UCLA Next Faces Florida At CWS
UCLA topped Cal State Fullerton 8-1 Sunday night to win its Super Regional two games to one and advance to the College World Series for the first time since 1997. Links to box scores and recaps of all three games of the series are located below.
By clicking the “Los Angeles Super Regional” link above this page will expand to fully support the table below.
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Best two of three series (all times Eastern)
* Highlight: UCLA with four HR
* UCLA wins series (2-1)
UCLA: (#6 National Seed) The Bruins have already set a program record with 46 wins this season. It’s one more than the 1997 Bruin College World Series team had. The last time John Savage’s Bruins advanced to a Super Regional was 1997.
The Bruins are built on power pitching. Starters Trevor Bauer (10-3, 2.72 ERA), Bob Rasmussen (10-2, 2.90 ERA) and Gerrit Cole (10-2, 3.11 ERA) and closer Dan Klein (5-0, 2.03 ERA, 9 SVs) all have more strikeouts than innings pitched. The staff’s 611 strikeouts and 2.94 ERA both rank second in the nation. Bauer, Rasmussen and Cole are the first trio of 10-game winners in the same season in program history.
The UCLA offense doesn’t have a player with double-digit home runs, but seven players are batting .311 or better. Dean Espy has team highs with a .365 average and 48 RBIs. He’s one of five Bruins to drive-in at least 35 runs.
Cal State Fullerton: The Titans are in a Super Regional for the seventh straight season. Head coach Dave Serrano took Fullerton to Omaha in his second year as head coach last year after guiding UC Irvine to the CWS in 2007. A Super Regional win would give Fullerton its 16th CWS appearance in 35 seasons as a Division One program.
Gary Brown (.438, 1.185 OPS) is the team’s top overall hitter, but he missed last week’s Regional due to injury. Christian Colon (.360/16 HR/73 RBIs) and Nick Ramirez (.358/16 HR/67 RBIs) provide the punch in the middle of the order. Ramirez also doubles as the team’s closer with 10 saves.
Freshman Dylan Floro (7-1, 3.08 ERA) has emerged over the course of the season as one of the team’s top starters. He has two saves and two of the team’s six complete games. Noe Ramirez (11-1, 2.63 ERA) and Daniel Renken (12-2, 3.95 ERA) provide a formidable counter to UCLA’s rotation.
Los Angeles Super Regional
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The Bruins Win If?
UCLA wins the series if a solid bevy of stallions on the bump limit a very potent Titan batting line-up.
Of great importance to the Bruins is jumping out early.
In the two games versus Fullerton earlier this season, the Titans jumped to big leads as they pulverized Garrett Claypool, one of UCLA’s best pitchers, to the tune of 8 runs over the course of two games.
UCLA cannot afford to let Fullerton jump ahead early and get into their bullpen.
On the bright side, Fullerton has yet to see Trevor Bauer and Dan Klein, two of the Bruins best pitching prospects, nor have they seen Rob Rasmussen, so the Bruins could have a few surprises for the Titans.
The Titans Win If?
The hot hitting continues from the top half of the order, especially Christian Colon, who gave Fullerton a huge boost in game two of their regional at home last weekend versus Stanford, when he connected for two home runs.
The Titans go as Colon goes, and if Nick Ramirez continues to send balls over the wall as well, it will be a long series for the Bruins.
Titan ball consists of the get on base, move runners over and drive runners in variety.
However, the Titans add a twist as they have great speed, have a tremendous bunt game, and have much more power than the Bruins up and down the line-up.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, if the Titans continue to hit the long ball with consistency, now you have to defend the short game, the first and third circus and the long ball threat.
Advantage Titans, but if Bauer, Rasmussen and Co. can keep the Titans in check, the only team that may be capable of beating the Bruins is the other school still alive in the PAC-10…Arizona State!
Should be one of the more entertaining series across the country on the Road to Omaha!