UCLA baseball starts NCAA tournament in Long Beach Regional

Jon Olsen progression into a reliable third starter has helped UCLA return to the NCAA tournament this year. (Photo courtesy Katie Meyers/UCLA Athletics)

Brett Stephens‘ days as a Bruin are winding down. But the senior left fielder is set on making these final days last as long as possible.

“We’re really proud of this team for getting to postseason because it’s hard to do,” he said before UCLA’s NCAA tournament opener against Texas on Friday at 4 p.m. “But we’re not done yet.”

The Bruins are the third seed in the Long Beach Regional. Host Long Beach State and San Diego State play in the second first-round game Friday at 8 p.m.


First baseman Sean Bouchard and pitchers Griffin Canning and Jon Olsen were named All-Pac-12 on Thursday. Canning will take the mound Friday in the regional opener after he was also named second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

Olsen’s progression as a reliable third starter was a major catalyst for UCLA’s return to the postseason, head coach Jon Savage said. The 6-foot-3 righty was 6-0 in Pac-12 play.

Bouchard leads the team with 43 RBIs and nine home runs while hitting .305. It was the junior’s first all-conference honor.

Here’s the weekend schedule for the Long Beach Regional at Blair Field:

Game 1: No. 2 Texas (37-22) vs. No. 3 UCLA (30-25), 4 p.m., ESPN2
Game 2: No. 1 Long Beach State (37-17-1) vs. No. 4 San Diego State (41-19), 8 p.m., ESPN2

Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 7 p.m.

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (if necessary), 8 p.m.