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Diamond Notes: A Little Momentum?

Let’s follow up on rye’s update on our baseball team, which is coming off a huge series win in Seattle. The boys of spring have won 4 out of their last 5 games. They are going to look to continue the momentum this week as they take on two teams from the West Coast conference today and tomorrow (Pepperdine and LMU), before getting set up for a huge series against ASU this weekend at Jackie Robinson.stadium. Blair Angulo from the Daily Bruin has a preview of this afternoon’s game (first pitch scheduled for 3 pm PST) against the Waves in Malibu:

The Bruins managed to win two games against the Huskies, who were 18-5 at their home field going into the weekend series. Today’s game will pose the same problem to the Bruins, as Pepperdine has a dominant record of 17-3 in Malibu this season.

The Bruins, winners of four of their last five games dating back to their series finale against Stanford, are looking to continue their solid all-around play. Trailing by two runs on Sunday in the eighth inning of their last game, the top of the order sparked a three-run rally that gave UCLA a satisfying come-from-behind victory amid the drizzle in Seattle.

"It was obviously an important game," winning pitcher Gavin Brooks said following the game. "It was a Pac-10 game, and we were down. It got us back to .500 and got us a series win. It was definitely a big win."

Now, aside from helping the team get one step closer to consistency, a win against a high-caliber team such as Pepperdine would be beneficial in terms of RPI ranking. Additionally, UCLA will be looking to complete the season sweep, having defeated Pepperdine earlier this season 11-3 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The Bruins, then ranked No. 11 nationally, received home runs by second baseman Alden Carrithers, right fielder Gabe Cohen and designated hitter Cody Decker.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Garett Claypool (1-1) will take the hill in his fifth start of the year for the Bruins. Although he left his last outing with the lead at home against UNLV on April 22, Claypool did not factor in the decision after the bullpen squandered a five-run lead.
Claypool is starting today, while Matt Grace is taking the mound tomorrow. Official site has the capsule on our starters:
Right-hander Garett Claypool will make his fifth start of the season when UCLA plays at Pepperdine on Tuesday afternoon. Claypool brings a 1-1 record and 3.29 ERA into the mid-week contest, after having received a no-decision against UNLV on April 22. In that outing, the sophomore from West Hills, Calif., hurled a career-high six scoreless innings and scattered three hits. In his four starts this spring, Claypool has registered a 2.04 ERA, 1-1 record and 13 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. Claypool made seven midweek starts (all on Tuesdays) as a freshman in 2007, logging a 1.82 ERA and 20 strikeouts in those appearances (29.2 innings).

Left-hander Matt Grace will make his first collegiate start Wednesday evening, when the Bruins host Loyola Marymount at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Grace, who hails from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., has recorded a 2.84 ERA, totaling nine strikeouts and 11 walks in 12.2 innings. Grace has limited the opposition to a .209 batting avearge, allowing just four earned runs and nine hits in relief. In a resumed game against Cal State Northridge on April 15 (suspended, Feb. 26), Grace hurled two scoreless innings of relief, logging two strikeouts in the victory. In Pac-10 action, the left-hander has tossed two scoreless frames.
For more news and notes on the team go here.

If you have time this afternoon, why not go out to Malibu and take in some great baseball action. If you can’t make it this afternoon, defintily come out JRS tomorrow at 6 pm (PST) when we take on LMU.

Hopefully the team can continue the momentum from Seattle in these next two games, getting them ready for the big showdown against ASU.