From the diaries. GO BRUINS. -N
Following their stunning turnaround last season, the #13 UCLA baseball team is set to start a promising season this weekend against the #23 Winthrop Eagles. The Bruins enter the season after turning a 15 win 2005 season into a Malibu regional appearence in 2006.
The young Bruins will feature only one senior in their starting lineup and will rely heavily on underclassmen. Sophomores SS Brandon Crawford and 3B Jermaine Curtis are expected to anchor the offense at the top of the order with Sophomores LF Cody Decker and CF Tim Murphy providing power in the middle. The newcomer expected to make the largest contribution is the 2B Junior transfer from UCSB Alden Carrithers. The Bruins will rely heavily on their offense which is expected to be strong as well as their defense which ranked best in the Pac 10 last season.
The biggest question mark will be starting pitching and more so this series. Senior Tyson Brummet is the Friday starter and a good one at that, but Freshman Charles Brewer was expected to be the Saturday starter. However, Brewer has either mono or a sever stomach flu and will not be available. Taking his spot in the rotation will be Paul Schmidt, a Senior who pitched well out of the bullpen last season. Freshman Gavin Brooks will get the Sunday start for the Bruins.
Winthrop brings a very stern test to Westwood this weekend though. A veteran team who has played a number of good teams the past few years, the Eagles will be a tough way for the Bruins to open the season. Alex Wilson will start on Friday for the Eagles. Wilson is a very good pitcher and even appears on some All-America ballots. Ryan Schwartz will get the Saturday start, bringing a good repetoire of pitches, but his command is always a question mark. Finishing off the series for the Eagles will be Jason Franzblau, who nobody knows much about.
The Bruins come in as favorites this weekend and the series has been pegged by both Baseball America and Rivals as one of the best this weekend. CSTV.com will be sending a reporter to all 3 games this weekend and he will provide extensive coverage of the weekend. The Friday game is set for 6 PM, Saturday for 2 PM and Sunday for 1 PM. All games are at Jackie Robinson Stadium, located on the grounds of the VA and admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children and free for Wooden Club members. For those not planning to attend the game, it can be following live on Gametracker via uclabruins.com. Jackie Robinson Stadium holds a mere 1,250 people, the fewest in the Pac 10 so let's fill it up this weekend and suport our Bruin baseball team who are getting ready to make their mark on the national scene.