John Savage, Servite parent to Jack ’15 and Ryan ’17, led the UCLA Bruins Baseball Team to their first ever NCAA Title Tuesday when they completed the sweep of Mississippi State to win the College World Series (CWS). Jack, Ryan and the rest of the Savage family were in attendance to help celebrate this historic accomplishment.
“This championship means everything. This is for all of the Bruins. All of the Bruin baseball players and all of the guys who were here before I was and set the tone. I’m just so proud of the program and our coaches and players and everybody involved. We’re a family and we did it together,” said Savage according to UCLABruins.com.
This trip to the CWS marked the third time Savage and his Bruins took the field in Omaha (2010, 2012, 2013). In their first ever trip, UCLA made it to the championship round but fell to South Carolina in straight games. In 2013, the outcome was more favorable as the Bruins won the CWS defeating MSU 3-1 and 8-0. The Bruins are just the third team in history to finish a perfect 10-0 in postseason play, outscoring opponents 44-14.
“I think that’s why you can call us champions. It was a tough road. We had a difficult Pac-12 conference; we finished third behind Oregon and Oregon State, two very good teams. We had a very difficult regional with Cal Poly, San Diego and San Diego State. Then we went to Fullerton, who I thought was the best team in the country and to our credit we played ‘em and we played ‘em tough. We came out of that with two wins. So I think that was an indicator,” said Savage on their road to Omaha according to UCLABruins.com.
In nine seasons as the Bruins head coach, Savage led the team to seven Regionals, four Super Regionals and three College World Series appearances. Under Savage’s leadership, UCLA has gone 324-224 overall, making postseason appearances in seven of the last eight seasons and winning back-to-back conference titles in 2011 and 2012.
Savage has also found great success in recruiting, with 65 players from his program being drafted; seven of those joining the major league ranks including Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants.
Prior to taking over at UCLA, Savage spent time with the UCI, USC, University of Nevada and US National Team programs. In his three years as head coach at UCI, Savage saw the Anteaters to their first-ever appearance in the Division I tournament. With the Trojans, Savage served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator fostering major league talent including two-time World Series Champion, Barry Zito.
Congratulations Coach Savage!
(Photo Credit: Jack Savage)