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UCLA baseball prepares for 3-game series against Sun Devils

Freshman left-hander Ethan Flanagan throws a pitch. Flanagan, along with freshman right-hander Alonzo Tredwell, were placed on the Midseason Watch List for Stopper of the Year on Wednesday. Flanagan will be taking the mound Saturday for No. 13 UCLA baseball in its series against Arizona State this weekend. (Joseph Jimenez/Daily Bruin)

Baseball


Arizona State
Friday, 6 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCLA Live Stream-3
Arizona State
Saturday, 2 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCLA Live Stream-3
Arizona State
Sunday, 1 p.m.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
UCLA Live Stream-3

By Joseph Crosby

April 28, 2022 4:57 p.m.

Another conference series awaits the Bruins as they enter the home stretch of the regular season.

No. 13 UCLA baseball (27-13, 11-7 Pac-12) will take on Arizona State (20-22, 9-9) in a three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium starting Friday. Entering the last month of the regular season, the Bruins stand in third place in the conference after going 5-5 in their last 10 games.

Coach John Savage said the team is only focused on its upcoming Pac-12 matchup and not about the larger standing implications.

“I never look at those last 10 and all that stuff,” Savage said. “All I know is we’re 11-7 in conference and we’ve got ASU coming in.”

With its .500 conference record, Arizona State is in seventh place in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils enter the series 6-4 in their last 10 contests but have recorded three of those losses in their last four games, including dropping two of three at Arizona.

UCLA, on the other hand, took two out of three against then-No. 11 Arizona in late March. Savage said the constant battles are what makes conference play fun.

“It’s an unbelievable league this year,” Savage said. “The parity is exceptional. It’s a dogfight every weekend. It’s why you do it, and I really enjoy it. … The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty interesting in the Pac-12.”

With 12 conference games remaining, the Bruins will have the opportunity to make up ground on first-place Oregon State. However, freshman infielder Cody Schrier said the focus is still on whoever the team is playing that day.

“Each game, taking it one by one, inning by inning, pitch by pitch, not really looking too far ahead,” Schrier said. “Focusing on each game and doing the best we can.”

Redshirt sophomore right-hander Kelly Austin added that the Bruins will have to avoid distractions as they enter the final third of the regular season.

“Playoffs, guys trying to get drafted, summer ball coming – there’s a lot of things that guys can let their mind get away on,” Austin said. “If we can just stay focused on one game at a time, one pitch at a time, we’ll be fine.”

Additionally, UCLA had two relievers placed on the Midseason Watch List for Stopper of the Year, an award given to the best reliever in college baseball by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. After the Bruins had no pitchers on the preseason watch list, freshmen left-hander Ethan Flanagan and right-hander Alonzo Tredwell were two of 62 players selected for the midyear update.

Flanagan and Tredwell hold the team’s second- and third-best ERAs at 1.88 and 2.25, respectively, trailing freshman right-hander Thatcher Hurd’s 1.06 ERA. The trio of freshmen has combined for a 1.66 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 92.1 innings pitched, but Hurd has not pitched since suffering a back injury in early April.

The Bruins will take the field Friday at 6 p.m. to open the series against the Sun Devils.

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Joseph Crosby | Assistant Sports editor
Crosby is currently an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's water polo and women's water polo beats. He was previously a contributor on the baseball and women's golf beats.
Crosby is currently an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's water polo and women's water polo beats. He was previously a contributor on the baseball and women's golf beats.
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