Two seasons removed from a championship, the UCLA baseball team appears poised to make another run at the College World Series this season. Currently ranked No. 2 in the country by all major services, the Bruins stand at 31-10 and 16-5 in the Pac-12, a mark good for first in the conference.
After a down year last year, where the Bruins suffered an injury-plagued year where they went 25-30-1 in Coach John Savage's first losing season since 2009, the Bruins have rebounded in a big way. Savage is now 380-264-1 midway through the 11th season of his UCLA career, and considering he started that stretch with a 15-41 season (that I covered every brutal second of for the Daily Bruin) it's even more impressive to see how far the program has come. Something to consider: assuming UCLA does indeed make the NCAA Tournament this year, eight of UCLA's 20 total appearances in the Tournament will have come under Savage, not to mention UCLA's sole national championship in the spot.
This year's team is once again led by an excellent pitching staff. Closer Dave Berg reprises his role, and has been stunningly good this season, recording a miniscule .87 ERA in 29 appearances. As a staff, UCLA has an astonishing 2.22 ERA with 370 strikeouts in 373 innings, which is an excellent mark even for pitcher-friendly college baseball. Junior James Kaprielian and senior Grant Watson have been the two most consistent starters for the Bruins.
The offense has been steady, if not spectacular. As a group, UCLA has achieved an OPS just under .800. Junior outfielder Ty Moore, redshirt junior infielder Kevin Kramer, and senior third baseman Chris Keck are probably the three best hitters for the Bruins. Keck is the best power hitter, with six home runs on the season.
The Bruins have a home series with Gonzaga starting today and stretching through Sunday. UCLA has fifteen more games before the end of the regular season and the beginning of NCAA Regionals, which will begin May 29th.
UCLA Baseball Ranked No. 2
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