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UCLA baseball to play Cal State Fullerton in multi-site, three-part series

Freshman first baseman Mulivai Levu swings and eyes the ball. (Michael Gallagher/Daily Bruin)

By Mika McCaffrey

May 2, 2024 2:39 p.m.

The Bruins are heading south to kick off their weekend series after fracturing a nine-game losing streak.

UCLA baseball (14-28, 6-18 Pac-12) will face off against Cal State Fullerton (13-28, 5-16 Big West) in a three-game series. All three bouts will be hosted at different sites – the first of which is at Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels.

Freshman right-hander Luke Rodriguez, who gave up one hit over five innings Tuesday, said he is excited to play at a major league stadium again.

“I want to see how that mound feels like,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully, it’s similar to Dodger Stadium.”

The team has struggled on the road this season with an away record of 3-16, but unlike the Bruins’ other series, they will have the opportunity to play away, at home and at a neutral site through the three-game stretch. After its first duel at Angel Stadium, UCLA will compete at Goodwin Field on Saturday and at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday.

UCLA is coming off a 16-2 victory over Pepperdine, which snapped its second prolonged skid and longest losing streak of the season.

Coach John Savage said the team had a chance to evaluate steps forward after the Bruins’ win over the Waves.

“We had a good meeting yesterday (Monday) about the principles of our program, in terms of principles of competing and so forth,” Savage said. “And I thought we came out and put a pretty good game together, defensively and on the mound and had some good at-bats.”

Despite its 14-run victory over Pepperdine, UCLA still sports a losing record and sits at the bottom of the Pac-12. The team has had a string of in-conference play, as it has not competed in a nonconference series since TCU in February.

Rodriguez said the break in conference action could act as a reset for the team.

“Hopefully, we get some wins out of that and move on to Stanford,” he said.

The Bruins have just 11 more games until the Pac-12 tournament. Six of the 11 are against Oregon State and Stanford.

The Bruin team comprises 35 California natives, including 28 from Southern California. Huntington Beach local and freshman first baseman Mulivai Levu said he is excited for the team to play in Orange County.

“I’m excited to get my team over there,” Levu said. “We’re looking forward to that, and taking the series against them.”

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