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UCLA baseball to play Oregon State in final stretch of Pac-12

Senior right-hander Caedon Kottinger pitches at Jackie Robinson Stadium. (Jessica Allen/Daily Bruin)


No. 7 Oregon State
Friday, 7 p.m.

Coleman Field
Pac-12 Networks
No. 7 Oregon State
Saturday, 5 p.m.

Coleman Field
Pac-12 Networks
No. 7 Oregon State
Sunday, 12 p.m.

Coleman Field
Pac-12 Networks

By Mika McCaffrey

May 9, 2024 12:53 p.m.

Travis Bazzana just set the single-season home run record at Oregon State.

And with a batting average of .428, the Australian slugger has a higher average than every Bruin – and it isn’t close.

UCLA baseball (16-30, 6-18 Pac-12) will face off against a Bazzana-led No. 7 Oregon State (36-12, 14-9) in a three-game series in Corvallis this weekend. After picking up a series win for the first time since March with two victories over Cal State Fullerton, the Bruins are returning to Pac-12 play for the penultimate time this year.

As the end of the regular season approaches – with only two remaining series to play – the Bruins are at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings.

“Each game is the same,” said senior right-hander Caedon Kottinger. “There might be a different meaning on each game, but it’s important to go in each game and just take it as you would any other game – no matter the level of the game or the opponent.”

However, they will have a chance to gain more in-conference victories pursuing a Pac-12 tournament berth in both this weekend’s series against Oregon State and the following weekend’s series against Stanford.

UCLA has struggled on the road throughout the season with an away record of 4-17. Meanwhile, Oregon State holds a 21-2 record in their home ballpark of Goss Stadium.

The Bruins are coming off of a string of nonconference play, including a 2-1 series victory over Cal State Fullerton last weekend and a 9-6 loss against UC Irvine on Tuesday.

After the game Tuesday, redshirt junior outfielder AJ Salgado – who went 3-5 against UC Irvine – said there were certain elements the team could work on going into the series against Oregon State.

“I just think on the offensive side, trying to get those hits in a more consistent, just hyphenated, instead of spread out throughout the game,” Salgado said. “I think that’s always going to give us the best chance to do good.”

When UCLA has been able to consistently get hits throughout an inning, it’s led to eventual victory. One recent example of this is its Sunday home game against Cal State Fullerton with the series on the line.

The Bruins began the game with five hits and six runs in the first inning, which ultimately resulted in an 11-4 victory to clinch the series.

A less extreme, but still evident instance is their 4-1 victory at Fullerton earlier in the series. The team put up three hits for two runs in the seventh inning, which helped them pull off the win to tie the series.

UCLA is fighting for a Pac-12 tournament spot and its series against Oregon State could help it achieve its goal.

“Our preparation is very good, and we have plenty of talent, plenty of guys that are ready to attack, so we just got to go out there and play our game,” Kottinger said.

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Mika McCaffrey
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