Monthly Archives: June 2013

UCLA’s Savage Named Coach Of The Year

UCLA’s Savage Named Coach Of The Year

UCLA Head Coach John SavageUCLA Head Baseball Coach John Savage has been named National Coach of The Year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

One of the most respected coaches in college baseball, Savage led the Bruins to their first national baseball championship at the recent College World Series with an 8-0 win over Mississippi St.

The Bruins, 49-17, rolled through the NCAA Tournament with a 10-0 record and finished 5-0 at the College World Series.

UCLA faced possibly the most difficult gauntlet of teams in history during its undefeated run to the national championship. The Bruins started off by beating two ranked teams in Cal. Poly and San Diego in Regional action along with San Diego St.

Then UCLA travelled to No. 4 ranked Cal. St. Fullerton and eliminated the Titans two straight.

At the College World Series, UCLA knocked off No. 1 ranked LSU, No. 5 N.C. State, No. 2 North Carolina and then swept Mississippi State two straight in the Championship Series.

Incredibly, the Bruins’ pitching staff only allowed four runs over five CWS games against these elite teams.

That achievement is especially relevant because Savage is also the pitching coach at UCLA and one of the best in the business.

In the 67-year-history of the College World Series, only one national champion has given up fewer runs than UCLA this year as California allowed three in 1957.

The Bruins were the first team in CWS history to allow one run or less in each of the five games they played.

UCLA only surrendered one run in two games played against hard-hitting Mississippi State in the Championship Finals. The lone run is the fewest ever given up by a team in the Finals.

UCLA’s pitchers only allowed 14 runs in 10 games during Regional, Super Regional and College World Series games.

The core of every Savage team has been the remarkable pitching staffs he has molded.

The top three starters on the 2013 staff included Adam Plutko (10-3, 2.25 ERA), Nick Vander Tuig (14-4, 2.16 ERA) and Grant Watson (9-3, 3.01 ERA).

The bullpen was incredible with All-American closer David Berg (NCAA record 24 saves in 51 appearances, 0.92 ERA, 78 strikeouts, 11 walks), James Kaprielian (34 appearances, 1.55 ERA in 40 2/3 innings), and Zack Weiss (43 appearances, 2.25 ERA in 40 innings), among others.

Pitchers posted a 2.55 ERA and struck out 457 batters with only 163 walks.

The staff, along with catcher Shane Zeile, only allowed 42 stolen bases in 64 attempts over 66 games and just one stolen base at the College World Series.

UCLA’s team ERA the last four years has been remarkable thanks to the tireless work of Savage.

  • 2010 (3.00 ERA).
  • 2011 (2.44 ERA).
  • 2012 (3.13 ERA).
  • 2013 (2.55 ERA).

Never in the history of UCLA baseball has the pitching been so good for so long, and that is a direct reflection of Savage who teaches every aspect of pitching to his hurlers, including the vital mental and emotional side.

Over his nine years, Savage has produced some of the nation’s top drafted pitchers, including Gerrit Cole (first overall pick in 2011 Draft by Pirates), Trevor Bauer (third overall pick in 2011 draft by Diamondbacks), David Huff (first round supplemental pick in 2006 by the Indians) and Rob Rasmussen (second round pick in 2010 by the Marlins), just to name a few.

Savage has guided the Bruins to the post-season in seven of the last eight seasons

He became UCLA’s first head baseball coach to lead the Bruins to the finals of the College World Series in 2010, guiding UCLA to a 51-17 record that year in a second place national finish to South Carolina.

Savage has also led the Bruins to their third College World Series appearance in four years and guided the Bruins to a top three Pac-12 Conference finish in each of the last eight seasons, the only Pac-12 team to do so.

UCLA has had 65 players drafted by professional baseball since Savage came on the scene

Previous Collegiate Baseball National Coaches of The Year include:

• 2012: Andy Lopez, Arizona
• 2011: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
• 2010: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
• 2009: Paul Mainieri, Louisiana St.
• 2008: Mike Batesole, Fresno St.
• 2007: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
• 2006: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
• 2005: Augie Garrido, Texas
• 2004: George Horton, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 2003: Wayne Graham, Rice
• 2002: Augie Garrido, Texas
• 2001: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
• 2000: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1999: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
• 1998: Mike Gillespie, Southern Calif.
aaaaaaMike Batesole, Cal. St. Northridge
• 1997: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1996: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.,
aaaaaaAndy Lopez, Florida
• 1995: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1994: Larry Cochell, Oklahoma
• 1993: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1992: Andy Lopez, Pepperdine
• 1991: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1990: Steve Webber, Georgia
• 1989: Dave Snow, Long Beach St.
• 1988: Larry Cochell, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1987: Mark Marquess, Stanford
• 1986: Jerry Kindall, Arizona
• 1985: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
• 1984: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1983: Cliff Gustafson, Texas
• 1982: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
• 1981: Jim Brock, Arizona St.
• 1980: Jerry Kindall, Arizona

UCLA, Mississippi St. Seek First National Title

UCLA, Mississippi St. Seek First National Title

UCLA's David Berg Has 23 Saves, 0.96 ERAHistory will be made when UCLA and Mississippi St. square off in the best of three championship series at the 67th College World Series.

Both teams will be gunning for their first national baseball championship.

Heading into the championship series, UCLA has won nine in a row. The Bruins finished third in the Pac-12 this season with a 21-9 conference record behind Oregon St. and Oregon.

Mississippi St. finished fifth in the SEC regular season with a 16-14 record and caught fire in the NCAA tournament by winning eight of its last nine games.

Ball clubs from these two powerhouse conferences have won seven of the last eight CWS titles. Overall, current Pac-12 teams have won 27 national baseball championships.

SEC teams have won nine College World Series The UCLA-Mississippi St. championship series matchup will be the fifth time in CWS history that the Pac-12 and SEC have squared off in the finals (other years being 1977, 2000, 2010, 2012). It is the sixth straight year an SEC team has made it to the CWS final.

Both teams rolled through their 4-team brackets with 3-0 records and feature All-American closers in David Berg of UCLA (23 saves, 7-0, 0.96 ERA) and Jonathan Holder of Mississippi St. (21 saves, 1.24 ERA).

Here is a quick look at both teams:

UCLA: The Bruins’ pitching and defense rank No. 1 in the College World Series. UCLA has given up only three runs in three games(1.00 ERA) as the pitching staff has struck out 18 batters with six walks and only allowed 17 hits in 27 innings. On defense, the Bruins have only committed one error in three games for a .991 fielding percentage and turned two double plays while not allowing a stolen base. On offense, UCLA ranks dead last at the College World Series with a .182 batting average after three games. But the team has been resourceful in scoring eight runs on 16 hits. When batters do get on base, they are usually sacrifice bunted into scoring position. And a timely hit brings those runners home. UCLA beat LSU 2-1, N.C. State 2-1 and North Carolina 4-1 in their bracket to advance to the championship series.

Mississippi State's Jonathan Holder Has 21 Saves, 1.24 ERAMississippi State: The Bulldogs lead all College World Series teams with a .297 batting average after three games with five doubles, one home run and 14 runs scored. The pitching staff has a 2.33 ERA after three games and only allowed seven earned runs. But the bullpen has been special as it has only allowed two runs in 14 1/3 innings. The defense has committed three errors in three games with four double plays and only allowed one stolen base. Mississippi St. came from behind to win its first two games of the College World Series in its bracket (5-4 over Oregon St., 5-4 over Indiana) but never trailed in a 4-1 win over Oregon St.

Power Outage At College World Series

Power Outage At College World Series

Offenses sputter at College World SeriesBy LOU PAVLOVICH
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2013 Collegiate Baseball

OMAHA, Neb. — A staggering downturn in offense has taken place during the past two College World Series because of the BBCOR specification bats which have been required since the 2011 season.

The lowest amount of home runs in 38 years were hit the last two championships. In addition, batting averages have plummeted as well as runs scored which also are the lowest in 38 years.

During the 2011 College World Series over 14 games, only 9 home runs were hit as the eight teams batted .239 with 101 runs scored (average 3.6 runs per team per game).

The 2012 CWS offensive numbers were just as anemic.

Only 10 home runs were hit in 15 games while the batting average was .234 and only 107 runs were scored (3.5 runs per team per game).

The numbers the last two years closely mirror the wood bat era in college baseball which took place up to the 1973 season.

Aluminum bats first started being used in 1974. Over time, the alloys were refined to the point that the balance of the game shifted.

With thinner and thinner bat barrel walls being manufactured, which had a dramatic trampoline effect on balls coming off bats, more and more home runs were hit.

The 1998 season featured the highest offensive numbers in NCAA Division I history as 273 teams set records for batting average (.306), scoring (7.12 runs per team per game), home runs (1.06 per game) and earned run average (6.12 per team).

The College World Series that year featured a home run derby of sorts as an all-time record 62 home runs were hit over 14 games.

In all, 62 homers were hit by 42 different players which was an all-time high. The batting average for all eight teams was .318 while 225 runs were scored.

The championship game saw Southern California beat Arizona St., 21-14 in what many thought was an abomination considering both pitching staffs had elite hurlers.

Nine home runs were hit by eight different players in that game, including Arizona State’s 5-foot-10, 170-pound shortstop Michael Collins who had only hit three home runs all season long heading into the CWS.

The 62 homers that year eclipsed the old standard of 48 hit during the 1995 CWS.

Louisiana St. and Southern California each hit 17 home runs to set a new record. The two teams combined for 34 home runs which would rank as the third highest total in College World Series history for one ‘Series. Only the 48 hit in 1995 and 35 belted in 1996 would rank higher.

During the 1996-1998 seasons, no team practiced “gorilla ball” better than LSU as the Tigers hit 131 homers in 1996, 188 in 1997 and 157 in 1998 for a staggering 3-year total of 476 home runs!

After the 1998 season, the NCAA Rules Committee put a stop to high performing bats and ultimately worked with physicists to utilize a new bat specification protocol (BBCOR) that would bring the game more in balance as metal bats performed closer to wood bats.

Now teams are fortunate to hit 40 home runs during an entire season.

More On This Story: Find out how college coaches feel about changing the bat or ball to infuse more offense into the game. ABCA Executive Director Dave Keilitz explains surveys he has taken from coaches, the potential issues involved in a possible change to a hotter ball and why Clemson’s Jack Leggett feels more offense is vitally needed in the college game with a hotter baseball. To obtain this issue of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe, CLICK HERE.

NBC Changes World Series Format

NBC Changes World Series Format

NBC 2013 World Series LogoWICHITA, Kan. — The National Baseball Congress and the City of Wichita have made several major changes to the NBC World Series.

The changes are effective immediate and will apply to this year’s tournament. The 79th edition of the NBC tournament will be divided into two one-week periods that will be played consecutively from July 26 through August 10.

The top two teams from the first week advance to a 16-team championship week. The championship week bracket will be comprised of the champions from the 10 most successful leagues over the tournament’s last 10 years, two at-large clubs determined by NBC officials, and the previous summer’s national champion and runner-up. Both weeks events will follow a double-elimination format.

“We considered many things when coming up with the new format,” Tournament Director Casey Walkup said in a press release. “We wanted to accommodate the many wishes of local teams, traveling teams, fans, and the tournament’s history and tradition. Our number one goal is to get the NBC World Series back on the right track. We hope this format will allow us to seek more affiliates outside of our geographic locations, which in turn, will increase the quality and presence of our great tournament.”

The compensation pool for the teams has been increased from $62,200 to $65,300, including a $1,000 raise for both the national champion and runner-up. Additionally, the two teams advancing to Championship Week from the first week will earn $5,000 each.

Also ticket prices for all sessions will be lowered and specific nights will be “Buy-Out” Nights providing fans free general admission vouchers during both weeks of the new format.