Understandably everyone's disappointed to get so very close and yet fall just short at the end. But only one team wins, and all the others are disappointed at least initially but then after a little time passes realize how well they did. We know how difficult it is to get to a final four in the NCAA basketball tournament and what an achievement that is. Well our baseball team did better than that getting to the championship series as one of the two final teams out of the original 64. With our great basketball tradition we have some basis for expecting this, but our baseball program has no such history or tradition, so this was a real first. We beat Cal St. Fullerton a very difficult feat and then handily beat SEC champ Florida and then won 2 out of 3 against a very good TCU team ( With their annoying hyping by the media I would have hated to lose to them). And it's also worth noting that the two other seeded teams there Florida and #1 Arizona St. fell flat on their faces eliminated in two games, while the other five seeded teams never even made it to Omaha. UCLA was the only national seed with an impressive showing all the way through the tournament to the end.
There is always a tendency to attribute a loss to your own team's poor performance without acknowledging the performance of the other team. South Carolina's pitching was really good against us as it was throughout the series. They held batters through the World Series to a 191 batting average and also led all teams in the series in hitting and fielding. And remember this is a team that demolished Arizona St. knocking out one of their two ace pitchers in the second inning with 8 runs scored. And you have to give them a lot of credit for coming back from an opening game loss to Oklahoma to win four straight elimination games just to get to the championship series. They did it the hard way, and I wonder if any team has ever done that before. Our pitching was outstanding today with only one run given up on an error in 9 innings. You can't ask anything more of our pitchers. A few weeks ago who would have thought that we not only would make it to Omaha but would win our tough 4 team group there and make it to the championship series? While very disappointing right now this was in fact a really great baseball season for the Bruins, easily the best in the history of the school. And it is likely that this team has now begun a tradition of UCLA being a baseball power. And here's a quote from South Carolina's coach Ray Tanner that should put things in perspective: "UCLA was the greatest team we played the entire year and is a class act."
And as a fan who had completely lost interest in baseball decades ago this team had me on the edge of my seat both at the two great games I saw live (the last two against Cal St. Fullerton) and at home watching on TV. It was a great ride, and I definitely plan to go to more games next year. They have definitely made me a big fan of UCLA baseball. (And my thanks to Bruins Nation for making me aware of UCLA playing in the regional playoffs without which I would have missed all of this).