Griffin Canning primed to be first-round pick in MLB draft

After three years at UCLA, Griffin Canning turned himself into a top prospect for the 2017 MLB draft. (Don Liebig/UCLA Athletics)


Just a few hours before Griffin Canning is expected to hear his name called in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday, he’ll be taking a final exam for a political science class.

Then his long-awaited professional career can start.

The Santa Margarita High product spent three years at UCLA polishing his four-pitch arsenal and racking up 301 career strikeouts. From almost the moment UCLA head coach John Savage saw the 6-foot-2 right-hander, he knew Canning had the potential to be a professional.

“He went out and did it the right way,” Savage said. “He proved it.”

MORE: Canning’s patience, perseverance pushes him toward MLB draft

Monday, June 12 (Rounds 1-2; 4 p.m. PT)
Tuesday, June 13 (Rounds 3-10; 10 a.m. PT)
Wednesday, June 14 (Rounds 11-40; 9 a.m. PT)
Watch: MLB Network (Round 1)
Live Stream: (All Rounds)

UCLA baseball falls in 13 innings to end season

PItcher Jon Olsen went 7 2/3 innings against San Diego State as the Bruins lost in 13 innings. (Photo Katie Meyers/UCLA Athletics)

UCLA was one of the last teams into the NCAA tournament and it will be one of the first ones out as the Bruins fell in a 13-inning marathon to San Diego State on Saturday in the Long Beach Regional.

The Bruins (30-27) lost 3-2 in a five-hour game as they were swept in a postseason regional for the first time since 1986.

“We just needed a fly ball or a ground ball or a bleeder or a ball hit to the outfield,” head coach John Savage said. “I thought we pulled all the strings in the right way, we just couldn’t get it done.”

READ: SDSU scores game-winning run on bases-loaded hit-by-pitch

UCLA squandered two stellar games from Jon Olsen and Jake Bird on the mound by stranding 15 runners. Olsen went 7 2/3 innings as the starter, giving up four hits and two runs while striking out three and walking one. He allowed three hits and both runs in the second inning. Bird went 4 2/3 innings with two hits, one run and three strikeouts.

Griffin Canning reaches 300 strikeouts, but UCLA baseball drops NCAA opener

Pitcher Griffin Canning became the sixth pitcher in UCLA history to record 300 career strikeouts on Friday, but the Bruins lost 3-2 to Texas in the first round of the NCAA Long Beach Regional. (Photo by Don Liebig/UCLA Athletics)

Despite an outing that put Griffin Canning among the UCLA greats, the Bruins lost a tight 3-2 game to Texas in the first round of the Long Beach Regional on Friday at Blair Field.

Canning had six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings as he became just the sixth UCLA pitcher to reach 300 career strikeouts. The junior has 301 for his career and was the first Bruin to eclipse the mark since Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole finish their careers in 2011.

READ: UCLA loses tight duel to Texas

Two errors in the seventh inning and two-out walk in the eighth cost the Bruins in the close game as the Longhorns scored once in each inning.  Continue reading “Griffin Canning reaches 300 strikeouts, but UCLA baseball drops NCAA opener” »

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: Continue reading “UCLA baseball starts NCAA tournament in Long Beach Regional” »

UCLA baseball makes NCAA cut, heads to Long Beach Regional

UCLA won’t have to travel far for its ninth postseason appearance since 2006.

The Bruins earned the No. 3 seed in the Long Beach Regional for the NCAA tournament when the field of 64 was announced during Monday’s selection show.

After missing postseason play last year, UCLA (30-25) finished third in the Pac-12 and 51st in RPI.

UCLA will play Texas (37-22) in the first round of the four-team, double-elimination regional tournament on Friday at Blair Field at 4 p.m. Big West champion Long Beach State (37-17-1) will face Mountain West champion San Diego State (41-19) at 8 p.m. in the first round. Both games will be on ESPN2.

“It’s a cliche, but I think it is truly, if not the strongest regional in the field, it’s certainly one of them,” UCLA head coach John Savage said of the Long Beach Regional.

The only regional team the Bruins have a win against this year is host Long Beach State. UCLA outlasted the Dirtbags 2-1 in 11 innings on April 18 and then won 5-1 on April 25, but got swept in a three-game series by Texas in March and lost both games against San Diego State. The Aztecs won 5-4 in April at home, then scored four unanswered runs in the eighth and ninth innings for an 8-6 comeback win at Jackie Robinson Stadium.