Outfielder Eric Filia will miss the entire 2014 season after undergoing labrum surgery, dealing a heavy blow to a UCLA baseball team hoping to defend its first-ever College World Series title.
Filia’s season-ending injury, first reported by Perfect Game’s Kendall Rogers, isn’t the the first time his shoulder has flared up. He suffered a rotator cuff impingement in July while playing in the Cape Cod Summer League.
His absence robs the Bruins — already light-hitting a year ago and selected third in the preseason Pac-12 poll — of its best hitter and a likely breakout star. Filia led the team with a .281 batting average as a sophomore, but bumped that up to .444 through the team’s postseason run. He had eight RBI in Omaha, including five in a championship-clinching 8-0 win over Mississippi State.
UCLA’s next-best returning hitter is third baseman Kevin Kramer (.278), but the defensive standout will be restricted to designated hitter due to a shoulder injury.