UCLA Baseball to Face Pepperdine Friday in Long Beach Regional

Bruins set for third tournament appearance in four years

Ryan Babineau and the Bruins will make their second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance

Ryan Babineau and the Bruins will make their second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance

May 30, 2007

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LOS ANGELES - UCLA has earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament's Long Beach Regional. The Bruins will face No. 3 seed Pepperdine on Friday, June 1, at 3 p.m. at Long Beach State's Blair Field. UCLA's selection to the NCAA Tournament marks the Bruins' 14th regional appearance and the program's third postseason berth in the last four years.

UCLA - Tyson Brummett (RHP) vs. Pepperdine - Barry Enright (RHP)

UCLA's NCAA Regional games will be broadcast live online at no cost at uclabruins.com. Danny Lee and Tim Wilhelm will call the action live from Long Beaech State's Blair Field. Each game can be followed online via CSTV's GameTracker at UCLA's website, uclabruins.com.

UCLA's press conference Thursday is slated to last from 11-11:15 a.m. at the Blair Field press tent. Long Beach State will be available to the media from 11:15-11:30 a.m. From 2-2:15 p.m., Illinois-Chicago will be available to the media, and Pepperdine's press conference will follow from 2:15-2:30 p.m.

Friday, June 1
3 p.m. - Game 1: No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 Pepperdine
7 p.m. - Game 2: No. 1 Long Beach State vs. No. 4 Illinois-Chicago

Saturday, June 2
3 p.m. - Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
7 p.m. - Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2

Sunday, June 3
2 p.m. - Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
6 p.m. - Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Monday, June 4
6 p.m. - Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (if necessary)

Tickets purchased at Long Beach State's Blair Field on the day of the game must be paid using cash only. Ticket prices for all single-game general admission seats cost $10. All single-game super box seats cost $20, box seats cost $14 and seniors/youth/students cost $7. Single game tickets will not go on sale until Friday. Ticket prices for the tournament are as follows: All-Session Super Box $90, All-Session Box Seat $70, All-Session General Admission $50. Tickets may be purchased online through the Long Beach Regional web site located through longbeachstate.com.

UCLA posted a 30-26 regular-season record and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 14-10 mark...the Bruins have earned their second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, including the team's third berth in the last four years and 14th overall selection (29-27 record in the NCAA Tournament)...in 50 NCAA Regional contests, the Bruins have recorded a 29-21 record...UCLA has advanced past the NCAA Regionals on three occasions - 2000, 1997 and 1969...with starts of 8-1 and 12-2 in Pac-10 play, UCLA registered its best conference start since finishing 10-0 in the Southern California Conference in 1924...UCLA recorded its first-ever three-game series sweep at USC's Dedeaux Field (April 13-15)...the Bruins swept Stanford at Sunken Diamond for the first time since 1991, breaking Stanford's streak of 71 consecutive three-game home series without having been swept (since 1997).

UCLA opened the season with an 8-14 mark before winning 19 of its next 23 games. The turnaround began March 25 against Pacific, as UCLA used a 14-run eighth inning to overcome an 8-1 deficit and win the contest, 15-8. The following weekend in the team's Pac-10 opening series at Stanford, third baseman Jermaine Curtis returned to the lineup and became the spark UCLA needed. The Bruins won 12 of their first 14 games with Curtis in the lineup and eventually soared to a 28-19 mark with a 4-1 victory at Pepperdine on March 8. UCLA raced to a 12-2 Pac-10 record by early May, as the Bruins won their first five conference games and eight of their first nine Pac-10 contests.

Senior right-handed pitcher Tyson Brummett has anchored the Bruins' pitching staff since opening night, when he set the tone with a 2-1 victory over Winthrop. The All-Pac-10 selection has tallied a 9-5 mark and a 3.60 ERA, recording 103 strikeouts in a team-high 125.0 innings pitched. Brummett has tossed seven complete games, tied for the third-highest total in the nation, and registered victories in six consecutive starts during the 2007 campaign (March 30 through May 4). His complete game total ranks second, tied with six other pitchers, on UCLA's single-season complete games list.

UCLA has 12 players who have competed in an NCAA Tournament contest. Seniors Kevin Brophy, Tyson Brummett, Will Penniall, Paul Schmidt and Tim Stewart, junior Brant Rustich and sophomores Jermaine Curtis, Brandon Crawford, Ryan Babineau, Cody Decker, Tim Murphy and Jason Novak have each played in the postseason. Last season's trip to the NCAA Regionals marked the first postseason appearance for eight of these 12 Bruins. One year ago, Decker hit 4-for-9 (.444) with one double and Brummett limited Missouri to two runs and five hits through 6.2 innings of a 2-1 loss to Missouri.

According to Boyd's World, a national strength of schedule ranking service, UCLA faces the third-most difficult schedule in the nation. UCLA's non-conference slate has been ranked the most challenging non-conference schedule in the country. The Bruins played 19 games against teams ranked in Baseball America's top-25 poll. Likewise, 50 of UCLA's 56 regular-season games were against teams either ranked in or receiving votes in Collegiate Baseball's preseason "Fabulous 40" poll.

UCLA's three weekend starters each rank in the top 10 among the Pac-10 Conference's strikeout leaders. Right-hander Tyson Brummett leads the staff with 103 strikeouts in a team-leading 125.0 innings. Brummett leads all Pac-10 pitchers with the most strikeouts looking (45). Left-hander Tim Murphy has registered 88 strikeouts, including his team-best 14-strikeout performance at Arizona State (May 12). Southpaw Gavin Brooks has struck out 79 hitters in 93.2 innings.

Senior Tyson Brummett, freshman Gabe Cohen and sophomores Brandon Crawford, Jermaine Curtis and Cody Decker have earned All-Pac-10 team recognition. Ryan Babineau, Alden Carrithers and Tim Murphy captured All-Pac-10 honorable mention accolades. The 2007 squad secured the most All-Pac-10 team selections at UCLA since 2000 (also five players). Cohen earned Pac-10 Co-Newcomer of the Year honors, becoming the first Bruin to gain that award since Wes Whisler (2002).

Junior Alden Carrithers has posted a fantastic first season at UCLA, hitting .351 having started all 56 regular-season games at second base. The transfer from UC Santa Barbara has totaled 74 hits, a team-best 49 runs, 13 doubles, two home runs and 30 RBI. The Portland, Ore., native has stolen seven bases on eight attempts, has led UCLA with 30 walks and has tallied a team-leading .447 on-base percentage. While at UC Santa Barbara, Carrithers earned All-Big West honors as a second baseman in 2006.

Sophomore first baseman Cody Decker has flexed his muscles this season, totaling 13 home runs in 49 games. The Santa Monica, Calif., native has hit two home runs in two games (March 30, at Stanford; May 6, vs. California). He has become the first Bruin to eclipse the 10-home-run plateau since Ryan McCarthy totaled 15 home runs in 2004.

Senior first baseman Tim Stewart returned to the Bruins' lineup Saturday, May 26, against Oregon State after having missed 20 games with an injured hand. In his two games against the Beavers last weekend, Stewart hit 4-for-7 with seven RBI. The Santa Ana, Calif., resident registered a season-high four RBI on Saturday, delivering an RBI-double in his first at-bat since April 15.

Freshman right-hander Garett Claypool has tallied a 3.54 ERA in 24 appearances (seven starts). The West Hills, Calif., resident has recorded a 1.82 ERA as a starter, registering 20 strikeouts in 29.2 innings through seven starts. Claypool has posted a 3-0 record as a starting pitcher and earned the victory by pitching five scoreless innings at Pepperdine on Tuesday, May 8.

Sophomores Jermaine Curtis and Brandon Crawford and senior Will Penniall have played well under the lights this season. Penniall has posted a .404 average at night, Curtis is hitting .370 under the lights and Crawford has tallied a .363 mark in the evening. Freshman Gabe Cohen has hit a team-leading six home runs in the evening, and Crawford leads all Bruins with 21 RBI under the lights. Freshman Garett Claypool has been most effective at night, limiting opponents to a .198 average while totaling a 2.70 ERA in 30.0 innings.

UCLA finished 12-4 in April, the most victories in one month since the Bruins collected 14 wins in February 1997. UCLA last won 12 or more games in April in 1982, when the Bruins finished the month with a 13-8 record. Last month, Ryan Babineau led the Bruins offense with a .375 average and four home runs. Cody Decker belted six home runs and totaled 24 RBI in 16 games.

The Bruins jumped out to one of their best starts in conference play when they won 10 of their first 11 Pac-10 games. UCLA's best-ever conference start (and finish) took place in 1924, when the Bruins finished their conference slate with a 10-0 mark. After starting 5-0 in the Pac-10 over three weeks ago, UCLA was off to its best conference start since 1977, when the Bruins began their Pac-8 schedule with a 5-0 mark before ending the season 10-8 in the conference.

The Bruins made history on Sunday, March 25 against Pacific. Trailing 8-1 in the eighth, UCLA posted a school-record 14-run inning to defeat the Tigers, 15-8. Sophomore Cody Decker initiated the Bruins' heroics with a grand slam and finished with five RBI. UCLA had previously scored 13 runs in one inning versus Winthrop on Feb. 4, 2007 and against Arizona State on Feb. 28, 1997. The Bruins' 14-run inning not only lifted UCLA to victory, but propelled the team to an 18-4 span over the next 22 games.

One weekend after the series win against Pacific, UCLA became the first team to sweep Stanford at Sunken Diamond in a three-game regular-season series since Arizona State accomplished the feat in 1997. Stanford had not been swept at home in its previous 71 home series. UCLA had not swept the Cardinal on the road since 1991 and had not swept a series against Stanford since 1997.

UCLA plays its best ball when it wins the first inning. The Bruins have posted a 15-6 record when they score in the first inning and have tallied a 17-8 mark when they score first in the game. UCLA has finished 11-10 when its opponent scores in the first inning. The Bruins are 13-18 when their opponents score first in the game. When leading after eight innings, UCLA has recorded a 28-1 record and when ahead after six innings, the Bruins have registered a 21-2 mark.

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