Lions and Tigers and Bruins! Oh, My! UCLA Baseball Heads to Auburn Regional
The Bruins will begin tournament play against the Florida State Seminoles on Friday afternoon.
The 64-team field for the NCAA Division 1 Baseball Tournament was announced this morning and the UCLA baseball team (38-22) is heading to Alabama as the #2 seed in the Auburn Regional. The Bruins will open up against the Florida State Seminoles.
In fact, The Bruins will then face either the host Auburn Tigers or Southeastern Louisiana Lions, depending on the outcome of the initial two games.
The Bruins and the Seminoles will square off on Friday, June 3rd at 9 am PT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Auburn and Southeastern Louisiana will play on Friday at 4 pm PT.
This round of the tournament is double elimination. So, the winners of the two Friday games will play on Saturday, as will the losers who will play in a knock-out game. With only one team emerging out of each regional, there is a premium with winning early in a double elimination tournament. The winner of the Auburn Regional will face the winner of the #3 seeded Corvallis regional in the best-of-three super-regional round.
UCLA finished third in the Pac-12 in the regular season and they finished the regular season strong by taking two of three games on the road against the Oregon State.
In the inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, the Bruins initially stumbled against UC Berkeley, but they rallied to top Washington and UC Berkeley. That set up Saturday’s semifinal matchup against the Beavers which saw UCLA score nine runs in the bottom of the ninth to come all the way back from a 21-12 deficit. The Bruins then walked it off in the bottom of the tenth when Tommy Beres hit a three-run homer to force another game against Oregon State, 25-22. Unfortunately, with the Bruin pitching staff depleted from the first game, the Beavers took the second game on a walk-off single to advance to the Pac-12 Championship game against Stanford.
A total of five Pac-12 schools made this year’s NCAA tournament. In addition to Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA, the Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats will also be competing.
The Wildcats are the #2 seed in the Miami Regional and the Ducks are the #2 seed in the Louisville Regional.
UCLA’s first opponent, Florida State (33-23, 15-15 ACC), finished fourth in the ACC Coastal Division and were bounced from the ACC Tournament by Notre Dame.
The Bruins are playing pretty good baseball right now, winning six of their last ten including three wins against Oregon State. The team has all week for the pitching staff to recover from Saturday’s slugfest. Overall, it seems that the Bruins could potentially be the team that emerges from the Auburn Regional this coming weekend.