Baseball: SoCal connection comes through for UCLA
UCLA Coach John Savage lives in Orange County, but it's his recruiting from across Southern California's prep baseball hotbeds that has helped turn the Bruins into a national power.
In their 2-1 opening win over LSU on Sunday at the College World Series, UCLA's contributors provide a glimpse of Savage's recruiting.
There was the Glendora duo of pitcher Adam Plutko and second baseman Cody Regis. There were the Orange County boys _ pinch hitter Ty Moore (Mater Dei), pitcher James Kaprielian (Beckman) and outfielder Eric Filia (Edison).
There was the slick fielding shortstop from Hart, Pat Valaika. There was the shortstop turned catcher from Valencia, Shane Zeile. There was the designated hitter, a former football player from Crespi, the athletic Kevin Williams. There was the outfielder from Gahr, Brenton Allen. And out of the bullpen, there was the closer, David Berg, from Bishop Amat.
Pitching, defense and execution is what this year's UCLA team is all about, and Savage has lots of pitchers lined up behind Plutko, Kaprielian and Berg to follow in the next two years. He's on a roll, as are the Bruins.
-- Eric Sondheimer
Photo: Cody Regis scores. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Associated Press.