UCLA 2012 Baseball World Series Capsule

UCLA Bruins
Pac-12 (42-14, 20-10)

It has been an interesting journey for the 2012 UCLA Bruin baseball squad. Initially it could have been understandable for the program to take a step backwards after losing Gerritt Cole and Trevor Bauer in the top 5 of last summer’s Major League Baseball Draft. However, after losing two of three at home to Maryland to start the season, UCLA has steadily gotten stronger and has themselves right back near the top of the Pac-12.  That strong finish has allowed UCLA to host a Regional.

Big Wins: 2/25, 2/26 vs. Baylor (9-3, 8-6), 3/9-3/11 at Georgia (2-0, 7-6, 7-3), 4/14, 4/15 at Arizona (15-3, 6-2)
Bad Losses: 2/17, 2/19 vs. Maryland (1-2, 1-5), 3/26 vs. Washington State, (4-10),  
Coach: John Savage (8 seasons at UCLA)

Why They Can Surprise:
The pitching of Adam Plutko has anchored another strong starting rotation for UCLA in 2012. He followed up a freshman All-American campaign with an even more effective sophomore season. Plutko has been the workhorse throwing over 90 innings, including a complete game. In the bullpen, Scott Griggs has been lights out with 15 saves and an ERA of 2.27. Offensively, Jeff Gelalich and Cody Keefer anchor what has been a much more explosive Bruins offense as evidenced by their 15 runs at Arizona and their production against a touch Baylor pitching staff.  Also, the experience of losing on their home field last year is a huge motivator for Coach Savage’s squad.    

Why They Can Disappoint:
If the offense struggles at all against top flight pitching during post-season play, another first week-end exit from the tourney is a possibility.  Oregon was able to come into Jackie Robinson Stadium and cause the Bruins some problems, taking two out of three in early April. Jackie Robinson Stadium is not the most raucous home venue in college baseball so if a team can string together elite pitching performances, they can give UCLA a battle.    

Key Field Players:
Jeff Gelalich, Junior, OF, .367 BA, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 15 SB
Tyler Heineman, Junior, C, .359 BA, 25 RBI
Cody Keefer, Junior, OF, .338 BA, 34 RBI
Trevor Brown, Junior, IF, C, .326 BA, 46 RBI
Beau Amaral, Junior, OF, .313 BA, 43 RBI, 12 SB
Kevin Williams, Sophomore, IF, .313 BA, 19 RBI

Key Pitchers:
Adam Plutko, Sophomore, Starting Pitcher, 2.79 ERA, 9-3 W/L, 96.2 IP, 78 SO
Scott Griggs, Junior, Closer, 2.27 ERA, 3-1 W/L, 35.2 IP, 61 SO, 15 SV
Nick Vander Tuig, Sophomore, Starting Pitcher, 4.94 ERA, 8-3 W/L, 89.1 IP, 53 SO
Grant Watson, Freshman, Pitcher, 4.41 ERA, 9-2 W/L, 85.2 IP, 44 SO

By the Numbers:
Batting Average: .310 (14th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Offense: 6.3 (43, 4)
Doubles per Game: 1.37 (242, 10)
Triples per Game: 0.25 (116, 5)
Home Runs per Game: 0.40 (168, 9)
Slugging Percentage: .402 (83, 7)
Stolen Bases per Game: 1.00 (137, 5)
Earned Run Average: 3.32 (48, 4)
Fielding Percentage: .976 (19, 4)
Double Plays per Game: 0.85 (91, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2011Regionallost to San Francisco, defeated Fresno State, defeated San Francisco, eliminated by UC Irvine
2010Regionaldefeated Kent State, defeated LSU, defeated UC Irvine
2010Super Regionaleliminated by Cal State Fullerton
2008Regionaldefeated Virginia, defeated Cal State Fullerton, lost to Cal State Fullerton, eliminated by Cal State Fullerton
2007Regionaldefeated Pepperdine, defeated Illinois Chicago, defeated Long Beach State
2007Super Regionaleliminated by Cal State Fullerton
2006Regionaldefeated UC Irvine, lost to Pepperdine, eliminated by Missouri

*all team stats through 5/20

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