UCLA: Rob Rasmussen

In the dugout with John Savage

January, 26, 2011
1/26/11
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Caught up with UCLA baseball coach John Savage at Southern California Baseball Media Day in Anaheim on Wednesday after he won "Best Presentation" in the third annual ESPN Zone Coaches Cook-off. Here's a transcript of the conversation:

What's the feeling heading into the Feb. 18 opener?

Savage: I think we have great chemistry within the program. There's a lot of guys who played in Omaha last year and went through a season of 51 wins. I think they're expecting bigger and better things. That's tough to do when you win that many games and you get that close to a national championship, but there's unfinished business. We know it's a process, we know it's a game to game thing. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We did lose a lot of depth -- we lost 54 percent of our innings. People don't realize that. All they want to talk about is (Gerrit) Cole and (Trevor) Bauer, but this team is not going to be all about them. We need the young guys to step up and we need a new shortstop, some new guys in the field that are going to have to step up. We've got some questions to be answered for sure. We know we're young in some spots -- only two seniors on the roster, not a lot of juniors. If you look at the percentage of players on our roster, a lot of them are freshmen or sophomores. The expectations are there and that's always a good thing.

You've named freshman Adam Plutko as the team's Sunday starter and freshman Nick Vander Tuig as closer. What made you settle on those two?

Savage: It's not a final answer, but we're grooming Adam to be that Sunday guy. He has pitched very well in January and had a very good fall. He's really a guy that had a tremendous senior year [at Glendora High]. He had all the intangibles to be a front line Division I starter, so we're going to go with it. Vander Tuig, on the back end of the game, didn't pitch his senior year, so he hasn't pitched competitively in a long time. But he's a very talented guy, he's completely healthy, throws strikes with three pitches, holds runners, we think he has the mentality to close out games. He has big shoes to fill with [third-rounder] Dan Klein and certainly Adam with [second-rounder] Rob Rasmussen. There's going to be some learning moments, for sure, at the beginning of the year. But that's what the beginning of the year is for. What we start off with might not be what we end up with, but we hope that goes as planned.

With three-year player Niko Gallego gone, who is your shortstop this season?

Savage: Well, we've got (freshman) Pat Valaika -- who has been very good for us -- and Adrian Williams, who brings some experience back. Adrian and Pat are really competing for that job, so we feel that either way we go, we're confident in both guys. They're both very competitive; they're leaders. That's a major role on any team -- that middle infield position. We feel like both Pat and Adrian can fill that role.

You were one of the most successful small-ball teams in the country last year, given your bunting, hit-and-runs and stealing. Do you see the new bat having an impact on your team?

Savage: Yeah, I do. The new bats are definitely going to tone down the games. I thought the game was fine the way it was played last year, the scores were fine. It's going to shorten the length of the games, that's for sure. We definitely see that. Less pitch count, I see the pitch counts not get as high. I see the ball traveling a lot less than it did. I think you'll see a lot less home runs. Doubles will have to be gappers and hard ground balls. You won't see a lot of travel with the ball. That's going to change the game a bit. Everybody is a little uncertain about how it is going to happen, but everybody is dealing with it.

What role do you see recent Cal transfer Eric Jaffe having on this team?

Savage: It looks like Jaffe will be coming out of the bullpen -- power arm, 19th-round pick of Boston coming out of high school. It's really unfortunate we got him. We still feel sick about what they decided at Cal. It was a sad day for college baseball and certainly their players. It's very, very unfortunate. Eric is a guy that has high upside and potential. We look for him to help us out of the bullpen in those middle innings.
OMAHA, Neb. -- UCLA baseball finds itself down 1-0 following Monday night's loss to South Carolina in Game 1 of the College World Series final round.

Call it "the unenviable position."

Particularly because Monday night's 7-1 defeat felt more like a 20-0 drubbing. South Carolina did everything right, outhitting UCLA 14-3 and roughing up Gerrit Cole -- all as the supposed underdog.

Not many were around to catch the Bruins' lone run and two of their three hits in the ninth. By then, a majority of the 23,181 in attendance had streamed out of Rosenblatt Stadium.

"Anybody would have the momentum up 1-0," Savage said. "That's baseball. That's the way it is. That's how series work. They're certainly up a game, and it's their advantage right now, but, you know, that's why we're playing [Tuesday]."

UCLA has been in this position before. The Bruins lost the first game of the Los Angeles Super Regional to Cal State Fullerton before winning the last two to advance. That, combined with the fact that the team dropped only two series all year, reminds UCLA that it can bounce back in tonight's Game 2, which begins at 4:30 p.m. PT.

"We never felt we were totally out of [Monday's game]," catcher Steve Rodriguez said. "Even that last inning -- bases loaded, nobody out -- we were a couple hits away from getting right back into it and putting a little more pressure on them."

Perhaps playing their cards close to vest, neither coach committed to a starting pitcher for tonight's match-up. Savage suggested junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen might take the hill, suggesting it likely won't be sophomore Trevor Bauer, who made 135 pitches in a win Saturday.

South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner wasn't 100 percent sure either.

"We will do our normal routine and chat it up a little bit and 'philosophy' along the way," he said before drawing some laughs from reporters. "I think it will probably be a left-hander."

Baseball team unable to close out TCU

June, 25, 2010
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There will be a third game between UCLA and Texas Christian. Matt Purke, TCU's highly-touted lefty, made sure of it.

The Bruins' bats never going against Purke, the former first-round pick who was 15-0 heading into Friday afternoon's game. UCLA, a win away from the final round, didn't get a ball out of the infield until the fourth inning and didn't register a hit until the fifth. Purke surrendered two runs and only three hits and UCLA lost for the first time in the CWS, 6-2, to set up a tense final game between the two teams.

UCLA's own left-hander, Rob Rasmussen, failed to be as good as Purke when he needed to be. Nearly two weeks after tossing a complete game against Cal State Fullerton to book UCLA's trip to the College World Series, the junior struggled through 4 1/3 innings, laboring for 95 pitches and giving up three runs and six hits.

Senior right-hander Garett Claypool, playing for the first time in nearly a month, didn't fare any better. He gave up three runs in relief of Rasmussen.

UCLA had a shot at the game when it trailed by one in the seventh, but Beau Amaral struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat. TCU would tag Claypool for home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull away.

The elimination game between UCLA and TCU is Saturday, with the winner advancing to the championship round. If South Carolina forces another game by beating Clemson on Friday night, the Bruins and Horned Frogs take the field at 11 a.m. PT Saturday. If Clemson closes out its side of the bracket, Saturday's game is at 4 p.m. PT.

College World Series viewing guide

June, 19, 2010
6/19/10
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Chris Carlson/Associated Press Beau Amaral (25) and the UCLA Bruins hope to get off to a good start Saturday against No. 3-seeded Florida.


Most single-season wins in program history? Check. A Super Regional series victory leading to a College World Series bid in the last season at Rosenblatt Stadium? Check and check.

Those accomplishments are all fine and dandy, but there's one remaining goal for the UCLA baseball team -- a goal the Bruins hope to step closer to today in their CWS opener against Florida on ESPN.

UCLA is in Omaha, Neb. for the first time since 1997 thanks to a program-best 48 single-season victories. The following are a few things you need to know before the fun begins.

Why UCLA can win it all:

Pitching, pitching, pitching. The word needs to be stressed three times here because head coach John Savage has three aces at his disposal. Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer (today's starter) and Rob Rasmussenare each capable of completely shutting down the opposition. Cole is your power guy, Bauer your finesse guy, Rasmussen your sneaky-good left-hander. Then there's the bullpen, which features Garett Claypool, Matt Grace, Erik Goeddel and closer Dan Klein. When the opponent scores two runs or less -- and it's happened 30 times this spring -- UCLA is 29-1. Perhaps most notably, the Bruins won eight of 11 one-run games. If the College World Series turns into an arms race, look for UCLA (2.97 team ERA) to keep winning.

Player to watch:

Kimberly Lajcik/Daily Bruin Sophomore pitcher Trevor Bauer (right) plays a pivotal role as the Game 1 starter.


Bauer will be the tone-setter: win and the Bruins slide into a favorable spot as favorites to advance to the championship round, lose and the team will have to fight off elimination two days later. The sophomore right-hander will again make a Saturday start, though it's not a Game 2 like in a typical weekend series. Savage, though, insists that Bauer wants the ball in his hands. As mentioned earlier, Savage has the luxury to pick from a starting rotation that features three pitchers with 10 or more wins and 115 or more strikeouts.

Chompin' at the bit:Playing away from Westwood should not be a big issue for UCLA, which went 19-4 in 23 road games this season. Playing against unfamiliar competition should not be a problem, either. The Bruins are 30-5 against non-Pac-10 teams -- with three of those losses coming against Super Regional contestant Cal State Fullerton. Like UCLA, Florida swept through its Regional with easy wins over Bethune-Cookman (7-3), Oregon State (10-2) and Florida Atlantic (15-0). The Gators needed just two games to do away with Miami (Fla.) and punch their tickets for Omaha.

Notes: UCLA is making its third trip to the College World Series (1969 and 1997 were the other years) ... The Bruins placed in second behind No. 1 national seed Arizona State in the Pac-10 Conference this season. ASU swept a three-game set at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium in early May ... If UCLA loses to Florida, it faces the loser of TCU-Florida State on Monday. If it wins, it faces the winner of the same game ... Game-time forecasts call for a 50 percent chance of rain Saturday.

Baseball team books trip to Omaha

June, 14, 2010
6/14/10
1:09
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UCLA Athletics Pitcher Rob Rasmussen helped the UCLA baseball team make reservations for the College World Series in Omaha, throwing a complete game two-hitter against Cal State Fullerton in the Los Angeles Super Regional finale.



Rob Rasmussen didn't seem flustered until he gloved a comebacker in the ninth frame, awkwardly running towards first before flinging the ball for the second out of the ninth inning.

The second-round selection in last week's Major League Baseball Draft was an out away from tossing his first-career complete game, an out away from sealing UCLA's first trip to the College World Series since 1997, an out away from getting past recent nemesis Cal State Fullerton.

A few minutes later, the 5-foot-11 junior left-hander was throwing his mitt 25 feet in the air, jumping up and down, losing the composure he had spent all night building before getting mobbed by teammates.

"This year I really turned a corner," Rasmussen said.

And now, thanks to Rasmussen's two-hit gem, the No. 6-seeded Bruins have turned the corner too -- except that their route leads East, to legendary Rosenblatt Stadium.

"We needed to do this as a program," UCLA head coach John Savage said following an 8-1 victory Sunday night. "Now it's on to Omaha."

At one point, aces Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer stretched in the bullpen, just in case Rasmussen encountered trouble. But there was no need for the two right-handers -- or any of the Bruins' mighty relievers -- with Rasmussen retiring 15 consecutive batters before issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth.

Rasmussen had given up a seeing-eye single to Fullerton leadoff batter Christian Colon in the first before Colon -- this year's fourth-overall pick -- came around to break a scoreless tie. All Rasmussen allowed after that was a hit and a walk.

"His stuff was good," Colon said. "He mixed his pitches well and he had that chip on his shoulder."

"I felt that he got better, actually," Fullerton head coach Dave Serrano said. "There was a small window of opportunity in the first four innings."

But every inning must have felt like an eternity as Rasmussen kept hanging zeroes, kept stirring the 1,967 in attendance, kept making what figures to be his final appearance at Jackie Robinson Stadium all the more memorable. He won his team-leading 11th game of the year, a feat that had last been accomplished by fellow lefty Jim Parque in -- you guessed it -- 1997.

And with the way Rasmussen was throwing, luck was the last thing UCLA needed. Yet, that's exactly what the Bruins got with two outs and two runners on in the third, when Fullerton center fielder Joey Siddons dropped a routine liner off the bat of Tyler Rahmatulla. The go-ahead runs would scamper home and Rasmussen would get all the support he needed.

"I didn't really ask [Giddons]," Serrano said regarding the dropped ball. "What I saw from 340 feet away, it looked like it had some top spin and made it tougher to catch. It was a big play in the game, but things happen."

UCLA's center fielder Beau Amaral, meanwhile, did more than enough to help Rasmussen, going 3 for 4 with three runs scored and three driven in -- the latter two coming on a blast to right that pushed UCLA's lead to 8-1 and sparked chants of "O-ma-ha, O-ma-ha!" in the eighth.

"We felt very confident about this team since the fall," Savage said. "We felt like we had the pieces."

Now Savage is hoping those pieces align themselves in the Cornhusker state.

On the mound with Rob Rasmussen

June, 9, 2010
6/09/10
5:57
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UCLA Athletics Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen was a second-round choice in the MLB draft.


Junior pitcher Rob Rasmussen was the first UCLA baseball player to be selected in this year's MLB draft, going 73rd overall to the Florida Marlins. He had been a 27th-round choice out of high school three years ago but opted for a college education. Fair to say his decision has paid off: the left-hander is 10-2 this season with an ERA of 2.90 while limiting hitters to a .220 batting average. He talked about the draft on Tuesday night.

What were the moments leading up to the draft like?

Rasmussen: I had taken a couple of calls from a number of teams, kind of talking about where they were looking at me. The funny thing is, I hadn't talked to the Marlins at all. They came up and got me at 73. I was a little shocked because I hadn't talked to them, but I was ecstatic for them to take me.

How much do you think you improved your stock this past season, as well as the last few summers at the Cape Cod League?

Rasmussen: I struggled a little bit my first two years here -- but in the summer and into this year, I really figured out a lot of things about pitching and pitching at this level. I've kind of just taken that and found confidence to go out there and pitch like I know I can. That's been the difference between last year and this year and why I got drafted this high.

Was your decision to come to college a hard one when you were drafted out of high school?

Rasmussen: It was a no-brainer. I came from a very academic high school in Pasadena Poly. I pretty much made it known to anyone who talked to me or was thinking about drafting me that I wanted to go to school. The Dodgers selected me in the 27th round, the scout at the time called me to tell me that he drafted me because he thought I deserved it, that I worked hard enough that year to hear my name get called. He knew he wasn't going to sign me. It wasn't a tough decision for me and it's honestly turned out a lot better than I could have hoped.

Does this affect how you approach your remaining games at UCLA at all?

Rasmussen: Yeah, but I mean, I've been savoring this whole season. It's been a really special season for our team and it's been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed it. I don't think anything is going to change. Maybe there's less pressure on me -- I don't know. I don't think I ever felt pressure with the draft, but any pressure that might have been underlying there is gone. Now it's about going out and doing the same thing I've been doing the whole year. Hopefully that's good enough to get us to where we want to get to.

Did you go out and get your Marlins cap yet?

Rasmussen: Yeah I did, I definitely did.

Baseball: Rasmussen, Klein off the board

June, 8, 2010
6/08/10
12:21
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UCLA pitchers Rob Rasmussen and Dan Klein have been snatched up early in Day 2 of the MLB Draft.

Rasmussen, a junior left-hander who won his 10th game of the season Sunday in the Regional-clincher, was taken in the second round -- 73rd overall by the Florida Marlins. Klein, a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore and the team's lights-out closer, was selected with the third pick of the third round (85th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles.

This is not the first draft experience for either. Rasmussen, who stands at 5-foot-10 but can bring it with a low- to mid-90s fastball and above-average curve, was drafted in the 27th round by the Dodgers three years ago out of high school. Klein was also selected in that draft, in the 24th round, by the Orioles.

UCLA Athletics Rob Rasmussen


Rasmussen missed a majority of his freshman season after taking a sharp liner off his plant foot. He came back in time to make eight more appearances, including the Regional final at Cal State Fullerton. The 21-year-old had success in the renowned Cape Cod League the last two summers and started on the mound at the 2009 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Rasmussen is 10-2 with a 2.90 earned-run average and has struck out 108 batters in 90 innings.

UCLA Athletics Dan Klein


Klein, meanwhile, has come out of nowhere after missing all of his sophomore season because of shoulder issues. The former Anaheim Servite High starting quarterback has anchored UCLA's dominant bullpen, going 5-0 with nine saves and a 2.03 earned-run average. He has struck out 48 and walked only eight in 44 1/3 innings of work.

The two figure to play prominent roles this coming weekend in UCLA's Super Regional best-of-three series against rival Cal State Fullerton. If the series goes three games, Rasmussen would most likely get the ball on Sunday. Klein, on the other hand, would take the mound if the Bruins hold a late lead.

Video: UCLA reacts to Super Regional berth

June, 7, 2010
6/07/10
9:39
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Baseball: UCLA sweeps through L.A. Regional

June, 6, 2010
6/06/10
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Who says you can’t hit the ball out of Jackie Robinson Stadium at night? Who says the postseason is where freshmen hitters go to die? Who says UCLA is just a weak-hitting, bunt-happy team?

Cody Regis put those stigmas to rest, tucked them into bed and kissed them goodnight with one vicious swing of the bat Sunday night. The end result was a three-run, line-drive homer to right in the eighth that propelled the Bruins to a 6-2 win over UC Irvine and sent them to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to the crucial at-bat, UCLA second-year hitting coach Rick Vanderhook summoned Regis back to the on-deck circle for a brief conference. The talk could have been about moving two runners into scoring position, but according to Regis, Vanderhook told him to prepare for a fastball on the first Matt Summers offering.

(“I went into that at-bat thinking that I was going to bunt and preparing myself to bunt, but then I got the green light,” Regis said.

So Regis made the ball go, his second home run in two days proving why he’s one of UCLA’s most promising hitters.

“The freshmen class is very good,” UCLA head coach John Savage said. “It’s a combination of very good pitching, very good freshmen position players and a real good group of older guys that are keeping this thing together.”

Now the Bruins are heading to their first trip to the Super Regionals since 2007 and a year after missing the postseason altogether. Junior pitcher Rob Rasmussen made sure of it, backing strong performances from previous starters Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer with six innings of two-run ball. Relievers Erik Goeddel and Dan Klein combined for three scoreless innings to close it out.

“UCLA is one of those teams that can be standing on the last day,” Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie said.

The Bruins won their 46th game of the year to set a new school record for victories in a season. UCLA went 45-21-1 in 1997 -- a year that ended with a trip to the College World Series.

UCLA is two wins away -- against either Cal State Fullerton or Minnesota -- from Omaha.

“We feel like we have a special team but we know we have a lot of work to do,” Savage said.

Baseball: UCLA brings out the brooms

May, 23, 2010
5/23/10
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BERKELEY -- Apparently, being on the bad end of a sweep was what the UCLA baseball team needed to get going again.

With Sunday's 11-2 victory over California, the No. 10 Bruins improved to 11-1 since dropping three straight at home to Arizona State. UCLA (41-11, 16-8 Pac-10) has swept its way through three straight conference opponents (Washington, USC and Cal) and tallied the most regular-season wins since 1979 (also 41). In fact, the team has not been 30 games over the .500 mark in 41 years.

These Bruins might be on to something.

"Right now, it seems like it might have been the best thing for us," head coach John Savage said in regard to the three losses to the Sun Devils. "We got knocked off our pedestal a bit when we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. ASU totally dominated for three games. There wasn't much said, really."

Instead, UCLA has let its play do the talking.

The Bruins were at it again Sunday at Evans Diamond, torching Cal starter Justin Jones for seven runs in the first two innings to all but deflate a Golden Bears squad that committed nine errors in the three-game set.

"We wanted to score first, hands down," said Dean Espy, who had three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored Sunday. "The coaches asked me to bunt in the first -- you don't see much of that from a No. 4 hitter."

Espy's bunt turned into a single and plated the Bruins' first run. His next hit -- a two-run bomb to left-center field -- put UCLA up 7-0.

It was more than enough for starter Rob Rasmussen (8-2), who held Cal (27-22, 11-13) to a run on two hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"We had some speed bumps early, but its nice that we've really come back and three Pac-10 sweeps is huge," Rasmussen told Ryan Eshoff of the Daily Bruin. "It's very hard to sweep in the Pac-10 and to do it three times in a row is really a testament to our team. "

Baseball: Bruins hang on to sweep Washington

May, 9, 2010
5/09/10
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Things got a bit interesting late in Sunday's game -- perhaps a little too interesting for the Bruins' taste -- but the UCLA baseball team managed to leave Seattle with a sweep of Washington.

The Huskies tagged UCLA closer Dan Klein for four runs in the ninth inning, but he retired the final two batters to help the secure a 7-6 Bruins victory. Before him, junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen (7-2) had done enough to erase the memories of last Sunday's rough outing in which he allowed seven runs and seven hits in four innings during a 12-3 loss to Arizona State.

Rasmussen went 6 2/3 innings Sunday, surrendering just a run on five hits. Washington did its damage once Rasmussen exited, scoring the last five runs of the game. But UCLA (34-10, 10-8 Pac-10) had built a 6-0 cushion early.

UCLA won its 34th game -- the most wins in a season since 2004 when it finished 35-29. The Bruins also won their fourth straight game after being swept at home by the Sun Devils. The four-game streak is the longest since UCLA opened the season on a 22-0 run.

Baseball: Top-ranked Bruins drop first series

April, 18, 2010
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In all likelihood, the UCLA baseball team will fall a few spots in the Baseball America weekly collegiate poll on Monday after losing two of three to Oregon this weekend.

The first series-loss had to come sometime, but the fact that it came at home and when UCLA was ranked No. 1 in the country makes it a bit more dramatic. UCLA is 5-5 after starting the season on a 22-game win streak.

But this weekend's losses may not be all that bad.

Prior to this weekend, the Bruins (27-5, 5-4 Pac-10) had gone eight weeks without losing a series. There was no billing to live up to -- only the pressure to keep the win streak alive. Now head coach John Savage's bunch will have something to strive for.

Savage and Co. have grabbed attention, as evidenced by the capacity crowd of 1,986 that saw the Bruins salvage the finale with a 5-1 win thanks to a four-run first on Sunday. UCLA currently sits in fifth place in the highly competitive Pac-10 Conference.

Still, ace right-handers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer probably can't pitch as bad as they did on Friday and Saturday (the pair combined to allow 13 runs in 12 innings). Rob Rasmussen responded well on Sunday, holding the Ducks (23-12, 6-6) to just four hits in six and one-third innings to earn his sixth win.

The formula is still in place. And for now, falling from the top spot may not be the worst thing.

Baseball takes pivotal Pac-10 series

April, 11, 2010
4/11/10
9:54
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Chalk up another series victory for the UCLA baseball team.

After losing its first two games of the week, the No. 3 Bruins could have had a disastrous weekend in Corvallis, Ore. Instead, UCLA won the final two games of the crucial conference series, sealing it with an 8-2 defeat of No. 17 Oregon State on Sunday afternoon.

Second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla led UCLA (25-3, 4-2 Pac-10) at plate, going 3 for 4 in the finale. He doubled in a run in the first frame before breaking a 2-2 tie with a solo home run in the seventh. Junior outfielder Brett Krill cranked a 3-0 pitch for a grand slam in a five-run ninth.

The pitching was strong yet again. Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen (5-0) gave up two runs in seven innings to continue a recent trend. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of his last six starts.

UCLA could potentially move up in the Baseball America collegiate poll after top-ranked Arizona State dropped two of three at Washington State over the weekend.
The adversity has arrived.

The UCLA baseball team was sailing along just fine, winning its first 22 games. But the No. 3-ranked team in the nation has suddenly dropped two of three and faces a tough trip to No. 17 Oregon State this weekend. It's uncharted territory for the No. 3 Bruins, who have not had to play a weekend series after losing their midweek game (UCLA fell to Cal State Fullerton by a score of 6-1 at home on Tuesday night).

"This is our first test," head coach John Savage said following Tuesday's loss. "We have to bounce back just like we did with the first loss last Saturday."

Here are the scheduled starting pitchers:
  • Today, 5:30 p.m. -- RHP Gerrit Cole (6-0, 2.49 ERA) v. OSU RHP Greg Peavey (2-0, 2.13 ERA)
  • Saturday, 2 p.m. -- RHP Trevor Bauer (5-1, 2.28 ERA) v. TBA
  • Sunday, noon -- LHP Rob Rasmussen (4-0, 2.95 ERA) v. TBA
One loss was enough for the UCLA baseball team.

A day after losing for the first time this season, the No. 6 Bruins (23-1) responded with a 7-5 victory over No. 19 Stanford on Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium. With the win, UCLA took its first Pac-10 Conference series.

Sophomore closer Dan Klein continued his late-game dominance, earning his sixth save of the season by tossing two scoreless innings (his scoreless streak is now up to 19 2/3 innings). Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen (4-0) got the win with a solid six innings (three earned runs and four hits).

Offensively, UCLA was led by a mix of young and old -- junior shortstop Niko Gallego and freshman outfielder Cody Keefer. Gallego scored three runs and was three for four, while Keefer knocked in three runs on two hits.

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