John Ramey, who is the radio "voice of the Bruins" covering UCLA baseball is pretty awesome. He has been doing a great job all season catching behind scenes flavor of our team's terrific run via his YouTube channel ("John Ramey Media"), by sharing videos and key calls from our games. Wish he also got to cover our football and basketball program as well.
Anyway, Ramey shared couple of fun videos this week capturing a little bit of flavor of the baseball team's trip to Omaha. Here is the first one:
I will share the second one from the media day, in which Tyler Rahmatulla looks to be great spirit after the jump.
So here is the second video:
Again it is really heartening to see Tyler dealing with this in such a positive way. I have to think that will only help the mindset for rest of the team. Here are Savage's comments on how he is going to handle personnel at second base:
Well, it looks like we'll go with Cody Regis at second base. He's a high school shortstop. We've recruited a lot of infielders and shortstops coming into our programs. We'll move him over to second base. We also have Adrian Williams who backed up Niko Gallego all year, can play second base. And looks like it will be Trevor Brown and Dean Espy over at third base. It's very unfortunate what happened to Tyler Rahmatulla. You see it every Super Regionals. Sometimes you see it during the regional. You see it all the time in Major League Baseball in the playoffs and certainly the World Series. Very unfortunate. He broke his wrist in the dogpile. At the time, no one even knew anything about it. Literally we got word the next night that it had been x rayed and they found a fracture on the wrist, but we'll move on.
We lost Cody Keefer late in the season. He's not played a game since the walk off home run since USC. Like any of these guys, everybody has injuries. People go down all the time in this game, and you just move forward. Like Coach said, you have 27 guys on your roster, guys that want that next opportunity. So we're not going to - I'd like not to talk about it all week, really, about the dogpile, but it is what it is. But as a team perspective, our guys will be ready and looking forward to the challenge of filling that role.
Seems like the right approach to me. In terms of other team notes, Blair Angulo on has couple of key observations regarding our chances this evening against Florida:
Player to watch:
Bauer will be the tone-setter: win and the Bruins slide into a favorable spot as favorites to advance to the championship round, lose and the team will have to fight off elimination two days later. The sophomore right-hander will again make a Saturday start, though it's not a Game 2 like in a typical weekend series. Savage, though, insists that Bauer wants the ball in his hands. As mentioned earlier, Savage has the luxury to pick from a starting rotation that features three pitchers with 10 or more wins and 115 or more strikeouts.
Chompin' at the bit:
Playing away from Westwood should not be a big issue for UCLA, which went 19-4 in 23 road games this season. Playing against unfamiliar competition should not be a problem, either. The Bruins are 30-5 against non-Pac-10 teams -- with three of those losses coming against Super Regional contestant Cal State Fullerton. Like UCLA, Florida swept through its Regional with easy wins over Bethune-Cookman (7-3), Oregon State (10-2) and Florida Atlantic (15-0). The Gators needed just two games to do away with Miami (Fla.) and punch their tickets for Omaha.
The first pitch is scheduled for 4:00 pm PST. We will have our game thread up about half an hour before it gets started. Enjoy your Saturday.