Bumped. Oh, yeah, to go along with our Ben Ball warriors and the arrival of Rick F*%king Neuheisel, don't forget our baseball program. We hear they can play a little ball. GO BRUINS. -N
With 50 days to go until the first pitch of the 2008 season (the season opens on February 22 at 6 pm versus Oklahoma at JRS) I thought I'd take a little peak at the upcoming season and the program in general. While the field at Jackie Robinson Stadium continues to be rebuilt, (you can follow the progress here), there are no other renovations planned for this season. The Morgan Center still believes they have a chance to host a regional, but many national college baseball writers doubt the NCAA would allow a regional to be hosted at such a dilapidated venue. This means that even if the Bruins enter the post-season as the #1 national seed, they may end up playing all their games on the road.
On the field, the Bruins look to build upon last season's Super Regional appearance. They may boast the nation's best infield and have a pitching staff oozing with talent. So. LHP Gavin Brooks has added a MPH or two to his fastball and is said to have developed his changeup, while So RHP Charles Brewer is 100% healthy and expected to live up to the expectations of being the best pitcher in his class before his injuries last season. Jr. LHP Tim Murphy will look to add be the team's ace and reports out of fall practice indicate he is well on his way. With one of the nation's best offenses and the arms developing under Coach Savage's tutelage, it is no wonder the Bruins are a common pick among baseball write to reach the College World Series.
The UCLA Baseball team's 2008 schedule features 23 games against teams which competed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins will play 11 games against four of the eight teams which advanced to the 2007 College World Series (Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, defending national champion Oregon State, and UC Irvine). UCLA looks to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season and aspires to compete in the College World Series for the first time since 1997. Ticket prices have risen $1 this season to make it $7 for adults and $5 for children, while Wooden Club members can still enter for free.
As the season draws nearer, I will post a detailed season preview of the Bruins, the Pac 10 and college baseball nationwide. With preseason polls set to be released in late January and early February as well as SoCal Media Day on February 13 there will be an abundance of information for me to draw on. Expect to see the previews in early to mid February.