How have national seeds done in the NCAA baseball tournament?

Starting with tonight’s 8 p.m. first pitch against Cal State Bakersfield, UCLA baseball will begin its journey to become the first No. 1 overall seed to win a national title in more than 15 years. Ticket information can be found here, or can be purchased at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

There’s incredible parity in today’s college baseball landscape, one that can be gleaned just by looking at the recent postseason performance of national seeds. Miami was the last to win the College World Series, doing so in 1999. In the first five years of this current system, only national seeds even earned a chance to play for the title. Since then, only two more have won a championship, while eight more have finished as the runner-up.

The good news for the Bruins that they have never failed to reach the CWS, earning a spot in the final eight as the No. 2 seed in 2012, and playing in the championship series as a No. 6 seed in 2010.

Here is the list of all the national seeds that have made it to Omaha since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams. Teams that won the trophy are bolded, and second-place finishers are in italics. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: USC baseball players named in sex tape lawsuit

» Three USC baseball players, including starting pitcher Marc Huberman, have been named in a lawsuit alleging that they distributed a sex tape of an unnamed woman. The other two defendants, Vahn Bozoian and Sean Adler, are no longer on the team.

» Grantland has a feature on former UCLA soccer star Sydney Leroux, and how a gamble to leave home paid off for her career.

» Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium only seats 46,000. Should a future renovation include an expansion? Continue reading

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UCLA’s John Savage wins his first Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor

UCLA coach John Savage is surrounded by players as he hoists the College World Series championship trophy on June 25, 2013. (Eric Francis/AP)

UCLA coach John Savage is surrounded by players as he hoists the College World Series championship trophy on June 25, 2013. (Eric Francis/AP)

Even UCLA’s most accomplished baseball coach can break new ground. On Wednesday, John Savage was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the first time.

Savage had been named national coach of the year by multiple publications in 2013, following the Bruins’ first and only College World Series title. However, the conference’s top honor had eluded him until his 11th season in Westwood, one during which UCLA set a school record with 22 wins in league play.

The Bruins, who lead all Division I teams with a 2.16 ERA, earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament on Monday and will host a regional this weekend. Their first game is against Cal State Bakersfield at 8 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Closer David Berg (7-1, 0.73 ERA) was also named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, becoming the only Bruin to earn the honor twice in his career. Continue reading

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UCLA pitcher Griffin Canning out for postseason with stress fracture

UCLA baseball earned its first-ever No. 1 overall seed on Monday, but a potential return trip to Omaha will come without one of their key players.

Starting pitcher Griffin Canning — who has been sidelined for more than two weeks — will likely miss the entire NCAA tournament with a stress fracture in his back, head coach John Savage said Tuesday. The freshman had been the Bruins’ Sunday starter for most of the season until he got injured warming up at Arizona State earlier this month.

“Griffin Canning being hurt is a blow,” Savage said. “There’s no doubt. … That one hurts, because I felt like he was a Sunday starter who was really a (No.) 1 or a 2.” Continue reading

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UCLA baseball picked as No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

UCLA baseball is going into the postseason with a huge target on its back.

The Bruins, who just finished one of their most successful regular seasons ever, received their first-ever No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament this morning. They will host the Los Angeles Regional starting on Friday, playing their first game at 8 p.m. (ESPNU) against Cal State Bakersfield.

The winner will advance to face either Ole Miss or Maryland, who play beforehand at 4 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

After missing the postseason entirely last year, UCLA (42-13, 22-7) set a new school record for conference wins this spring and clinched its third Pac-12 title in five years. It enters the field of 64 with the nation’s lowest ERA (2.16).

This is the fifth time in six seasons that the Bruins are starting the postseason at home, and the third time they have earned a top-eight national seed since 2010. Should they advance to host an NCAA Super Regional, they could very well face USC. The Trojans are playing in the Lake Elsinore Regional, in a four-team field that includes Virginia, UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State.

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