The 2019 Bruins have a chance to put their names in the record books.
No. 1 UCLA baseball (42-8, 19-5 Pac-12) will host its final regular-season series this weekend against Washington (28-19, 12-12). The Bruins are riding a five-game winning streak and have the chance to set multiple single-season team records.
“Good teams win a lot of different games and different styles,” said coach John Savage. “We’ve had a lot of good games this season and been in a lot of close games, which helps us.”
Two wins this weekend will secure a second consecutive season of undefeated home series for the Bruins. UCLA is currently 24-4 at home, and a sweep would break the record for highest home win percentage previously set in 1978.
UCLA also boasts a .840 win percentage through its first 50 games. A 3-3 record over their final six games would maintain the Bruins’ .800-plus win percentage, a feat that has not been accomplished since the 1924 season.
“We don’t care if we win 9-8, 12-11, or 1-0,” Savage said. “Yeah, maybe one day the offense wasn’t great that day, or the pitching was good, but at the end of the day, you win as a team, you lose as a team.”
This will be the ninth consecutive week the Bruins will head into a weekend series ranked No. 1 in the country. UCLA has the second-most overall wins in the country and is one of three teams remaining with single-digit losses this year.
The sweep last week against Washington State – and one weekend loss each for Oregon State and Stanford – has put UCLA in a three-way tie for first in the Pac-12. However, because the Bruins have a better head-to-head record against both the Beavers and Cardinal, they sit atop the conference heading into the weekend.
“I think we’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing,” said junior right-hander Felix Rubi. “I think we have to keep trusting each other, playing as a team and doing everything how we want to.”
UCLA could clinch its best home record in over 40 years and stay atop the Pac-12, but Washington is coming to Westwood having won 11 of its last 13 games. In that 13-game stretch, the Huskies have scored 100 runs, with double-digit runs in six games.
Junior second baseman Chase Strumpf says he wants to treat each game with the same amount of weight.
“To me, there’s no column for Pac-12 wins and out-of-conference wins,” Strumpf said. “Everything is just the same, so we kind of try to treat it the same way everyday. You got to bring the same edge and the same mentality.”
UCLA will start junior right-hander Ryan Garcia on Friday and redshirt junior right-hander Jack Ralston on Saturday, and will close the weekend with freshman right-hander Jesse Bergin on Sunday. Garcia was selected as one of 25 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award – the honor given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. first pitch Saturday and a noon start Sunday.