are 1-4 in their last five Pac-12 weekend series and are 4-8 in their last 12 games overall. Most recently, Arizona lost two-of-three to Washington in a three-game home series last weekend. The true strength for the Wildcats is their offense which ranks first in the conference in average, slugging and on-base percentage. Overall the team is hitting .305 led by Scott Kingery who is hitting .418 (6th in the nation) with a team-high 51 runs and 36 RBI. Providing the power in the lineup is Bobby Dalbec who’s hitting .333 with team-highs in home runs (14) and RBI (48). On the mound, the Wildcats have a 4.11 ERA as a staff, led by Rio Gomez who has a 1.32 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 13.1 innings. Dalbec, also a pitcher, has the lowest ERA of the starters, posting a 3.22 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 50.1 innings.


No. 2 UCLA went to extra innings for the second time in three games and claimed a road victory over the Cal State Fullerton Titans, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Goodwin Field. Chris Keck delivered the game-winning single in the top of the tenth inning to seal the Bruins’ ninth midweek victory in 10 games this season. Grant Dyer earned his fourth win, pitching two shutout innings, and David Berg earned his 11th save.


Head Coach John Savage has molded his pitching staff into one of the best in the nation yet again this season. The staff has a combined 2.16 ERA which is 1st in the Pac-12 and 2nd in the nation among all Division I Collegiate teams. Among Pac-12 staffs, UCLA ranks 1st in strikeouts (431), 1st in least sacrifice-bunts allowed (24), 2nd in opposing batting average (.222) and 2nd in least hits allowed (364). They’ve proven to be even better in conference play, recording a 1.92 staff ERA through 24 games.


The UCLA offense has been equally as impressive as the pitching staff so far in 2015. The team has a combined .289 average, with a Pac-12 leading 112 doubles. The Bruins rank 2nd in on base percentage (.377), 2nd in slugging percentage (.422),  2nd in RBI (270), 3rd in runs (305), 4th in hits (490) and 4th in batting average (.289) among Pac-12 teams. In conference play, the Bruins have a .286 average and have five batters hitting over .300 (Chatterton, Keck, Persico, Moore and Peterson).


UCLA junior left fielder Ty Moore has been named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week for May 4-10.Moore led the Bruins to a 3-1 record last week, including the team’s 12th consecutive series win, making three starts in left field and one at designated hitter. The Mission Viejo, Calif. native helped UCLA take two-of-three at Arizona State to maintain sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 Conference. In total, Moore hit .389; going 7-for-18 with one home run, one double, three runs and six runs batted in. Moore led the team in slugging percentage (.611) and struck out just one time. Pushing his total to 22 multi-hit games this season, Moore recorded three such games last week. His performance pushes his season average to a team-high .360 (fourth in the Pac-12), with four home runs and a team-high 46 runs batted in (second in the Pac-12).


Senior All-American closer David Berg has proven his dominance across his four-year career, and this season is no different. Berg has already broken the NCAA records for career appearances and career relief appearances and finds himelf on the verge of breaking the career saves (six from tying) record as well. For the season, Berg owns a 0.84 ERA (1st in the Pac-12, 3rd in the nation) with 11 saves (3rd in the Pac-12). The Covina native has allowed just one earned run in his last 20 appearances (30.2 IP). In Pac-12 Conference play, Berg has made 17 appearances, allowing one runs while striking out 26 batters in 31.2 innings pitched. Over that span, Berg has racked up seven saves and three wins. 


Grant Watson became UCLA Baseball’s winningest left-handed pitcher in school history on March 28, earning his 26th career win in a victory over Washington State. The Bakersfield, Calif. native passed Jim Parque (25) on the all-time list among left-handers. Watson has since recorded his 27th, 28th and 29th wins to move into a tie for second place in career wins among all UCLA pithcers. The Bruins’ all-time leader in career wins is Trevor Bauer, who amassed 34 wins in three seasons in Westwood. Watson is even with Adam Plutko (29) in the second place position. Watson holds a career record of  29-18 with a 3.41 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 83 appearances (60 starts). His mark of 60 starts is the all-time career record in UCLA history.


Junior ‘ace’ right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian has been dominant for the Bruins. One season after leading the Pac-12 with 108 strikeouts, the Tustin, Calif. native is again leading the conference with 94 strikeouts through 13 starts. Of his 94 strikeouts, 36 have been caught looking (1st in the Pac-12), accounting for 38%. His strikeout total ranks him T-22nd among all Division I Collegiate players. The right-hander has struck out eight or more batters six times, including two double-digit strikeout performances. Kaprielian has also registered nine wins, which leads the Pac-12.


Chris Keck, Kevin Kramer, Ty Moore and Luke Persico have started all 49 games for the Bruins this season. Dating back to last season, Moore has started all 105 games in the past two seasons, Persico has started 103 games and Keck has started 83. (Kramer missed last season due to injury).


Ty Moore is having a career-best year at the plate for UCLA in 2015. The Bruin left fielder currently leads the team in batting average (.353), runs batted in (46) and on-base percentage (.428). The Mission Viejo, Calif. native is currently hitting 59 points higher than his season average from a year ago and ranks inside the top-5 in four key hitting statistics among Pac-12 batters (T-2nd in RBI, 4th in AVG, 5th in H and 5th in OB%). Moore has been especially hot as of late, slashing .395/.458/.535 with 9 RBI, including a home run and three doubles over his last ten games.


UCLA shortstop Kevin Kramer is beginning to heat up for the Bruins. He has reached base in nine-straight games and recorded a hit in seven-straight, including five multi-hit games over that span. Getting the offense going from the top of the order, he has hit .333 over those nine games with five runs and two RBI.


Griffin Canning and David Berg have been exceptional limiting walks while piling up strikeouts this season. Canning currently ranks 3rd in the country (11.00/1) and Berg ranks 4th (10.20/1) in strikeout to walk ratio.


Getting the UCLA offense started early has been a key to the team’s success so far this season. Through 49 games, the Bruins have scored in the first inning 18 times, posting an 17-1 record in those games. Furthermore, when UCLA scores the game’s first run, the team is 26-3. The Bruins have been excellent maintaining late leads as well, thanks to a reliable back-end of the bullpen (Tucker Forbes, Grant Dyer and David Berg), posting a perfect 27-0 record when leading after six innings, 28-0 after seven and 31-0 after eight. From the sixth inning on, the Bruins have out-scored opponents, 159-62.


The Bruins highest ranking in the current polls is from the Basball America poll which has UCLA ranked No. 2. The Bruins rankings in the other polls are as follows: No. 3 in the poll, No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll, No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 4 in the NCBWA poll and No. 5 in the Perfect Game USA poll. Additionally, the Bruins have the No. 2 RPI ranking and No. 4 strength of schedule (as ranked by


Through 10 seasons as UCLA’s head coach, John Savage has established the Bruins as a consistent national championship contender. Savage helped UCLA reach college baseball’s pinnacle in 2013, as the Bruins won their first-ever NCAA baseball title. Under his guidance, UCLA has advanced to the postseason in seven of the last nine seasons, hosting four consecutive NCAA Regionals from 2010 through 2013. Savage has begun his 11th season as UCLA’s head coach in 2015. He is currently the third longest-tenured head coach in UCLA baseball program history. UCLA has gone 349-254-1 under Savage the past 10 seasons. In seven trips to the postseason at UCLA, Savage has compiled a 32-14 record (.696 winning percentage), recording the most postseason victories of any head coach in program history. With Savage at the program’s helm, UCLA advanced to the College World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2013, and reached the best-of-three championship series in 2010 and 2013. UCLA defeated Mississippi State, two games to none, at the 2013 College World Series. In 2010, the Bruins advanced to the championship series for the first time in school history, falling two games to none to South Carolina. Savage’s strong work with UCLA’s program has been equally evident in player development and the MLB Draft. Over his 10 seasons in Westwood, UCLA has produced 69 draft selections. In addition, he has coached 10 players at UCLA that have competed in the major leagues. Savage is one of just five head coaches in college baseball history to have guided his team to a College World Series title, produced the first overall pick in the MLB Draft, and coached at least one Golden Spikes Award winner.


Senior closer David Berg has enjoyed as fine a career as any reliever in the history of college baseball. In three -plus seasons, Berg has made an NCAA record 167 appearances, breaking the previous mark of 161 set by David Teasley of Mercer University. He has also posted a 20-6 record with a 1.17 ERA in his career. Berg owns the NCAA single-season record for saves with 24, set in 2013 and tied the NCAA record for most appearances in a season with 51, also set in 2013. Additionally, he became the first reliever in conference history to win Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in 2013 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 third time in his career in 2014, making him just the fifth UCLA player all-time to receive all-conference acclaim in three straight years. 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 (47). In 2014, Berg threw 48 innings in 31 appearances, all while logging a 3-2 record, 11 saves and a team-leading 1.50 ERA. Berg’s 11 saves were the fourth-most in the conference and he concluded the season by being selected in the 17th round of the MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.


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