For the fifth time in the last six years, the UCLA baseball team will host a regional, opening the weekend tonight with a matchup against No. 4 regional seed Cal State Bakersfield tonight at 8 PM (ESPNU).
The Bruins, who are the No. 1 overall seed in the entire tournament, are hosting a pod that includes Bakersfield, Ole Miss, and Maryland.
UCLA had one of its best regular seasons in recent memory this year, recording a 42-14 record against one of the nation's toughest schedules. They've been consistently either 1st or 2nd in the RPI over the last couple of weeks, and it wasn't too much of a shock that the Bruins were awarded the No. 1 overall seed.
The regional this weekend will operate as a double-elimination tournament. If UCLA wins tonight, they'll face the winner of No. 2 regional seed Mississippi and No. 3 regional seed Maryland. If the Bruins lose, they won't be eliminated, but they'll face an elimination game tomorrow against the loser of Mississippi and Maryland.
This most recent trip to the postseason represents yet another notch in the belt of UCLA coach John Savage, who has led UCLA to unprecedented success in the last ten seasons. The Bruins are making their 8th trip to the NCAA Tournament in those ten seasons, which is especially impressive when you notice that, prior to Savage's season in Westwood, the Bruins had made the NCAA Tournament just 12 times in history.
Justifiably, the program has already won significant accolades for the 2015 season, with Savage being named Pac-12 Coach of the Year and closer Dave Berg being named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Berg was excellent all year, but particularly impressive in Pac-12 play, recording an astonishing 0.22 ERA in 22 appearances.
With the No. 1 overall seed, the expectation is for the Bruins to make the College World Series, which would be UCLA's fourth trip to Omaha since 2010, and the program's third in four seasons. In 2013, the Bruins won the College World Series with a final series victory over Mississippi State. UCLA also made the final series in 2010, but lost both of its games to South Carolina.
If you're interested in tuning in, tonight's first game between Maryland and Mississippi will begin at 4:00 P.M. and will be televised on ESPN3/Watch ESPN. UCLA's game is scheduled to start at 8, but if the first game goes long, keep in mind that the second game could be delayed.
UCLA Baseball Hosting Regional This Weekend
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