UCLA Is A No. 1 Seed In NCAA Baseball

Shane Zelle congratulates pitcher David Berg after UCLA defeated UNC 4-1. (Photo: Bruce Thorson, USA TODAY Sports)

(Original piece from Fansided, L.A. Sports Hub, May, 2015)

By Dan Gudino 

The way UCLA (42-14) finished on top in 2013 as national champions, the Bruins on Memorial Day, were named the top team team in the College World Series tournament.

The NCAA placed No. 1 UCLA in front of  the six time national champion, No. 2 LSU (48-10), ahead of No.3 Louisville (43-16) and No. 4 Miami (Florida) (44-14).

UCLA starts its run to win its second national championship in Omaha, by taking on Cal State Bakersfield (36-22-1), May 29, in a double elimination first round Los Angeles Regional, at 8 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

If all goes well for the Bruins they would be on a collision course to with rival USC (37-19), in a best of three series in the Super Regionals. USC currently holds 12 baseball titles, the most by any school, this will also be the Trojans’ first appearance into the tournament since 2005

Look for local product David Berg from Bishop Amat in La Puente, CA, to show off his sidearm throw to the plate. Displaying the third best earned run average in the country at 0.73.

He is also the single season record holder for most saves in a season with 24 making him the UCLA all-time saves leader with 48 saves.

Berg is the perfect weapon going into late innings with the lead, in their 2013 national title run, going into the final series with Mississippi State, the Bruins were involved in four straight one-run games. Berg was involved in all four games and closed out the final game 8-0, giving UCLA its historic 109th athletic national title.

Historic numbers and accomplishments continue with the Bruins this season, finishing the season with a 22-8 PAC-12 record, the most conference victories in school history.

For Coach John Savage his success has come quickly and often, UCLA has reached the the postseason in 8 of the 11 seasons Savage has been at the helm.

His most successful season, in 2013 during their title run, the Bruins finished on a 11-game winning streak and went undefeated in the tournament, (10-0) and if they plan the same outcome they will have to rely on the rest of the pitching staff.

James Kaprielian in 15 starts has top prospect numbers, like his 107 strikeouts which are top 25 in the country, his mere 1.94 ERA and only walking 31 all season long.

This is the type of dominance the Bruins will need to erase last years disappointing season, finishing ninth-place in the PAC-12, not even making it into the tournament.

UCLA hopes for continued success for the PAC-12, the “Road to Omaha” has been swayed in favor of the west coast, winning four of the last nine titles.

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