Fall Report: UCLAFall
Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the No. 1 team in the country, unless that team makes it to Omaha or wins the national title. I mean, what do 2000 South Carolina, 2002 and 2003 Florida State, 2007 Vanderbilt, 2014 Oregon State and the 2019 UCLA team have in common?
They were all No. 1 overall national seeds going into the postseason but failed to make it to Omaha. That doesn’t mean they weren’t great teams. Hell, look at that 2007 Vanderbilt squad, it lost to Michigan in the Regionals despite having David Price and Casey Weathers on the mound and players like Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty. That’s one of the greatest collections of college ballplayers of all time, but they couldn’t get to Omaha.
That is the same fate that befell last year’s Bruins when that same Michigan program came to Westwood and pulled off a stunning Super Regional upset.
That Bruin squad was loaded. They never lost a single weekend series all season long until that final weekend against the Wolverines and held onto the No. 1 spot in the polls for 12 weeks. And as you would expect, plenty of talent left the program following that season, including sluggers like Michael Toglia, Chase Strumpf, Ryan Kreidler, Jake Pries and Jeremy Ydens along with top starting pitchers Ryan Garcia and Jack Ralston. They were part of a nation’s-high 13 MLB draft picks from last June
But as I like to say in a lot of these Fall Reports, don’t shed too many tears for head coach John Savage and his staff. The 2020 Bruins will still have plenty of future pro players on the diamond and on the mound. Sure, don’t expect them to win every weekend series this coming spring like they did last year, but if the fall workouts have proven one thing it’s that this program can sustain a lot of losses and still come back strong the following season.
Remember when the Bruins lost Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer off that 2011 team? Well they didn’t fold the tents, putting together back to back College World Series trips in 2012 and 2013, which of course included that national title-winning team.
As their mantra goes… New Team, Same Program. UCLA will be back again in 2020.
Let’s see how things break down from this fall.
Check out the full UCLA report below!