John Vittas will be live from Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles, California for the winner-take-all Regional Championship Game with No. 1 UCLA. The broadcast gets underway at 10:45pm ET and will feature interviews and analysis from MBN’s own Matt Present and Jon Lewis prior to first pitch:
The top-seeded Bruins defeated Maryland 4-2 last night, forcing a decisive seventh game in the LA Regional. Both teams won the last Regional title game they played in. The Terps beat South Carolina on this date last year, and UCLA won the 2013 Regional final over San Diego, en route to a National Championship.
Probable Pitching Matchup:
Fr. RHP Taylor Bloom (1-3, 4.55) vs. So. RHP Grant Dyer (4-1, 1.80)
Bloom makes his fifth start of 2015, and will be on the mound for the first time since taking the loss in the Big Ten Championship game. He shut down Michigan for the first three innings before falling victim to his own throwing error in the fourth. The freshman from Crofton will need to make good use of his changeup tonight against UCLA’s left-handed heavy order. Maryland is only trying to get Bloom one trip through the Bruins’ order, before lining up their deep bullpen against the UCLA bats.
UCLA has used all four of their starting pitchers in the Regional, and their fifth starter has been injured for a month, so they will have to use their bullpen for all nine innings Monday. They’ll start set-up man Grant Dyer, who has the best opponents batting average on the best pitching staff in the nation. The opposition is batting just .174 against Dyer, and has scored only 11 earned runs in 55 innings (1.80 ERA). Dyer has made two relief appearances in the Regional, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings against Cal State Bakersfield. He will be the first right-handed starter Maryland has seen since Illinois’ Drasen Johnson faced the Terrapins in the second game of the Big Ten Tournament. Dyer will end a string of five straight games that the Terps have seen a lefty starter.
Key to the Game: score early
In Maryland’s three NCAA Tournament contests so far, 14 of the 15 runs scored in their games have come in the first six innings. The Terps haven’t scored against the oppositions’ bullpens, and have only managed three hits in three games. And given the Regional numbers for these two bullpens, this could be decided early:
Maryland Bullpen: 3 G, 16 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 17 K, 3 BB (ERA: 0.00)
UCLA Bullpen: 4 G, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 15 K, 2 BB (ERA: 0.75)
Tonight’s game features two of the best closers in college baseball, David Berg and Kevin Mooney. They’ll both be available for multiple innings, and so whoever has the lead after six will likely win the game.
CF LaMonte Wade: 5-for-11, 2 HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, two run-saving defensive plays
C Kevin Martir: 4-for-12, 2 doubles, R, 2 RBI, BB
SS Kevin Smith: 3-for-11, 2 doubles, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
1B Kevin Biondic: 3-for-10, double, R
SP Mike Shawaryn: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 9 K
RP Rob Galligan: 2 G, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K
RP Bobby Ruse: 3 G, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 4 K
LF Ty Moore: 8-for-15, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB
SS Kevin Kramer: 8-for-20, 2B, HR, 7 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB
1B Luke Persico: 7-for-20, 6 RBI
C Darrell Miller: 7-for-16, 5 R, double, 2 BB
SP James Kaprelian: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 K
RP David Berg: 2 G, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 6 K
RP Tucker Forbes: 3 G, 0 H, 0 R, 5 K