UCLA CWS Preview

June 15, 2012
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Revamped Bruins Return To Omaha…

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UCLA Bruins
(Won the Los Angeles Regional and Super Regional)

Record: 47-14

Conference: Pac-12 (20-10) – Regular Season co-Champions with CWS Participant Arizona

Head Coach: John Savage (8th season at UCLA, 2nd CWS Appearance)

First Game In Omaha: Fri., June 15 vs. Stony Brook (4 CT; ESPN2)
Series:
First Meeting

Jeff Gelalich has helped UCLA reach its second College World Series in the last three seasons.

ROAD TO OMAHA

After beginning the season 2-3, including a series loss at home to Maryland to open the schedule, the Bruins would win 18 of their next 20 games. During that time UCLA won a non-conference series vs. Baylor, a road sweep at Georgia and took two out of three vs. Arizona St. UCLA did not lose back-to-back games until early April. After those two straight defeats the Bruins won six of seven including a series victory at CWS participant Arizona. After dropping back-to-back Pac-12 series to Oregon St and Stanford the Bruins would go 14-2 and 8-1 in the Pac-12 during May. During the month the Bruins took two of three vs. Purdue. UCLA finished the regular season with a series sweep of rival USC and that coupled with Oregon being swept by Oregon St gave the Bruins a share of the conference title with Arizona. UCLA won the Pac-12 for the second straight season, something the program had never previously accomplished.

UCLA entered the tournament as the #2 National Seed, the second time the Bruins were given a top-eight seed. They cruised through the LA Regional by allowing just one run in their first two games. They opened the NCAAs with a 3-0 win over Creighton and a 7-1 victory over New Mexico. The Bruins wrapped up the regional with a 13-5 win over Creighton. In the Super Regional UCLA faced a TCU team that they matched-up with three times during the 2010 CWS. In that CWS UCLA took two of three in bracket play from the Horned Frogs in route to an appearance in the National Championship Series. Last weekend UCLA only needed two games to dispatch TCU sweeping the Frogs by the scores of 6-2 and 4-1.

UCLA enters their 4th CWS having won nine in a row and 19 of their last 21.

Hotter Bats Equal Different Results?

For the past two seasons UCLA’s bread and butter was their pitching staff, led by Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, one of the top pitching duos in college baseball history last season. Cole went 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA and 119 strikeouts and Bauer was 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA, 10 complete games and 203 punch-outs. The team had an ERA of 2.44. The offense couldn’t come close to matching the Bruins’ arms. The team hit just .263 for the season and had only two hitters above .300. UCLA was eliminated in regional going 2-2 and scoring just 10 runs.

In 2012 UCLA still boasts quality pitching with a team ERA of 3.13 but team enters the CWS with a .309 average, a 46-point increase from last year. The team has six hitters averaging over .300. Jeff Gelalich has raised his average 97 points to .365 this year. Trevor Brown increased his average 111 points from .217 to .328.

The missing piece

The UCLA athletic program has won 129 team National Championships, with 108 NCAA Titles. The Bruins have always been known for John Wooden and the Men’s Basketball program. The team has won 11 titles but that is only tied for fourth, with Softball, on the list of teams with the most National Championships in school history, behind Men’s Volleyball (19) and Tennis (16). Even football has a National Title (1954, UPI).

Of the twenty-four teams UCLA currently fields only five have never won a National Title. Baseball is one of the five. It is probably the most notable omission from the athletic departments trophy case. The other four sports are Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Women’s Swimming and Soccer.

They’re HERE!!  The Dugout in Omaha has official College World Series gear for each of the eight teams, including Kent State. If you want to be the first kid (no matter what age) on your block to have this year’s official CWS shirts, hats and more (both for individual teams or generic) click the red link and get to The Dugout’sweb site!

If you’re going to Omaha for the CWS you can also visit The Dugout. It’s right across the street from the home plate entrance to TD Ameritrade Park.

Roster Breakdown

0 Seniors, 9 Juniors, 12 Sophomores, 13 Freshmen

Home states: 31 from California and one each from Arizona, Nevada and Washington.

Probable Lineup

  1. Beau Amaral CF-Jr.-5-11/185-Huntington Beach, CA (All Pac-12)
    …313 avg., 45 RBI, 62 Runs, 4 HR, 5 triples*, 9 doubles .434 Slg.%, 22 BB, 14 HBP, 37 K, 13-19 SB
    (Father Rich played at UCLA in the early 80s before going on to have a 10-year MLB career.)
  2. Tyler Heineman C-Jr-5-11/205-Pacific Palisades, CA (All Pac-12)
    …343 avg., 27 RBI, 41 Runs, 1 HR, 1 triple, 7 doubles, .403 Slg.%, 21 BB, 17 HBP*, 14 K, 3-5 SB
  3. Cody Keefer LF-Jr-6-1/195-Davis, CA
    …339 avg., 36 RBI, 42 runs, 1 HR, 0 triples, 12 doubles, .400 Slg. %, 28 BB, 6 HBP, 7-15 SB
  4. Jeff Gelalich RF-Jr-6-1/205-La Verne, CA (All Pac-12)
    …365 avg.*, 46 RBI, 55 runs*, 11 HR*, 1 triple, 10 doubles, 85 hits*, .558 Slg. %*, 33 BB*, 8 HBP, 15-19 SB*

  5. Trevor Brown 1B-Jr-6-2/195-Valencia, CA
    …328 avg., 51 RBI*, 40 Runs, 3 HR, 2 triples, 13 doubles*, .434 Slg.%, 14 BB, 9 HBP, 4-8 SB
  6. Pat Valaika SS-Soph-5-11/195-Valencia, CA
    …271 avg., 37 RBI, 37 Runs, 1 HR, 1 triple, 4 doubles, .372 Slg. %, 17 BB, 2 HBP, 5-6 SB
  7. Cody Regis DH-Jr-6-2/220-Glendora, CA…247 avg., 25 RBI, 30 Runs, 1 HR, 1 triple, 4 doubles, .298 Slg. %, 30 BB, 7 HBP, 3-5 SB
  8. Kevin Kramer 3B-Fr-6-0/195-Turlock, CA
    …274 avg., 12 RBI, 16 Runs, 0 HR, 0 triples, 4 doubles, .310 Slg. %, 5 BB, 6 HBP, 1-2 SB
  9. Kevin Williams 2B-Soph-6-0/190-Van Nuys, CA
    …305 avg., 19 RBI, 27 Runs, 2 HR, 0 triples, 5 doubles, .377 Slg. %, 18 BB, 11 HBP, 4-7 SB                                                                   

Starting Rotation

Adam Plutko RHP-Soph-6-3/195-Glendora, CA (All Pac-12)
…(11-3), 17 Starts, 2 CG*, 2.56 ERA, 112.2 IP*, 92 K*, 45 BB*, .216 Opp. Avg., 86 H

Nick Vander Tuig RHP-Soph-6-3/195-Oakdale, CA
…(10-3), 17 Starts, 4.35 ERA, 103.1 IP, 68 K, 24 BB, .279 Opp Avg., (115 H*)

Zack Weiss RHP-Soph-6-3/210-Irvine, CA
…(3-2)-12 Starts, 4.04 ERA, 69 IP, 44 K, 29 BB, .273 Opp. Avg., (72 H)

Bullpen

Ryan Deeter RHP-RS Soph-6-0/185-Newark, CA-Pac-12 Honorable Mention…(1-0), 35 appearances, 0.94 ERA*, 28.2 IP, 25 K, 16 BB, .188 Opp. Avg., (18 H)

David Berg RHP-Fr-6-0/190-Covina, CA-All Pac-12…(5-3), 47 Appearances*, 1.58 ERA, 68.1 IP, 61 K, 16 BB, .172 Opp Avg.,*, (14 H)

Scott Griggs RHP-Jr-6-4/205-Alamo, CA-All Pac-12…(3-1), 35 Appearances, 2.70 ERA, 15 Saves*, 36.2 IP, 64 K, 31 BB, .172 Opp Avg.,*, (23 H)

2012 CWS Bracket Two

TEAMCONF.RECORDBAR/GMHR/
Sac Bunts
SLG%OBPSB-Att.FLD%ERACGSVKBBOPP.BA
FloridaSEC47-18.2845.975/42.452.36066-92.9792.90318489132.241
South CarolinaSEC45-17.2715.341/62.398.35838-62.9793.06025513191.222
ArkansasSEC44-20.2735.238/41.389.35663-96.9692.90015517207.231
Kent
State
MAC46-18.3026.843/27.442.37952-71.9743.49119525232.246

 

 

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