After an impressive sweep over Cal State Fullerton this weekend, the UCLA baseball team will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. This trip to Omaha will mark the third time in four years that UCLA has advanced that far into the college baseball postseason, an unprecedented feat in the history of UCLA baseball.
Head coach John Savage, who came to UCLA in 2004, has quietly taken the team from a consistent underachiever to one of the most consistently excellent programs in the nation. This year's UCLA team is led by a pitching staff that combined to give up just three runs to the powerful Titans squad during the two game sweep. On Saturday, UCLA pitchers Nick Vander Tuig, James Kaprielan, Zack Weiss, and Pac-12 pitcher of the year David Berg combined for a shutout, scattering eleven hits over nine innings.
Berg was arguably the MVP of the weekend, throwing 54 pitches Friday night and then managing 21 pitches and four outs on Saturday. He's had a fantastic year, nabbing 21 saves to go along with a 0.88 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 71 innings.
UCLA's offense, which was a bit of a liability this year, actually only had 15 hits the entire weekend, but they were important ones, like outfielder Eric Filia's game-winning single in the 10th inning on Friday. The Bruins will likely need to find more scoring punch once they arrive in Omaha.
The College World Series is a multi-day, double-elimination tournament, with eight teams participating in two, four-team brackets. Once a winner is determined in each bracket, the two teams face off in a best-of-three matchup for the national championship. UCLA last made the championship round in 2010, when the Bruins lost to South Carolina.
Until the Savage era, UCLA had just two College World Series appearances to its credit. The tournament begins on June 14th.
UCLA Advances to College World Series
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