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UCLA Hopes to Snap Its 7 Game Losing Streak Tonight

The Bruins haven't won in two weeks. Starting pitcher Grant Dyer will try to change UCLA's fortunes against the Cardinal tonight.

UCLA Men's Baseball (12-15, 4-6)

Opponent: Stanford (16-8, 5-2)

When: 7:00 PM PST, Friday, April 8, 2016

Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles, CA

Audio: Bruin Live Audio

Video: Pac-12 Networks

Live StatsUCLA StatBroadcast

UCLA Official Series PreviewSeries Notes

Another game, another loss. Yesterday's 4-1 loss to Stanford extended the Bruins' losing streak to seven games--a span of two weeks without a victory.

Numbers don't tell the whole story of UCLA's woes, but they reveal plenty about what's gone wrong with the 2016 Bruins. Consider the following facts:

  • In their last 5 games, the Bruins have scored a total of 8 runs.
  • In those same 5 games, the Bruins are averaging 7 hits per game.
  • In those same 5 games, the Bruins committed errors and conceded unearned runs in 4 of them.
  • In those same 5 games, UCLA has allowed an average of 6 runs per game.
  • The Bruins haven't held an opponent to fewer than 4 runs since their 4-3 win against Arizona two weeks ago.
It all adds up to uncharacteristically bad baseball from Coach Savage's Bruins. UCLA's slump has dropped the Bruins into seventh place in the Pac-12, three and a half games behind first-place California and just a game and a half ahead of last-place Washington State.

Against the Cardinal yesterday, UCLA looked like a team riding a losing streak. The Bruins fell behind early when Stanford's Alex Dunlap drilled a two-out, two-run homer to left in the second inning. Griffin Canning surrendered another run in the fourth inning when the Cardinal used two walks and a single to add to their lead.

The Bruins scored their sole run of the game in the bottom half of the fourth. With one out, Luke Persico doubled to left center, and Eric Filia advanced him to third when he drove a single through the right side. Sean Bouchard then lifted a fly ball to right that was deep enough for Persico to tag up and score.

UCLA's generosity allowed Stanford to add a fourth run in the seventh inning. Canning put the first batter aboard by hitting him with the second pitch of the inning, and then compounded the mistake by making an error when the next batter tried to sacrifice the baserunner along. One out later, a sacrifice fly brought home Stanford's final run.

Overall, Canning didn't pitch badly--he allowed just 5 hits and 3 earned runs while going the distance. However, when your team is struggling to provide run support, "not bad" isn't good enough. However, this 2016 edition of UCLA baseball doesn't include a group of pitchers that are likely to toss shutouts. The Bruins have only one shutout so far this season which isn't good news for a team that has scored one run or fewer 6 times.

It won't be easy for UCLA to snap its losing streak tonight. Stanford will start its ace, freshman right-hander Tristan Beck. Beck is 4-2 with a 1.50 ERA. UCLA will counter with junior Grant Dyer. Dyer hasn't pitched will to-date; he enters tonight's contest with a 1-2 record and a 6.08 ERA.

There is still a lot of baseball to be played this season. UCLA has dug itself a hole in the past two weeks, but there's plenty of time left to get back into contention in the Pac-12. However, the Bruins have to turn things around pretty soon. Tonight against Stanford would be a good time to start.