Monday, November 18

Baseball looks to keep longest winning streak of season alive against Cal


Junior third baseman Ryan Kreidler is hitting a career-high .317 for UCLA baseball in 2019. Kreidler has started all 34 games for the Bruins and is on pace to set career highs in home runs, RBIs, hits, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. (Joe Akira/Daily Bruin staff)

Junior third baseman Ryan Kreidler is hitting a career-high .317 for UCLA baseball in 2019. Kreidler has started all 34 games for the Bruins and is on pace to set career highs in home runs, RBIs, hits, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. (Joe Akira/Daily Bruin staff)


Baseball


California
Thursday, 7 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
Pac-12 Networks
California
Friday, 7 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
Pac-12 Networks
California
Saturday, 2 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
No TV info

The Bruins have the chance to extend their longest winning streak of the season.

No. 1 UCLA baseball (28-6, 9-3 Pac-12) will host California (19-12, 7-5) in a three-game series starting Thursday night. The Bruins are riding a season-high seven-game winning streak, having already won five straight on two other occasions this season.

Following a walk-off defeat against then-No. 2 Stanford on April 5, UCLA has yet to lose a game and is beating its opponents by an average of 3.4 runs.

UCLA took the final two games against then-No. 2 Stanford, defeated then-No. 16 UC Irvine on April 9 and swept then-No. 8 East Carolina over the weekend. A win over Pepperdine on Monday lengthened the streak to seven.

Junior first baseman Michael Toglia said his team treats every opponent the same because every win is counted equally.

“There’s no separate win column for top-10 games,” Toglia said. “It shows we’re going to bring our best game to anyone we play, whether it’s top-10, conference or nonconference.”

Although it has yet to be ranked this season, Cal has won eight of its last nine games, including sweeps against Long Beach State and Washington State and a series victory over Arizona. The Golden Bears have defeated their opponents by an average of over five runs over that span.

The Golden Bears are led by first baseman Andrew Vaughn – MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 2019 MLB Draft prospect. The junior leads his team with a .364/.541/.701 slash line, 1.242 OPS, 10 home runs and 37 walks, and is tied for first with 32 RBIs.

The Bruins boast their own high-profile first baseman in Toglia, who is coming off a career week that earned him the UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week award.

Toglia went 7-for-15 over the perfect 4-0 stretch, with four extra-base hits and a .467/.569/1.000 slash line. The junior posted a five-RBI game Friday night against East Carolina before launching a three-run, walk-off home run in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

“Toglia’s really swinging the hot bat right now,” said coach John Savage. “Toglia has been a really good player in our program for three years and was off to a relatively slow start. But to his credit, he’s finding that groove.”

If the Bruins sweep the Golden Bears, they would pass the 2010 team for having the best 37-game start in the John Savage era. That squad lost in the College World Series championship.

Junior third baseman Ryan Kreidler said the team’s postseason aspirations are aided by competitive in-conference matchups.

“We want to play deep in the postseason, so we have to play the best teams,” Kreidler said. “I think the Pac-12, this year, is so strong that we’re getting the chance to play tough teams in season and in conference.”

First pitch will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, followed by 7 p.m. Friday – with junior right-hander Ryan Garcia moving up a spot in the rotation – and 2 p.m. Saturday.

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Sports contributor

Venable is currently a contributor on the baseball beat. He was previously a contributor on the men's water polo beat.


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