UCLA: Arizona State

UCLA baseball moves into a tie for first

May, 28, 2011
The UCLA baseball team may have, by some projections, the fifth highest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) in the Pac-10. Yet the Bruins can clinch at least a share of the conference title with a win and an Oregon State loss Saturday.

Gerrit Cole threw eight strong innings Friday (three runs, nine hits and nine strikeouts), leading No. 19 UCLA to a 10-3 victory at No. 9 Arizona State. The win, coupled with an Oregon State loss to Oregon, lifted the Bruins into a tie for first place.

The big question remains: Do the Bruins still have an outside shot at hosting a regional? The answer depends on how much of a factor conference standings play into the selection committee's decisions. ESPN's College Baseball Blog has a breakdown of the rationale behind the decisions.

The regional sites will be announced Sunday. The field of 64 will be revealed Monday morning. Regional play begins Friday, June 3.

Baseball's hope to host regional takes hit

May, 3, 2011
Everything that could have gone wrong nearly did for the UCLA baseball team over the weekend.

If not for a 5-2 win Sunday against Oregon State, the Bruins might have been out for the count in the heated Pac-10 race. Ace pitcher and No. 1 draft prospect Gerrit Cole blew a 5-1 lead Friday night and the Bruins were no-hit by Josh Osich Saturday afternoon. Under those circumstances, Sunday's finale was as close to a "must-win" as you'll get in late April.

The Bruins (23-16, 11-7 Pac-10) salvaged a game and trail Oregon State (32-9, 12-3) by four games in the loss column with nine conference games remaining. They are tied with California for third place, two games back of second-place Arizona State.

UCLA did bag a crucial midweek victory against UC Irvine last Tuesday which, in retrospect, softened the blow Oregon State dealt to the Bruins' hopes of hosting a regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium for the second straight year. The Bruins fell two spots in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches' poll, from 20th to 22nd. There is still room for movement, though -- the Bruins have three games with eighth-ranked Arizona State, one against 11th-ranked Cal State Fullerton, one against 19th-ranked Irvine and three against 25th-ranked Cal left on their schedule.
Schedule of game for this week's Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center:
Game 1 -- Wednesday: No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 9 Oregon State , 6 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 2 -- Wednesday: No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Arizona State, 8:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 3 -- Thursday: No. 4 USC vs. No. 5 California, Noon TV: FSN
Game 4 -- Thursday: No. 1 Arizona vs. Game 1 winner, 2:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 5 -- Thursday No. 2 UCLA vs. Game 2 winner , 6 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 6 -- Thursday: No. 3 Washington vs. No. 6 Washington State, 8:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 7 -- Friday: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 winner 6, p.m. TV: FSN
Game 8 -- Friday: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 winner , 8:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Final -- Saturday: Pac-10 Tournament Championship, 3 p.m.. TV: CBS

Deep Three: UCLA breaks in new kicks

February, 24, 2011
We go beyond the arc following UCLA's 71-53 win against Arizona State on Thursday at Pauley Pavilion:


You couldn't avoid them if you tried. The bright yellow shoes four UCLA players wore Thursday were out there, to say the least.

Actually, they were the only flashy things fans got to see in the early minutes.

When Arizona State jumped out to a 21-9 lead, it seemed as if the Bruins were up to old antics. You could have said that players had again forgotten to show up -- except that the new adidas shoes were there to remind us that, yes, UCLA was in the building.

"I didn't even notice [the shoes]," coach Ben Howland said. "That's what adidas sent us. They're fine, that's what they're trying to promote. We're an adidas school and we're happy to promote, provided the guys find the shoes comfortable. Whatever they want us to wear."

Tyler Honeycutt, Lazeric Jones, Joshua Smith and Tyler Lamb decided to sport the new shoes.

"I don't really like them, but I like the colors," Honeycutt said.

"They're ugly," said Reeves Nelson, who went with his customary white and blue pair.

"But [Nelson] has been wearing them in practice every day," Honeycutt interjected.

"I won't wear them in public," Nelson said.

For the sake of viewers everywhere, the rest of UCLA's players might want to take Nelson's advice.


Wait, never mind.

Howland wanted to get walk-on Tyler Trapani into the game with less than 30 seconds remaining and UCLA up 18, but then had Trapani make the jog back from the scorer's table. The disappointed Pauley crowd let out a collective "Awww."

"You know, I was going to put him in, then I realized our guys weren't going to shoot cause that's what we do when we have a big lead like that," Howland said. "I just told him to come back. I could have called a timeout and [switched], but I feel bad for Arizona State. They've had a tough year. So I didn't want in any way to be seen like we we're doing anything inappropriate."

Fellow walk-on Blake Arnet did get in with 37.3 seconds remaining but did not touch the ball during UCLA's final possession.

Two weeks ago against Oregon State, Howland emptied his bench to reward his non-scholarship players with a minute of playing time. The group was back on the sideline 15 seconds later when the Beavers blitzed the unprepared walk-ons.


At the half: UCLA 39, Arizona State 29

February, 24, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- Trap game, anyone?

It looked that way for a while, but UCLA straightened out and leads Arizona State, 39-29, at the half at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins trailed by as many as 12 points in the early going, an indication that maybe their sights were already set on Saturday's highly anticipated game against No. 10-ranked Arizona.

UCLA assumed the lead with a 14-0 run, sparked by Malcolm Lee, who leads all scorers with 12 points.

Grades: Arizona State 55, UCLA 34

November, 26, 2010

Who could have predicted that Richard Brehaut would set a UCLA single-game record for pass attempts this week? The sophomore threw 55 times for 311 yards and three touchdowns, including a beautiful 46-yarder to Randall Carroll that gave the Bruins a 17-0 lead early.


The Bruins had an opportunity to re-take the lead in the third quarter, but Johnathan Franklin was stopped at the goal line on fourth down. The momentum swung and UCLA was out cold. Franklin finished with 73 yards rushing; backfield mate Derrick Coleman had just 18.


The inability to punch it in from a foot away says it all: UCLA was stuffed on the day after Thanksgiving. It didn’t end there. With Arizona State backed up at its own goal line, freshman Cassius Marsh missed a tackle that would have given the Bruins a safety.


Maybe UCLA’s biggest mistake was knocking Arizona State starting quarterback Steven Threet out of the game. Backup Brock Osweiler came on in the first quarter and could not be stopped, completing 27 of 36 for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Cameron Marshall romped his way to 147 yards.


There were promising signs, namely Dalton Hilliard’s blocked punt and Kai Forbath’s 85th-career field goal which tied him atop UCLA’s all-time list. But the positives were erased when Jamal Miles returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score to again extend the Sun Devils’ lead to 11.


For the second time in three seasons under coach Rick Neuheisel, there will be no bowl game. The Bruins obviously took a step backward with the defeat, but will fans forget it all if the Bruins can pull off the upset next week against crosstown rival USC?

The Arizona State QB situation? It's fluid

November, 24, 2010

Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire
There is a little quarterback controversy brewing in Tempe between Brock Osweiler and Steven Threet.

Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson didn't pause.

UCLA defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough didn't care.

And UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel just kind of shrugged and laughed.

There may or may not be a quarterback controversy at Arizona State heading into Friday's game against UCLA in Tempe.

Which would qualify as a fairly large story line in most games, but both UCLA (4-6) and the Sun Devils (4-6) have much larger issues to concern themselves with than whether junior Steven Threet or sophomore Brock Osweiler starts at quarterback for Arizona State.

Larger issues like having to win out to salvage 6-6 seasons and have a shot at playing in a bowl game.

"We're at about the same place with our programs," Erickson said on his weekly conference call. "We both have an opportunity to compete in our last two football games.

"We're both playing with a lot of young players. We've both lost close games, so yeah, we're very, very similar."

(Read full post)

Larry Scott discusses the new divisions as the Pac-10 grows to the Pac-12.video

Baseball bounces back from rough weekend

May, 5, 2010
That familiar feeling returned Tuesday afternoon.

Following three discouraging losses to Arizona State, the UCLA baseball team got back on track with a 5-1 win against Pepperdine in Malibu.

The Bruins (31-10) recorded 15 hits -- something they had not done since late-March -- and once again received fine pitching from senior right-hander Garett Claypool, who has evolved into one of the nation's top midweek starters. Claypool tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, striking out five and surrendering just three hits to earn his team-leading seventh win of the year.

The victory does not necessarily erase UCLA's bad weekend -- which dropped them seven spots from No. 5 to No. 12 in the Baseball America poll -- but head coach John Savage says he believes it's a start.

"We’ve had a very good run and a very good team," Savage said. "We had a very difficult weekend, but we have to learn from it, move on and make sure we get better."

Baseball: UCLA swept off its feet

May, 2, 2010
In the Pac-10 Conference this season, there's Arizona State and then there's everyone else.

The UCLA baseball team learned that the hard way this weekend, losing 12-3 Sunday and stumbling for the third time in three days.

"We paid for every mistake on the mound," head coach John Savage said. "That's what good teams do. They were the better team this weekend, that's for sure."

No. 3-ranked ASU (38-5) lit up junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen, who lasted just four innings after allowing three home runs (seven runs in all).

Offensively, No. 5-ranked UCLA (30-10) was outscored 23-5 for the weekend. In all, the Bruins stranded 25 runners and waited until the final inning Sunday to hit the only home run.

"I thought that we had some good at-bats, we just got nothing out of them," Savage said. "We hit some balls hard but it was one of those weekends where a lot of things went in [ASU's] favor. That's baseball -- you've got to deal with the ups and downs."
Heading into the weekend, the UCLA baseball team had hoped to make a statement by beating perennial power Arizona State. A series win would have gone a long way in proving that UCLA was ready to compete not only for the Pac-10 Conference title, but a national seeding in next month's NCAA tournament.

Instead, No. 3 Arizona State sent a message Saturday afternoon, defeating No. 5 UCLA 6-1 to claim the series win. In all, UCLA (30-9) has been outscored 11-2 through the first two games of the series.

ASU (37-5) got to UCLA starter Trevor Bauer in the first inning, scoring four runs to stun another big crowd at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The early deficit, combined with three fielding errors and 12 runners left on base, were too much to overcome.

The Bruins can only hope to salvage a win Sunday. Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen is slated to take the hill.

Bullpen falters, bats go silent in 4-1 loss to ASU

April, 30, 2010
Gerrit Cole was rolling along, as dominant as he has been all season, so he came out of the dugout and walked to the mound to start the eighth inning with UCLA and Arizona State tied at 1-1. The ace right-hander had retired seven of eight batters -- six by the way of strikeout -- before falling behind to ASU's Kole Calhoun and giving up a booming double to right field at the start of the eighth.

That was it for Cole, as he walked off and tipped his cap to a standing ovation. That was it for UCLA, too.

The No. 3-ranked Sun Devils would tack on four runs off the Bruins' bullpen to make it 5-1 in the eighth, a score that held up after UCLA's final seven batters went down in order.

No. 5 UCLA (30-8, 7-6 Pac-10) and Arizona State (36-5, 12-4) resume the three-game series Saturday afternoon.

Baseball gets set to host Arizona State

April, 30, 2010
The eyes of the college baseball world will be on Westwood tonight, as No. 5 UCLA hosts No. 3 Arizona State in the first of a three-game series.

Click here for a preview from the State Press, the Arizona State school newspaper.

From the article:
“We are going to have to be very disciplined,” Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay said. “We are going to have to be mature in handling at-bats. We have to be able to take what they can give us.”

It's what UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole expects when he takes the hill tonight.

From my preview article in the Daily Bruin:
The Sun Devils rank first in the [Pac-10] Conference with a .350 team batting average. The Bruins’ 2.75 team ERA is tops in the Pac-10.

“They all stick to the same approach,” Cole said. It sounds a lot like what UCLA has been able to do at the plate this season, doesn’t it?

“It’s very similar,” Cole said. “It’s take. Then take, take, take – runners in scoring position – and rip.”

In response, Cole will attempt to get ahead in counts and keep his distance when he has to.

“Your intensity is going to be heightened a little bit, but you’ve got to tone that down,” Cole said. “The main thing is to stick to the same approach.”

The weekend's pitching matchups:

Friday, April 30 (6 p.m.)
Arizona State - Seth Blair, RHP, Jr. (7-0, 3.08)
UCLA - Cole, RHP, So. (6-1, 2.89)

Saturday, May 1 (2 p.m.)
Arizona State - Merrill Kelly, RHP, Jr. (8-0, 3.75)
UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, So. (6-2, 2.57)

Sunday, May 2 (1 p.m.)
Arizona State - Jake Borup, RHP, So. (8-1, 3.58)
UCLA - Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Jr. (6-1, 2.85)

Baseball wins Pac-10 series, stays at No. 5

April, 26, 2010
The UCLA baseball team did just enough to stay at the No. 5 spot in the latest Baseball America weekly collegiate rankings.

After losing 16-4 to unranked Long Beach State at home last Tuesday, UCLA took the first two of a three-game set at then-No. 17 ranked Arizona over the weekend.

It's not going to get any easier, with the Bruins welcoming a pair of national powers -- UC Irvine and No. 3 Arizona State -- to Jackie Robinson Stadium this week. Click herefor a look at the tight Pac-10 Conference standings.

Baseball's lucky number reaches 13

March, 15, 2010
The UCLA baseball team moved up to No. 12 in the latest Baseball America collegiate rankings by going 4-0 last week. The Bruins have won their first 13 games of the season -- their best start on record (1955) and longest streak since 1969.

UCLA posted a 5-2 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday behind 15 strikeouts from sophomore right-hander Trevor Bauer. Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen held No. 25 Oklahoma to just one run in six innings to help UCLA take the Whataburger College Classic finale by a score of 5-2. Bauer brought home tournament most valuable player honors.

Sophomore second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla hit .438 (7-for-16) in the four games last week to push his season average to .420.

UCLA is not the only Pac-10 team making noise. Perennial power Arizona State joins UCLA as the only other undefeated team in Baseball America's top 25. Clearly, the No. 10 Sun Devils (15-0) have responded well to the preseason resignation of longtime head coach Pat Murphy.

For UCLA, this year's 13-0 start is a far cry from last season's 3-10 beginning.

The Bruins do not play a midweek game this week due to the final exams, but they return to Jackie Robinson Stadium for a three-game set against Oral Roberts (5-6) beginning on Friday night.



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