Thursday, 22 February 2018 01:47

No. 12 Bruins Set for Home Series with Baylor

Written by  Official UCLA Press Release

UCLA will take on Baylor in a three-game series starting on Friday at 6 p.m. PT.


Game Notes


UCLA Baseball 350LOS ANGELES- The 12th-ranked UCLA baseball team will conclude its seven-game homestand to begin the 2018 season this weekend when it hosts Baylor for a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. PT. Each game of the three-game set can be heard live with Tim Wilhelm on the call.


Probable Starters

Friday, Feb. 23 - 6 p.m. PT

UCLA - Jake Bird, RHP, Sr. (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Baylor - Cody Bradford, LHP, So. (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Saturday, Feb. 24 - 2 p.m. PT

UCLA - Jon Olsen, RHP, Jr. (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Baylor - Kyle Hill, RHP, Jr. (0-0, 1.80 ERA)

Sunday, Feb. 25 - 1 p.m. PT

UCLA - Zach Pettway, RHP, Fr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA)

Baylor - Hayden Kettler, RHP, So. (1-0, 0.00 ERA)


Week in Review

UCLA earned a series sweep of Portland to start off its 2018 campaign last weekend at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

-       Game one saw Jake Bird toss six strong innings allowing one unearned run with six strikeouts while Kyle Cuellar drove in three runs in a 7-2 Opening Day win.


-       In game two, Jon Olsen threw seven scoreless innings and struck out seven batters and Chase Strumpf went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in a 13-0 victory.


-       UCLA won the series finale 15-3 as Michael Toglia collected four hits including two doubles and a home run and Strumpf tallied five RBIs with two doubles.


-       The Bruins played their first-midweek game on Tuesday and earned a walk-off win against Pepperdine, 2-1. Chase Strumpf drove in the game-winning with a double to left field, while Ryan Garcia tossed 5.2 scoreless innings in his first career start.


Power Numbers

The UCLA offense put on a display in its opening weekend totaling 35 runs, 31 RBIs and 16 extra-base hits including four home runs. As a team, the Bruins hit .364 for the weekend and slugged just over .600 with a .500 on-base percentage. The 35 runs were the most by UCLA on an opening weekend since plating 43 runs against Hofstra in 2015.


Strumpf Named to Collegiate Baseball's National Players of the Week

Sophomore Chase Strumpf was named to Collegiate Baseball's National Players of the Week after his opening weekend performance. Strumpf went 7-for-10 with 10 RBIs and five runs scored. He accounted for 15 of UCLA's 35 runs over the weekend as he posted a 1.400 slugging percentage with four doubles and a home run. The second basemen ranks tops in the NCAA in doubles, second in RBIs and sixth in batting average.


Amaral Running Away with It

Through four games this season, Daniel Amaral already ranks tops in the Pac-12 conference and sixth in the NCAA with four stolen bases and is also 12th in the country in stolen bases per game at 1.00. His effort on the base paths have been rewarded as the junior outfielder ranks ninth in the country with seven runs scored.


NCAA Rankings

Four games into the college baseball season, the Bruins are ranked top-25 nationally in a number of categories:

-       Doubles (1st, 15), Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings (1st, 0.75), Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio (1st, 12.00), On-Base Percentage (5th, .471), WHIP (9th, 0.81), Fielding Percentage (9th, .994), ERA (10th, 1.25), Slugging Percentage (13th, .541), Batting Average (13th, .338), Runs (14th, 37), Scoring (18th, 9.3).


Pac-12 Leaders

UCLA is ranked in the top-3 in the conference both individually and as a team in a number of categories:

-       As a team, UCLA is tops in the Pac-12 in on-base percentage, doubles, walks and walks allowed. The Bruins are top-3 in batting average, slugging percentage runs, hits, RBIs, ERA, opposing batting average, runs allowed, and fielding percentage.

-       Individually, Chase Strumpf leads the Pac-12 in RBIs and doubles while also top-5 in batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage. Daniel Amaral is tied for the lead in runs scored in the conference. Jon Olsen is also top-3 in the conference in innings pitched and strikeouts.


In The Polls

After a perfect 3-0 weekend, UCLA has either moved up the national rankings or have maintained its position. Baseball America has moved the Bruins up one spot to No. 12 in the country, while Collegiate Baseball pushed UCLA up three spots to No. 11 in the country. D1Baseball has the Bruins holding at No. 11 in the nation.


Olsen Named Preseason All-American

Junior right-handed pitcher Jon Olsen was named to the Preseason All-American third team by both Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Olsen was an All-Pac-12 selection last season after posting a 7-1 record with a 2.86 ERA. He totaled 80 strikeouts in 85.0 innings of work and held opponents to a .201 batting average. During conference play, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native finished with a perfect 6-0 record and a team-best 2.08 ERA.


Representing the Red, White, and Blue

Over the summer in 2017, head coach John Savage was the manager of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and right-handed pitcher Jon Olsen became the first Bruin to play for Team USA since James Kaprielian in 2014. Savage led the U.S. to a 15-5 record over the summer, including holding an 11-4 mark during international play. The United States won all three international series it competed in, including going 4-0 against Chinese Taipei and 3-2 versus both Cuba and Japan. Olsen finished the summer with a 1-0 record and a 2.67 ERA in six appearances for the red, white and blue. He also registered 15 strikeouts compared to just two walks.


Preseason Rankings

The Bruins were tabbed to finish third in the Preseason Pac-12 coaches poll. UCLA received 84 votes, behind favorite Oregon State and second place Stanford. Arizona came in fourth with 68 points, followed by California with 56 and Oregon with 51.


Baby Bruins

The Bruins welcome eight new players to Westwood for the 2018 season. The recruiting class was ranked No. 16 by Baseball America, marking the fourth consecutive year that UCLA has been tabbed in the top 25. The class was also tabbed No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball. It marks the 11th time in 13 years the Bruins have earned a top-20 ranking from Collegiate Baseball.

-       Garrett Mitchell, Sam Glick, and Chase Farrell were selected in the 2017 MLB draft in June.

-       Holden Powell was named to the All-West Coast League second team selection, while Zach Pettway was named an honorable mention over the summer.

-       Mitchell was named the Preseason Freshman of the Year in the Pac-12 by Baseball America.


Scouting the Bears

Baylor finished opening weekend with a 2-1 record against Houston Baptist and had its Tuesday game against Dallas Baptist canceled due to weather. The Bears are led offensively by Davis Wendzel who went 6-for-9 with two doubles and a home run over the weekend, while T.J. Raguse has a team-high four RBIs including the lone run in the 1-0 win on opening day. On the mound, Cody Bradford is 1-0 after tossing 8.0 shutout innings allowing one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts on opening day. Troy Montgomery has two saves already in the season and has allowed just one hit in 2.0 innings of work.


Last Time Against Baylor

UCLA and Baylor last faced each other in a three-game series in Waco, Tex. in 2013 with the Bruins taking two out of three games to win the series. In the series opener, UCLA won 4-3 behind six strong innings by Adam Plutko allowing just one run and Brian Carroll going 3-for-4 with an RBI. The Bruins fell in game two 5-0 but won the rubber match 5-4 with Carroll scoring the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the ninth inning and James Kaprielian earning the save by striking out the side to secure the win.


Positional Rankings

D1Baseball has ranked the top players in the country by position and a number of Bruins have made the positional rankings:

-       Michael Toglia - 1B - No. 9

-       Chase Strumpf - 2B - No. 13

-       Ryan Kreidler - SS - No. 23

-       Jon Olsen - SP - No. 33

-       Daniel Amaral - OF - No. 59

-       Kyle Molnar - SP - No. 70

-       Garrett Mitchell - OF - No. 81


Draft Stock

UCLA has several players that are ranked inside the top 100 MLB draft prospects in the country.


-       Kyle Molnar was named the No. 10 2018 draft prospect by Baseball America and No. 13 by D1Baseball in the Pac-12. He was also tabbed the No. 91 overall college draft prospect by D1Baseball.


-       Jon Olsen was pegged No. 14 by Baseball America and No. 16 by D1Baseball in the Pac-12 for 2018 draft prospects.

-       Daniel Amaral and Jake Bird were each named to D1Baseball's list of 2018 draft prospects in the Pac-12.


-       Bird was also named as one of the top college senior draft prospects by D1Baseball and Baseball America.


Michael Toglia was tabbed the No. 1 draft prospect in the Pac-12 by D1Baseball for the 2019 MLB draft and No. 8 by Baseball America. He was also tabbed the 12th-highest prospect overall by D1Baseball.


-       In addition to Toglia, Chase Strumpf, Ryan Kreidler, Jeremy Ydens and Jack Stronach were on D1Baseball's top 2019 MLB draft prospects list.


2017 at a Glance

In 2017, UCLA made its ninth postseason in the last 12 seasons and second in the last three years after earning a berth into the Long Beach Regional and finished with an overall record of 30-27. The Bruins finished third in the Pac-12 with a record of 19-11 after earning a road sweep at crosstown rival USC and also taking two out of three at both Stanford and Oregon. The season came to a heartbreaking end in the regional after dropping a tough opening game to Texas, 3-2, and then being eliminated in a thrilling 13-inning affair, 3-2, to San Diego State.


UCLA continued its success on the mound as the team was ranked in the top-30 in the country in ERA, shutouts, hits allowed per nine innings and WHIP. The pitching staff was led by All-American and All-Pac-12 selection Griffin Canning and also All-Pac-12 team honoree Jon Olsen. Offensively, UCLA was led by All-Pac-12 selection Sean Bouchard and Freshman All-Americans Kyle Cuellar and Michael Toglia.


Looking Ahead

The Bruins will play their first road game of the season on Tuesday, Feb. 27 as they face No. 13 Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m. from Goodwin Field. They will host an exhibition game on Wednesday against the NC Dinos at 3 p.m. before going to Minneapolis, Minn. for the DQ Classic/Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge.

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