We will start the walk with our baseball team which is heading of to Cal for a do or die series this weekend. Bruins have kept their playoff hopes alive by winning 5 out of their last 7 games. However, they probably still have to win at least 2 out of 3 games against number 15 ranked Cal this weekend to ensure themselves a spot in the playoffs. Cal is ranked number 15 with an overall record of 32-17. However, their conference record (11-10) is identical to UCLA’s which has an overall record of 29-24. CSTV.com has more on the Bears:
BEAR NOTES: No. 15-ranked California (32-17-2, 11-10) entertains UCLA (29-24, 11-10) in its final Pac-10 series of the regular season this weekend at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears and the Bruins both sport 11-10 conference records and are looking to secure bids to an NCAA Regional. UCLA was the No. 1-ranked team in Baseball America's preseason poll after advancing to an NCAA Super Regional at Cal State Fullerton in 2007. This season, Cal features two of the Pac-10 best hitters, senior second baseman Josh Satin and junior first baseman David Cooper. Satin is hitting .388 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI, and Cooper is batting .370 with 19 home runs and 55 RBI. Both players were recently announced as candidates for both the Wallace Award and Golden Spikes Award as national players of the year, while Cooper was also selected as one of 16 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy.
Cal's top starter is junior right-hander Tyson Ross, who is 7-2 with a 4.29 ERA and has 56 strikeouts in 65.0 innings, and has twice been the conference pitcher of the week. Ross will match-up against UCLA's junior left-hander Tim Murphy (4-6, 3.89 ERA), last week's Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. The Bears also showcase junior closer Matt Gorgen and freshman right-hander Kevin Miller. Gorgen, who was the May 13 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week with a win and a save at Stanford, is among the top of the conference with nine saves and has a 2.50 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 36.0 innings. Miller is the league leader with a 2.71 ERA and a .182 opponent batting average. As a reliever and spot starter, Miller is 6-1 and has 65 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. Both Satin (Mar. 4) and Cooper (Apr. 1) have been named Pac-10 Players of the Week this year, and Ross was Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Feb. 26 and Apr. 1. Cooper, Ross and Gorgen were all 2008 preseason All-Americans, while Satin is a two-time Cape Cod League All-Star and was a Collegiate Baseball freshman All-American in 2005.
So both UCLA and Cal are currently tied for third in the Pac-10 standings. As mentioned in the notes above Bruins are going with Tim Murphy on the mound on Friday against Bear’s Tyson Ross. Here is the scheduled pitching matchup for the weekend at California's Evans Diamond:
- Friday, May 23 - 2:30 p.m.
UCLA's Tim Murphy, LHP, Jr. (4-6, 3.89) vs. CAL's Tyson Ross, RHP, Jr. (7-2, 4.29)
- Saturday, May 24 - 1 p.m.
UCLA's Charles Brewer, RHP, So. (7-4, 5.42) vs. CAL's Craig Bennigson, LHP, Jr. (4-3, 6.28)
- Sunday, May 25 - 1 p.m.
UCLA's Gavin Brooks, LHP, So. (6-2, 4.92) vs. CAL – TBA
The last time these two teams met this season Bruins took 2 out of 3. For more on our Bruins check out the notes from the official site.
Shifting our focus to softball, the Daily Bruin has a great story on Bruin senior Ashley Herrera (her team-mates call her "Cash" for being "money" in clutch situations) remarkable comeback following two serious injuries. She sounds like the softball version of a Ben Ball warrior. Ashley and rest of her team-mates are hosting #15 Georgia this weekend in NCAA regionals. You can read the full writeup on that matchup here.
Lastly, we will end with a note on Ben Ball. J’Mison Morgan has called a press conference today. And Brian Dohn is confidently reporting who Morgan is going to announce for:
UCLA's already stellar recruiting class will get a lift when former LSU signee J'mison Morgan announces he will join the Bruins' class during a news conference today in Dallas, Morgan's mother said.
Bianca Morgan reiterated Wednesday night what she told the Daily News last week, which was that her son, a highly touted center from South Oak Cliff High in Dallas, was going to attend UCLA in the fall.
J'mison Morgan has a news conference scheduled at noon today in Dallas (10 a.m. PDT) to make the announcement. When asked if he was still planning on attending UCLA, Bianca Morgan said, "yes." She added her son was also looking at Kansas and Cincinnati, but it would take an unforeseen change of heart for him to pick one of those schools.
Two weeks ago Morgan's brother, Ronnie, told the Daily News that J'mison was "planning for sure to attend UCLA next year." When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Morgan's high school coach, James Mays, was asked if Morgan changed his mind about attending UCLA, and said, "Not that I know of."
Morgan was released from his national letter of intent last week, but Bianca said UCLA still has not received the release. That will be faxed to the school today, she said.
Morgan cannot sign another letter of intent. Instead, he can sign scholarship papers, which binds a school to a player, but allows a player to change his mind until he attends a class.
We will wait to celebrate until we hear something officially from Mr. Morgan himself.