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.

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 “After upset loss to Maryland, UCLA needs to lean on bullpen” »

UCLA opens NCAA Regional with 7-2 win over CSU Bakersfield

Coaches, as John Savage explained recently, want a little bit of adversity. The 50-year-old is no exception. Currently in charge of what could be the best team in his 11 years at UCLA, the last thing he needs is for wins to come too easily, for the Bruins to start coasting.

But he also needs his team to bounce back from any stumbles — and at this time of the year, to bounce back quickly. He got that on Friday night.

Opening the NCAA Regional as the No. 1 overall seed, UCLA gave up an early one-run lead to Cal State Bakersfield. The Bruins then scored for six straight innings, methodically building a 7-2 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Continue reading “UCLA opens NCAA Regional with 7-2 win over CSU Bakersfield” »