The UCLA Bruin Baseball team (21-19) is fresh off a tighter-than-hoped series win over the Cal Poly Mustangs last weekend, and will look to continue its good play of late in midweek games against the San Diego State Aztecs (30-15) tonight. First pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium is at 6 p.m. PT.
This will be the second match up of the season between these squads, with SDSU taking the first game, 5-4, in comeback fashion at Lake Elsinore on April 4th. The Bruins were leading 4-2 after hitting in their half of the 4th inning, but could not hold onto the lead.
That SDSU game was UCLA’s last midweek loss and the Bruins will aim to avenge the loss tonight. Justin Hooper has settled in as UCLA midweek starter and will take the hill for the Bruins. Hooper has been pitching better of late with a 1-0 record and 3.68 ERA on the season. The big lefty went 5 and 2⁄3 innings late week, scattering five hits and allowing one run, in notching his first victory of the season.
The Aztecs will counter with freshman, Logan Boyer (1-0, 0.79 ERA). Boyer has made nine appearances this season but this will be his first collegiate start.
SDSU is licking its wounds after dropping a critical series at home against Mountain West leading New Mexico State, losing two straight after beating the Lobos in the Friday night game. The Aztecs are in second place in the conference but, at present, the Mountain West is only projected to send one team from the conference to the postseason, so you know SDSU would like to pad its postseason resume with a win over a PAC 12 team.
The Aztecs are a strong hitting team, batting a whopping .313 as a team. All of their typical starters are hitting .290 or better, with David Hensley leading the way at .370. San Diego State has some pop too, especially Tyler Adkison, who has 11 home runs and 40 RBI. The Aztecs have 43 home runs on the season, averaging almost one per game.
UCLA, on the other hand, was somewhat underwhelming with the bats last weekend, managing only 19 hits in three games against lesser competition. Frankly, UCLA was lucky to survive on Friday night and almost blew a 5-1 lead on Sunday. UCLA needs to do better at the plate tonight going into Beat $c* week as every game is magnified with only 15 games left in the season and UCLA squarely on the postseason bubble.
This is your UCLA Bruin Baseball versus San Diego State midweek game open thread.