College World Series: UCLA, Mississippi State looking for first title
Omaha, Neb. • UCLA has won a record 108 national championships in team sports. Baseball, however, is not among those.
That will change this week if the Bruins beat Mississippi State in the best-of-three College World Series finals that start Monday night.
UCLA coach John Savage said Sunday there is no shame in his school's dearth of baseball titles. Of the 66 national championships that have been won in baseball, eight schools account for 44.
The Pac-12 has won the most, with 16, and USC has 12 of those.
"It's not like they hand them out. Let's be clear on that," Savage said. "You have to earn it."
The Bruins are in the CWS for the fifth time and are 7-9 in Omaha. The closest they have come to a national title was in 2010, when they were swept by South Carolina in the finals.
"A national championship is always going to hang over any program that's an elite program that hasn't won one," Savage said.
Mississippi State is looking for its first title in any team sport. The Bulldogs thought they might win one in baseball in 1985 with future All-Stars Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Brantley and Bobby Thigpen, but they went 2-2 in Omaha.
"To have the opportunity to do what we're going to do starting Monday is something that's special," Bulldogs pitcher Kendall Graveman said. "It really resonates with Starkville and the people of Starkville."
College World Series
P Finals, Game 1
Monday, 6 p.m., ESPN