Chat with Blair Angulo, DJ Foster
Welcome to ESPNLosAngeles.com! On Friday, college bloggers Blair Angulo and DJ Foster stop by to chat in advance of the NCAA baseball super regional taking place in L.A.
Angulo is a student at UCLA and a writer for the Daily Bruin. Foster is a staff writer for Clipperblog.com and has contributed to ESPN.com's TrueHoop Network.
The L.A. super regional includes UCLA and CS Fullerton.
Send your questions now and join the chat Friday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT!
Steven (San Diego)
In recent memory, can you remember a pitching staff as deep as the Bruins staff?
Blair Angulo (6:03 PM)
Steven: Arizona State's staff from 2009 comes to mind. Current Reds' rookie Mike Leake anchored a rotation that also featured Josh Spence and Seth Blair. But you're right -- UCLA's is as deep (if not deeper) than that. It extends far beyond the rotation, though. Left-handed reliever Matt Grace could start for many programs. Freshman flamethrower Scott Griggs barely saw the mound this year due to the depth. Erik Goeddel and Dan Klein are money late in games.
D.J. Foster (6:04 PM)
Fullerton has an incredibly deep staff as well, but the top three guys in that Bruins rotation are just outrageously good. This should be a low scoring series all the way.
Marie (San Francisco)
Do you have any updates on Gary Brown? Will we see him at any point during the CSF-UCLA super regional?
D.J. Foster (6:08 PM)
Gary Brown will play, but in a very limited role. Brown likely won't take any at-bats this series, but he will step in as a pinch-runner and a possible late game defensive replacement in center. In a tight game, Brown's legs could really be a big factor. He stole 31 bases this year, a team high for Fullerton.
Blair Angulo (6:10 PM)
Marie: The last I heard, first-round pick Gary Brown can do everything EXCEPT swing a bat.
So, without Brown, any shot against the Bruins pitchers?
D.J. Foster (6:15 PM)
Even without the Big West Player of the Year, the Titans have plenty of pop in their lineup. Corey Jones has a 24-game hitting streak going, Nick Ramirez's homeruns from last weekend are probably flying over Nevada right now, and Christian Colon was the number four pick in the draft for a reason. That offense is still very dangerous.
Can you guys handicap the teams going to Omaha? Your favorites?
D.J. Foster (6:19 PM)
I still like Arizona State to win it all, even though Arkansas presents a tough matchup for them. The winner of this UCLA - Fullerton regional has a strong chance to do some damage though with their pitching.
Jared Brass (Anaheim)
Does anybody know how far Nick Ramirez's home run went in the game against Minn. on Sunday Night?
D.J. Foster (6:22 PM)
Word was that it went at least 500 feet, but I couldn't get an official number on it. Morgan Ensberg said on the ESPN broadcast that Nick Ramirez was one of the most impressive college hitters he had ever seen. That's some serious praise.
Larry (Yorba Linda, CA)
Noe Ramirez or Gerrit Cole?
Blair Angulo (6:22 PM)
I agree. I saw Arizona State take three games at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium this year; and if everything is clicking, they're the team to beat. The top of that order (Drew Maggi, Zach MacPhee, Kole Calhoun and Riccio Torrez) is lethal.
D.J. Foster (6:25 PM)
Noe Ramirez has one of the best changeups in all of college baseball, but Blair will tell you Cole is pretty nasty himself. It's a tough call, but I'll take Noe. Earlier this year he pitched 2.2 innings of hitless ball with four strikeouts against UCLA in a surprise relief effort -- we'll see if he can have similar success this time around.
Blair Angulo (6:26 PM)
Larry: You can't go wrong with either. Ramirez mixes well and keeps hitters guessing. Cole overpowers with his 97-98 mph fastball. But if I had to choose one, I'd go with Cole. He projects better at the major league level.
Jared Brass (Anaheim)
I know, I used to play with Nick Ramirez in Little League, the guy is a beast and his father played AAA for Seattle Mariners so he has some good genes in him
D.J. Foster (6:32 PM)
Just be thankful you played with him and not against him. The scariest thing about Nick Ramirez is that he's a pretty good closer for the Titans as well. It must be really intimidating to see a 6-foot-5 monster with dirt all over the front of his jersey step on the mound in the ninth inning.
How does it feel to be missing your college graduation for this game? Is seeing Cole dominate worth it?
Blair Angulo (6:33 PM)
Dan: I've been covering UCLA for four seasons as part of the Daily Bruin, so I couldn't really pass up the opportunity to cover the Supers at the Jack. Sorry mom, sorry dad.
The Super Regionals...are they a fair setup? Or do the regions in the country that are baseball rich suffer?
D.J. Foster (6:41 PM)
Fullerton coach Dave Serrano certainly isn't a fan of the setup. He feels it's a shame that both UCLA and his program can't make the College World Series, and it's a legitimate gripe.
Blair Angulo (6:42 PM)
Keith: Great point. UCLA and Cal State Fullerton get the raw end of the deal here. Some would like to see the Super Regionals get re-seeded following the first round, but that would eliminate the bracket-style system. UCLA head coach John Savage doesn't necessarily think it's fair that a title contender has to go home this weekend, but that's what it's like for teams coming out of the West.
D.J. Foster (6:45 PM)
Although it's unfair to the programs, the fans in Los Angeles come out of it alright. Fullerton and UCLA are two championship caliber teams that should put on a great show at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend.
The cards are stacked against the CS schools. How does Fullerton keep doing it? Here we won one, but it took a miracle and probably won't sniff one in my lifetime.
D.J. Foster (6:53 PM)
Fullerton does an incredible job of recruiting and continuing to reload with talent year after year. Orange County isn't a tough sell just on it's own, but when you throw in the rich tradition of the program in both championships and MLB players produced, it's easy to see how they keep getting so many big time players.
D.J. Foster (7:00 PM)
Thanks for coming in and chatting with us. You can watch tonight's matchup between Cal State Fullerton and UCLA on ESPN2 as well as ESPN3.com at 7:30 p.m. pacific time. Enjoy the games everyone!