#6 UCLA Baseball 2019 Preview

UCLA Bruins
Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
UCLA has been relatively disappointing since their 2013 national championship. The Bruins have made the last two tournaments though, but this group is aiming much higher than just a regional appearance. They want to get back to the College World Series and last year proved that the young Bruins are ready to take that step.
2018: 38-21, 19-11
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Savage
Key Departed Players:
Daniel Amaral, OF, .289 BA, 3 HR, 38 RBI
Jake Bird, P, 2.18 ERA, 7-4 W/L, 7-4 W/L, 111.2 IP, 61 SO
Key Returning Players:
Chase Strumpf, IF, .363 BA, 12 HR, 53 RBI
Jeremy Ydens, OF, .350 BA, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 13 SB
Michael Toglia, IF, .336 BA, 11 HR, 58 RBI
Jack Stronach, IF, .281 BA, 27 RBI
Kevin Kendall, IF, .278 BA, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 13 SB
Jake Pries, OF, .274 BA, 18 RBI
Zach Pettway, P, 3.35 ERA, 8-4 W/L, 96.2 IP, 78 SO
Ryan Garcia, P, 2.23 ERA, 8-1 W/L, 76.2 IP, 76 SO
UCLA returns just about their entire lineup to a team that scored nearly seven runs per game in 2018. Chase Strumpf, Michael Toglia and Jeremy Ydens form one of the most dangerous trios in the nation. Strumpf hit .363 last season with 12 homeruns and 53 RBIs. Toglia added 11 homeruns and 58 RBIs. Those two also ranked first and second in the Pac-12 in doubles. The Bruins will continue to get on base consistently and they have plenty of players who can drive them home. The pitching staff has some experience too, most notably with Zach Pettway and Ryan Garcia. Add in Jack Ralston and Kyle Mora and the Bruins certainly do not lack experience and talent on the mound. Coach John Savage basically has the luxury of picking up where they left off last season so this is a UCLA squad that should start strong. If they can maintain that momentum, the Bruins will compete for a Pac-12 title and a spot in Omaha.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament