The UCLA Bruin baseball team (11-0) destroyed the competition at the Frisco College Classic this past weekend, beating Oklahoma State, 8-1, on Friday; Texas A&M, 10-2, on Saturday; and Illinois, 14-1 on Sunday.
As a result, the Bruins are undefeated through eleven games and have moved up the rankings in all major college baseball ranking services. This evening, UCLA heads up Pacific Coast Highway to take on UC Santa Barbara (9-2) under the lights. First pitch is at 5:30 p.m. PT.
LAST TIME OUT
On Sunday, UCLA capped off an amazing weekend at the Frisco College Classic by destroying Illinois, 14-1. Although the Fighting Illini tagged UCLA starter Jesse Bergin for a run in the top of the first inning, on a walk and an RBI double, that would be all for Illinois. Bergin (3-0) would pitch five innings for the win, and the UCLA bullpen was perfect in the final four innings.
Meanwhile, UCLA scored two runs on the bottom of the second, and really broke the game open in the late innings, plating four runs in the fifth, two runs in the sixth, two runs in the seventh, and four runs in the eighth. The Bruins had a total of 17 hits on the day.
Garrett Mitchell was 2 for 5, with three runs scored and four RBI. Matt McLain went 4 of 6, scoring once and knocking in four. Pat Caulfield and Mikey Perez both had multi-hit performances, and Will McInerny had perhaps his best day ever at the plate in a Bruin uniform, going 3 for 4 with a run and two RBI. Every Bruin starter had a hit except Jake Moberg, and he walked three times. It was quite the display of offense.
Tonight, freshman Jared Karros (2-0, 0.90 ERA) will take the hill for the Bruins. Karros has started both of UCLA’s previous midweek games and has been exceptional. Karros has thrown ten innings, allowing only one run on four hits.
UC SANTA BARBARA
UC Santa Barbara is on a four game winning streak, with its last loss to Abilene Christian, 5-4, on Sunday February 23rd. The only other game that the Gauchos have lost this season was their season opener, to Sacramento State, 6-1. UCSB has beaten common opponent, Loyola Marymount, 7-2. They have also drubbed UC Berkeley, by the score of 17-7. Like UCLA, the Gauchos have not lost a midweek game.
Santa Barbara is batting a pedestrian .260 as a team, but have an excellent team ERA of 2.05. As such, the Gauchos are getting it done with their pitching. UCLA, however, should be mindful of UCSB’s best hitter, junior infielder, Marcos Castanon (.356, 4 HR, 16 RBI). Among regular starters, Castanon leads the Gauchos in batting average, home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage. If the Bruins can keep Castanon in check, they should be able to earn the dub.
Freshman JD Callahan will start on the mound for UCSB. Callahan has appeared in two games, starting one, and has two wins, allowing only two runs (one earned) on three hits. As such, his win-loss ratio and ERA are identical to those stats for UCLA’s starting pitcher, Jared Karros.
I said before the Illinois game that I am going to keep picking the Bruins until they lead me to believe otherwise. The 14-1 drubbing of the Fighting Illini did nothing to change that. Even though the starting pitchers tonight are both freshman and have identical wins, losses, and ERA, I am still going with UCLA on the road.