No. 10 UCLA baseball gears up for second home matchup against Loyola Marymount
Aside from one appearance against Cal Poly, sophomore left-hander Jake Saum has only allowed three earned runs in 13.8 innings of work out of No. 10 UCLA baseball’s bullpen. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin staff)
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Jackie Robinson Stadium
No TV Info
March 23, 2021 1:28 p.m.
For the second time this season, the Bruins will host the Lions on a Tuesday.
No. 10 UCLA baseball (12-6, 2-1 Pac 12) will play Loyola Marymount (7-11, 0-3 West Coast Conference) on Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Stadium, the second of their four contests against each other this season.
In the first matchup, the Lions held a 2-0 lead for five innings until the Bruins put up a four-spot in the sixth to win 5-2. In total, only two of the seven total runs scored were earned.
UCLA’s last game saw it score 11 runs against Pac-12 foe Arizona. The Lions, on the other hand, also played their last contest against the Wildcats but lost 18-2, the second-most runs scored by Arizona and Loyola Marymount’s highest margin of defeat this season.
Taking the mound for UCLA will be freshman right-hander Jake Brooks, who is set to make the first start of his collegiate career.
In seven relief appearances this season, Brooks has allowed two earned runs, six hits and one walk while striking out four over 6.2 innings. The right-hander has only allowed one extra-base hit, a triple against Cal State Fullerton.
Overall, UCLA pitchers hold a combined 3.45 ERA compared to Loyola Marymount’s 4.98. The Bruins have walked a total of 58 batters while striking out 186, while the Lions have tallied 71 base on balls and 136 punch outs.
In UCLA’s last game against Arizona, junior right-hander Nick Nastrini only tossed 3.2 innings in his fifth start of the season.
Taking over for Nastrini was sophomore left-hander Jake Saum, followed by sophomore right-hander Jared Karros. Each threw 2.2 innings, and Saum gave up the pair’s only run.
“We talk a lot as a team about our bench and our bullpen and how those two components are pretty much the biggest parts of our team,” said redshirt sophomore first baseman JT Schwartz. “Jake and Karros coming out of the pen were huge – we can always count on guys like that.”
Schwartz notched three hits against the Wildcats on Sunday, including a double and his first career home run, for two RBIs and two runs. Over 29 at-bats this season, Schwartz has a .517 average with 15 hits and 12 runs batted in.
Redshirt junior center fielder Kevin Kendall, the Bruins’ leadoff hitter, holds a .342 average with 27 hits, nine RBIs and five doubles.
UCLA as a team holds a .270 batting average while Loyola Marymount’s is .245, and the two teams have .779 and .632 on-base-plus-slugging percentages, respectively.
Loyola Marymount’s opponents this season, aside from UCLA and Arizona, have been USC, Utah, Washington, California and BYU, of which the Bruins have only played one so far – a single game against the Trojans that they won 10-1.
“Loyola’s played a very good schedule,” said coach John Savage. “Southern California man, there’s a lot of competition, there’s a lot of good teams. Some of these teams are playing really good schedules. It’s hard to win out here. Anybody that’s ever lived out here and played out here and coached out here, they know that.”
The Lions’ tough schedule has them on a seven-game losing streak heading into Westwood. Loyola Marymount has not scored more than five runs in its last 12 games and has yet to post double digits on the scoreboard in any game this season.
Saum said he and the team will be treating their contest against the Lions like any other opponent, no matter their statistics.
“No matter who it is, we’re treating everyone the same,” Saum said. “Sticking with our approach and controlling what we can control. And no matter what, we’re coming out ready to play the Bruin way.”