This weekend, the UCLA baseball team has a break from conference play in their schedule. That doesn’t mean the Bruins have the weekend off. Instead, they are heading up PCH to San Luis Obispo to face the Cal Poly Mustangs.
First pitch tonight and tomorrow is at 6 pm PT while Sunday’s game is at 1 pm PT.
There is no TV for this weekend’s series, but live streaming will be available on BigWest.tv.
Cal Poly Mustangs
It’s been an up and down year for the Mustangs so far. Cal Poly is 19-20 after losing to Santa Clara on Tuesday, 10-7. If there’s been a bright spot for the Mustangs, it’s been their play at home. The Mustangs have won 9 of their last 10 games at home. In fact, they’ve gone 13-5 at home so far this season and they have only lost one series at home. Also, they haven’t lost back-to-back games at home all season.
Offensively, the Mustangs are batting .295 as a team with 23 homers and 199 runs batted in. Colby Barrick leads the team with a .349 batting average in 83 at-bats while Alex McKenna is second with a .329 average. McKenna leads the team in total bases, hits, triples and is tied for the lead in doubles. Tate Samuelson is the team leader in homers with five.
The Mustang pitching staff looks to be the team’s biggest weak spot. The team ERA is 5.00. Friday’s starter Trent Shelton enters tonight’s game with an ERA of 3.72. That’s more than twice as big as UCLA’s Jake Bird, who takes the hill for UCLA. The bullpen isn’t much better. There are only four relievers on the staff with a lower ERA and one of them has only pitched one inning. After scoring 42 runs last weekend, it could be another big weekend for the UCLA offense.
Speaking of the UCLA offense, the Bruins have scored 54 runs in their last four games. There is no reason why the Bruins shouldn’t have another big weekend offensively. Michael Toglia and Chase Strumpf have combined to hit 17 home runs this season. That’s almost as many as the entire Cal Poly team. The pair has also driven in 79 runs. That’s a third of the Bruins runs so far this season.
When you combine that kind of hitting with the UCLA starting pitchers, it’s a recipe for success and this team is starting to gel.
UCLA entered the Top Ten this week, coming in at #9 in four of the six Top 25 polls. While the only series Cal Poly has lost at home this season was against San Diego State, I’m still looking for the Bruins to sweep the Mustangs on the road this weekend. I think it’s very likely considering how well the Bruins have been scoring.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Cal Poly Mustangs open thread.