Third Omaha trip in four years solidifies UCLA’s powerhouse status

John Savage sat in front of the press late Saturday night and insisted that Cal State Fullerton, the team whose season he’d just ended, was still the best in the country.

“People may not believe me,” the UCLA coach allowed.

Savage had paid the Titans the same compliment before sweeping them in two games — putting the Bruins in the College World Series for the third time in four years. CSUF had entered the weekend with a top-five ERA, top-25 fielding percentage and top-50 home run total. It had lost back-to-back games only once all season, and never dropped a series.

Since the Super Regional format was added in 1999, no team has reached the College World Series more times than Fullerton’s seven. Now the Titans have missed four straight, their longest drought since they first went to Omaha in 1975.

In that same timeframe, only 14 teams had reached Omaha in back-to-back seasons. With 5-3 and 3-0 wins, UCLA became the 15th. Continue reading

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Bruins sweep Fullerton, earn second straight trip to College World Series

FULLERTON — For the first time in school history, UCLA has punched back-to-back trips to Omaha.

With a 3-0 win over Super Regional host Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, the Bruins are headed to the College World Series for the third time in four years. Coach John Savage — who over nine years became the architect of a national power — earned his 27th postseason victory, setting a new UCLA record.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of our program,” he said. Continue reading

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UCLA beats Fullerton in extra-innings thriller

FULLERTON — Of course it would be him.

It wasn’t easy this time, not after he had blown his second save of the season. But David Berg, UCLA’s electrifying closer, held on through three innings and 54 pitches — helping the Bruins to a 5-3 win in extras over Cal State Fullerton.

A sellout crowd of 3,244 packed the Goodwin Field stands Friday evening for game one of the Super Regional, swaths of orange mixed with generous strokes of blue. Plenty protested the iffy calls and curiously wide strike zone, but after the last out, many murmured: That was some game.

With two outs left in the 10th and the Titans in scoring position, Berg jousted with CSUF’s J.D. Davis. After falling behind on an 0-2 count, the designated hitter fouled off pitch after pitch. Then Berg threw his 11th of the at-bat, a full-count slider that froze Davis. The murmurs: Some pitch. Continue reading

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Tickets to Fullerton Super Regional on sale

To reach the College World Series for the third time in four years, UCLA needs to get past Cal State Fullerton — a team Bruins coach John Savage called the best in the country. Tickets for this weekend’s best-of-three Super Regional at CSUF’s Goodwin Field went on sale this morning, and can be purchased either through UCLA’s Central Ticket Office (310-825-2101) or the Titans.

All-session tickets range from $25-32, and single-game tickets from $10-20. All games will be broadcast on ESPN2.

UCLA (42-17) at CSUF (51-8)
Friday, June 7, 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 8, 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 9, 7 p.m. (if necessary)

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