For the second time in two weeks, the Bruins will play host to a red-clad private school conference foe. This weekend though, Coach Savage and our unranked baseball team will hope this series against the Stanford Cardinal go much better than the last one against the Southern Cal Trojans, where our Bruins were embarrassed at Jackie Robinson Stadium, being swept by the Trojans in three straight. Like our Bruins, this has been a year to forget for the Cardinal, who come into the weekend series at 19-19 overall and 7-11 in Pac-12 play (eighth in the conference), while UCLA finds itself mired at 22-19-1 overall and 9-9 in Pac-12 play (sixth in conference). On paper, the Bruins are the superior team, so while we should expect UCLA to come away with three wins this weekend, this UCLA season has gone anything but according to plan on paper.
For the first time in a while, it's a return to the regular Friday through Sunday schedule for the weekend series, so James Kaprielian (5-4, 2.53 ERA) will take the hill on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Squaring off against our sophomore right-hander will be Stanford's freshman right-hander Cal Quantrill (3-4, 3.11 ERA). Prior to last week's debacle, the Bruins had been strong on the opening weekend series game (although often not doing enough offensively to get Kaprielian anything but a no-decision), only to follow it with two collapses during the weekend proper.
In case you missed it, islandbruin2 put together his usual excellent series preview, which you can check out for some more background information on the series against the Cardinal. If that's not enough to satisfy your appetite, you can also check out the official website's series preview here (which like most things under the Chianti Dan regime, came well after islandbruin2 beat Morgan Center to the punch). First pitch tonight is set for 6 p.m. PST at Jackie Robinson Stadium. If you can't make it out to JRS for the game, then you can listen in live to the audio broadcast, being called by John Ramey and Tim Wilhelm. Or if the audio feed isn't your thing, you can track the game live on the official website's Gametracker.
This is your series opener Friday night baseball game thread, so fire away in the comment thread with your comments, takes, or what you're hearing/tracking/watching live at JRS as we track this Pac-12 conference weekend series opener.