UCLA’s season ends after 4-1 loss to Maryland in NCAA Regional

For the second straight year, the No. 1 overall seed couldn’t make it out of the NCAA Regionals.

This year, UCLA baseball was the one that fell, following Oregon State as the second straight tournament favorite to bow out early. In an elimination game against Maryland, the Bruins couldn’t scratch together enough offense in a 2-1 loss.

Afterward, head coach John Savage sat at the press conference table next to senior closer David Berg — whom he called the best reliever in NCAA history — and redshirt junior shortstop Kevin Kramer. He took the time to thank both: “They made my job a lot easier.”

“The culture of UCLA baseball — it is clearly in a position that we’ve never seen it before,” Savage said. “The last, let’s call it six years, since 2010. … We’re very proud. We have very proud team members. We know what we need to accomplish. We still need to accomplish a lot more.”

Click through to read the full game story from Jackie Robinson Stadium tonight.

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UCLA, Maryland will rematch again for a spot in NCAA Super Regional

After being backed into a corner, UCLA baseball has forced its way into yet another rematch.

The Bruins scratched out a 4-2 win against Maryland on Sunday night, piecing together 13 hits against an assembly line of pitchers to extend the double-elimination NCAA Regional. After losing to the Terrapins on Saturday, UCLA bounced back by beating both Cal State Bakersfield and Maryland in Sunday rematches.

“It was a complete win for us,” said head coach John Savage. “A complete game. Clean game for us. Tomorrow, it’s going to be very very competitive.”

You can read the full game story here.

The Terps will play the Bruins again on Monday at 8 p.m. (ESPNU), with the winner advancing to next weekend’s NCAA Super Regional.

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UCLA beats Cal State Bakersfield to stave off elimination

As the ball tipped over the glove and into the outfield, the UCLA fans cheered.

They had good reason. With the top-seeded Bruins baseball team facing elimination in its own NCAA Regional, a fielding error at shortstop helped extend their season a little longer.

In a 9-1 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA turned a one-run lead into a six-run cushion — batting in five unearned runs after Mylz Jones mishandled a likely groundout in the top of the seventh.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to catch a 120-mile per hour knuckleball,” said CSUB coach Bill Kernan. “That’s what that was.”

It was Jones’ 12th error of the season, and likely the most costly of them all. Continue reading

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After upset loss to Maryland, UCLA needs to lean on bullpen

UPDATE: UCLA will start right-handed pitcher Cody Poteet today against Cal State Bakersfield. The junior was the Bruins’ midweek starter most of this season, and has a 6-1 record to go with his 2.65 ERA.

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After losing to Maryland, 4-1, on Saturday night, UCLA baseball needs to win three straight games to advance and host an NCAA Super Regional. For a team that entered the field as the No. 1 overall seed, it’s not where the Bruins expected to be.

The key decision looming for John Savage, recently named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the first time, will be managing his deep pitching staff. With regular Sunday starter Griffin Canning sidelined for the postseason by a stress fracture in his back, Savage has not yet decided who to start against Cal State Bakersfield.

Throwing out the 4 p.m. first pitch against the Roadrunners could be Hunter Virant (0-1, 3.28), Cody Poteet (6-1, 2.65), or Grant Dyer (4-1, 1.86). Should it win, UCLA will also need to play 8 p.m. games on both Sunday and Monday against Maryland to win the NCAA Regional. Continue reading

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