You may have noticed that UCLA is playing a big series against Arizona St. this weekend. I mean, there was this and then this, plus this and this. Yeah, big series matching up #3 vs. #5. Getting game one of a series is always big and puts everyone at ease, knowing that their backs against the wall the rest of the series. Games two and three of this particular series always see UCLA will a pretty solid advantage in starting pitching match-ups so a win tonight and they're in great shape.
Tonight's game will match up UCLA's Gerrit Cole and ASU's Seth Blair. Cole is 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA with 12.42 strikeouts per nine innings, the best in the Pac-10. He's coming off of a splendid start, allowing two runs in eight innings at Arizona a week ago. Cole also pitched well against the Sun Devils last year, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings at ASU's launching pad in Tempe. Blair has been very good this year, compiling a 7-0 record and 3.08 on Friday nights, having stepped in for the injured Josh Spence. Blair did struggle versus the Bruins last year surrendering seven runs in three innings.
All of this plays out beginning tonight at 6 pm PDT. The game, at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium, should see a capacity crowd pack the place even with its recently expanded capacity. For those of you unable to make it out to the stadium and pack the stadium blue, you can follow along with GameTracker or listen in with John Ramey on the audio call. You can also get updates on my UCLA baseball twitter, where I'll also have all the links from around the country on the games and any significant statistics all weekend. This is your game thread so fill it with updates, thoughts, analysis and anything else. Play ball.