Any time a college baseball teams finishes the regular season with single-digit losses, it has been a stellar year. The UCLA Bruins have done just that, posting a 47-8 record and finishing as the top team in the country according to D1Baseball.com’s rankings.
The Bruins outlasted the Stanford Cardinal for the Pacific-12 Conference title, too, with a 24-5 record in league play. That was two games better than Stanford, as the Cardinal completed the season with a 41-11 overall mark and a No. 4 national ranking.
Defending national champion Oregon State was third in conference, finishing three games behind UCLA and No. 16 overall in the country with a 36-18-1 record. Meanwhile, the California Golden Bears completed the regular season with a 32-18 record and a No. 25 national ranking, finishing fourth in league play with a 17-11 mark.
On Monday, these four Pac-12 schools—plus the Arizona State Sun Devils—were selected to compete in the 64-team College World Series, starting on Friday at 16 regional sites around the country. UCLA, Stanford, and Oregon State will host regionals, while Cal and ASU will travel east to compete for the right to be one of the final eight teams that play in the finals in Omaha, Nebraska.
For the Conference of (real NCAA) Champions, overall, it is an impressive showing to land three of the 16 regionals, considering the number of leagues around Division I competing for such honors.
In addition to the five teams above, two other Pac-12 schools finished the season with winning records, giving the conference seven of its 11 teams marks over .500 for year. Arizona (32-24) and Washington (28-24) may not have gotten CWS invites, but the Wildcats and the Huskies played pretty well this season.
Oregon State catcher/infielder Adley Rutschman, last year’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player, won the Pac-12 batting title with a .417 average. The league RBI crown went to Arizona infielder Nick Quintana, who plated 77 runners this season—16 more than the next best player in the Pac-12.
Sun Devils outfielder Hunter Bishop hit 22 home runs to lead the league, and Huskies utility player Braiden Ward swiped 26 bases to capture the stolen bases crown.
The Bruins dominated the pitching side of the league statistics, with different hurlers claiming the wins, ERA, and saves leads: Jack Ralston (11 victories), Ryan Garcia (1.42 ERA), and Holden Powell (16 saves) give UCLA a great shot at winning it all over the next few weeks.
Oregon pitcher Ryne Nelson struck out 104 batters to lead the Pac-12 in that category, just three Ks ahead of Garcia and seven ahead of Ralston.