UCLA Baseball: The Bruins are dominating the stat columns

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 25: Head coach John Savage of the UCLA Bruins stands in the dugout before playing the Mississippi State Bulldogs during game two of the College World Series Finals on June 25, 2013 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 25: Head coach John Savage of the UCLA Bruins stands in the dugout before playing the Mississippi State Bulldogs during game two of the College World Series Finals on June 25, 2013 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

The UCLA baseball team has dominated the college landscape all year long and looking at their statistics, not only are they at the top of their game, they are a very well balanced team.

Through 46 games, the UCLA Baseball team is 38-8 on the season. Through 46 games in 2013, the year the Bruins won their only national championship, they were 32-14. This is a good sign.

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In the last few seasons, the Bruins have not had that same kind of success. Though they have been competitive, head coach John Savage has not been able to utilize all of the talents he has been able to bring to Westwood and get back to the level of aggressiveness from that championship season.

It looked as if this year would start in a similar fashion. UCLA has the talent, but injuries reared their head once again. Ryan Garcia, the Bruins’ star pitcher, would miss the start of the season due to flexor inflammation. In recent weeks, freshman pitcher Nick Nastrini has been ruled out for the season with thoracic outlet syndrome and Zach Pettway is nursing a forearm strain.

Garcia had returned after a 12-game absence, but the Bruins maintained a certain level of success. That is the difference between this season and the previous five seasons as the overall talent is making up for their weaknesses.

With that being said, Savage has been able to put together a team that has been able to maintain his style of play, which has kept them at the top of the D1 Baseball standings for eight consecutive weeks.

And it is no wonder why. When you look at the numbers they are putting up in pitching, batting, and fielding, you can understand how they are considered the best team in the nation.

The number in parentheses represents national rank out of 297 teams.


  • ERA: 2.74 (1st)
  • Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio: 3.17 (5th)
  • Strikeouts per Nine Innings: 10.4 (8th)
  • WHIP: 1.05 (1st)

Pitching is the strength of the team. Individually, they have several fantastic pitchers, which means that collectively they are dominating their opponents. Not only are they in the top 10 in categories such as strikeout-to-walk ratio and strikeouts per nine innings, but they also have the lowest ERA and the best WHIP (the stat that measures the allowance of batters on base) in the country.

Part of that has to do with their ace Garcia who has the second-best ERA in college baseball with 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.84 (6th in the country). And though he only has 77 strikeouts, his 12.38 strikeouts per nine innings is 24th in the county. And keep in mind, this is a player that missed 12 games, so he has been on fire from the moment he suited up for the season. But while he was gone, the rest of the crew held down the fort.

Depsite a 3-3 record, Holden Powell has been a very reliable pitcher as he has accumulated a 1.83 ERA in 33 appearances. Jack Ralston might be giving up 2.71 runs, but his 8-0 record speaks for itself. The bottom line, UCLA has a deep roster of starters and relievers that will help guide them through the rest of the season and into the post-season. If one Bruin is having a bad day, someone else can easily step in and save the day for UCLA.


  • Avg: .291 (38th)
  • On-Base Percentage: .386 (48th)
  • Slugging Percentage: .452 (35th)

The Bruins’ bats are also quite excellent. They are not setting the world on fire (at least not in every game — UCLA had seven home runs in one game last weekend), but they are getting things done. When you have a pitching staff as the Bruins do, batting does not have to be superior, but it helps.

Currently, the Bruins have four players with over 130 at-bats that are averaging over .300 (Jack Stronach, Garrett Mitchell, Ryan Kreidler, and Chase Strumpf). Additionally, they also have four players with over 130 at-bats with an on-base percentage of .400 or more (Stronach, Mitchell, Strumpf and Jake Pries). In addition to these four, a few other Bruins have been quietly contributing to UCLA’s success.

He is not listed above, but Michael Toglia has been the Bruins’ heavy-hitter. So far this season, he leads the team in home runs (9), RBIs (45), is second in hits (52) and third in slugging percentage (.533). Put that all these players together, and you have quite a dynamic group of hitters.


  • Fielding: .982 (3rd)
  • Hits Allowed per 9 Innings: 6.31 (2nd)
  • Shutouts: 8 (2nd)

And let’s not forget what the Bruins are doing on defense. The combination of pitching and fielding has also been scary good. We know what the Bruins can do from the mound, but what they have done in the rest of the field is simply stunning.

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The fielding percentage is 3rd best in the country and taking a look at the stats, out of the 30 players that have made an attempt on the ball, 20 have a fielding percentage of 1.000. When looking at how the Bruins handle errors, they have only have 30, which is significantly less than the 56 their opponents have committed.

This Bruins squad is one of a kind and with the way they have been playing, they can do some serious damage in the postseason. But that will come in time. Before then, UCLA needs to keep an eye on the Pac-12.

Currently, they are 16-5 in the conference, one game behind both Stanford and Oregon State. With three Pac-12 series left in the season (at Washington State, vs Washington and at Oregon), the Bruins ned to take one game at a time.

Still, one cannot help but think this team has a real chance for another title.