Let's start the short week with a reminder to get your baseball tickets (for those who live in Southern California) ASAP. If you haven't heard by now UCLA has been selected as one of 16 sites to host an NCAA Baseball Regional at the Jack this upcoming weekend in what everyone is calling the "Group of Death."
Bruins (43-13) will face No. 4-seed Kent State (39-23) on Friday (6 p.m.) after the Regional's opening game (2 p.m.), featuring the defending national champions No. 2-seed LSU (40-20) and No. 3-seed UC Irvine (37-19). The Bruins don't sound too worried:
"It's the best regional and it's definitely the toughest," junior pitcher Rob Rasmussen said. "But we wouldn't have it any other way."
Said sophomore infielder Tyler Rahmatulla: ""It doesn't matter who we play. We're just going to play the same way we've been playing all year."
You can check out the full interactive NCAA bracket here. Bruins will need all the support they can get at the Jack. Tickets for our game go on sale today at 10 a.m. You can purchase tickets through UCLA's Central Ticket Office (310-825-2101) or online via Ticketmaster. Reserved All-Session tickets are $80 adult for adults and $65 student. General Admission All-Session tickets are $55 for adults and $40 for students. Single-game tickets will go on sale Friday if any tickets remain. They will be $15 for adults and $12 for students for reserve tickets and $10 for adults and $8 for students for general admission tickets.
Given how rabid the LSU baseball fan base is and presence of another local team, you will not want to procrastinate in getting these tickets. Gobble them up today to ensure our home field advantage. Note that the game will not be broadcast on ESPN. So if you are thinking about skipping the game because it will be on TV, think again. More after the jump.
While the baseball team is going to begin their tourney journey this weekend, the softball team is all set for the World Series in Oklahoma City. If you missed it Bruins advanced to their 24th World Series this past weekend by thumping the Ragin' Cajuns. Bruins will face fourth-seeded Florida in the first round of the WCWS on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. PT/2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be aired live on ESPNHD and ESPN3.com, with Gametracker available on UCLABruins.com. Hopefully the Lady Bruins can make up for little of the anguish that has lingered on courtesy of Joakim Noah.
Speaking of tickets for upcoming games, individual football game tix also go on sale today. We have some huge games at the Rose Bowl this year featuring Stanford, Houston, Arizona and Oregon. Holding serve in those games will be big in terms of our program taking the next step and also setting up that last game of the regular season. So if you haven't done it yet you can get your single game tickets by going online or calling (310) UCLA-WIN! starting today.
Note this does not include tickets for the game against the Trogans on December 4th at the Rose Bowl, which is only available as part of a season ticket package (makes sense). If I were in Southern California, I'd be purchasing the season ticket package anyway. : -)
Lastly, staying with football, I will end this roundup with a great story on James Washington's recently held football camp, written up by Rick Kimbrel of BruinBlitz (HT What's Bruin). Looks like this camp (which got started under Karl Dorrell) has expanded to whole another level through the involvement of CRN:
"We started using one field and now we are using two," Washington said. "We have kids from all over. Even though we are trying to have an inner-city camp, we have kids from all over with different cultures, different races, it doesn't matter, everybody is welcome and we don't turn away any kids.
"At this particular camp we feed the kids, give them a T-shirt and we give them some counseling. I open up with my session then we move on then (UCLA head coach) Rick Neuheisel talks to the kids after the camp. (UCLA offensive coordinator) Norm Chow spoke to the kids.
"We are getting great participation who played in the inner-city," Washington said. "The Rahim Moore's, the Johnathan Franklin's, the Aaron Hester's, the Randall Carroll's and many more who come out and give back also. [...]
"Rick Neuheisel sees the importance of these camps," Washington said. "We going to take these camps to the Inland Empire, the Antelope Valley and Ventura County. The same concept that we have here, but I had to come back home first, ultimately we want to do five of these camps during the summer. [...]
"Rick (Neuheisel) went into the stands and thanked every parent personally for coming out. He then went over to the second field and walked along the sidelines and thanked every parent, friend and all who attended, he said thank you.
As Washington laid out these camps will have long term impact in terms of UCLA's connection to greater Southern California communities:
"That's a different value that you have Rick Neuheisel coming into the community building relationships," Washington said. "These kids here are eighth graders and UCLA is letting people know the Bruins are in the community to stay and it's not a one hit and then goodbye.
So on that note have a great Tuesday everyone. Again make sure to get your tickets to our baseball game ASAP today. If you consider yourself a diehard supporter of UCLA athletics and live in Southern California, it's the least you can do to show your support for the True Blue.