So, it's a bit odd to be sitting here tonight, having watched the Chicago Blackhawks win the NHL Stanley Cup last night -- and tonight, just an hour ago, see UCLA (my grad school alma mater) win their first-ever NCAA baseball championship. (The school has won an amazing 108 national championship, but never before one in baseball. Odd.)
What they had was good, effective hitting when it matter, great fundamentals -- bunting, fielding, moving runners along -- and great pitching. Two strong starting pitchers and the top reliever in all of college baseball, David Berg, who lead the NCAA with 23 saves, which tied an NCAA record, and an Earned Run Average of a stunningly low 0.87, less than one run a game.
When it came to the College World Series, UCLA swept everyone. They had 10 wins and no losses. They didn't get many runs -- or even extra base hits. (Only four extra base hits the entire series!) But they gave up fewer runs, an average of less than one. And that's all you need -- one more run than your opponent.
And they saved it all for the last game. Beating Mississippi State 8-0.
I wonder what will happen tomorrow. No championship games that I know of. No problem, these two will last.
Hopefully, the Cubs and Wildcats were taking notes...