Cal Poly to Meet UCLA in Second Round of Los Angeles Regional
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Cal Poly sophomore southpaw Matt Imhof will face UCLA junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig in the second round of the NCAA Division I Los Angeles Regional on Saturday night.
First pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium is set for 6:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 1280 (Tom Barket) as well as on the Internet at www.ESPN3.com (Trey Bender, Jerry Kindall). An audio stream and live stats also are available at www.GoPoly.com.
Both teams are 40-17 on the year.
Imhof (7-3, 2.52 ERA) has won his last three starts and Cal Poly also is 4-1 in Imhof's five no-decisions. The Mission San Jose High School graduate has struck out 90 batters in 96 1/3 innings.
Vander Tuig (10-4, 2.30 ERA), a graduate of Oakdale High School north of Bakersfield, earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as the Bruins' Saturday starter. He has struck out a team-leading 74 batters with just 14 walks.
Vander Tuig has thrown six or more innings in 13 of his 15 starts and has compiled 23 career wins, sixth on UCLA's all-time list. He is part of a UCLA pitching staff that compiled a 2.79 team ERA, No. 2 in the Pac-12 and 16th-best in the nation.
While Cal Poly finished in a tie for second place with UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Conference, UCLA placed third in the Pac-12, three games behind champion Oregon State. Neither conference conducted a postseason tournament last week.
Cal Poly earned its first-ever Division I regional playoff victory Friday afternoon, defeating San Diego 9-2 as senior right-hander Joey Wagman posted his school-record 13th victory, freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell drove in four runs with a solo home run, sacrifice fly and two-run single and junior third baseman Jimmy Allen (pictured above) produced his first career four-hit game as a Mustang with a double and three singles, one of which knocked in two runs.
UCLA beat San Diego State 5-3 as first baseman Pat Gallagher snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run fourth-inning single and junior right-hander Adam Plutko (8-3) scatted six hits over seven innings.
UCLA holds a 19-7 advantage in its series against Cal Poly. The two teams last met in a series hampered by rain in 2011 at Baggett Stadium. The Mustangs and Bruins split a Monday doubleheader, with Cal Poly winning the opener 2-1 and UCLA taking the nightcap 8-0.
The Bruins entered the regional with no regular batting .300 or above. Third baseman Kevin Kraemer leads the way with a .290 mark with 11 doubles and 38 RBI, followed by center fielder Brian Carroll at .263 with 29 steals in 37 attempts.
Shortstop Pat Valaika, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, is next at .262 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 39 RBI to go with eight stolen bases.
UCLA as a team is hitting .249 and has held opponents to a .225 mark. The Bruins have produced 77 doubles, 11 triples and 19 home runs with 64 steals in 56 games.
UCLA has committed just 45 errors in 56 games for a .980 fielding percentage, eighth in the nation, and is better known for its pitching, compiling a 2.79 staff ERA.
Closer David Berg, named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year earlier this week, has earned 18 saves to go with a 6-0 record and 0.70 ERA. He has allowed a stingy .190 batting average and the fewest runs (5), walks (7) and hits (43) in the Pac-12. The sidearmer had a 37-inning scoreless streak snapped recently.
UCLA is hosting a regional for the fourth straight year and has appeared in a regional seven times in the last eight seasons and 19 regional appearances overall.
Since the start of the 2010 season, UCLA has won 102 of 142 games and the Bruins are 25-9 at Jackie Robinson Stadium this year. UCLA also has finished in the top three in the Pac-12 each of the last eight seasons, claiming conference titles in 2011 and 2012.
Bruin head coach John Savage is 315-224 in nine seasons at UCLA. The 1991 Nevada alumnus has guided the Bruins to College World Series appearances in both 2010 and 2012 and also was head coach at UC Irvine for three seasons (2002-04).
San Diego State (31-30) faces the University of San Diego (35-24) in an elimination game Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Both won their conference tournaments -- the Aztecs beating New Mexico twice in the Mountain West Conference finals at Fresno and the Toreros earning two wins over San Francisco in the West Coast Conference Tournament at Stockton.
San Diego State opened its 2013 season by sweeping a three-game series in San Diego's newly christened Fowler Park.