OMAHA, Neb. — UCLA has won a nation-leading 106 NCAA championships in 17 sports. Not one of them is in baseball — yet.
The Bruins' chance is here, against South Carolina, in the best-of-three College World Series finals starting tonight.
"Every day we go in the Hall of Fame room and we go in the weight room and you see all the national championships, and baseball doesn't have anything underneath it," UCLA coach John Savage said Sunday.
UCLA (51-15) made it to the CWS in 1969 and 1997, going 0-2 each time.
This time the Bruins have ridden the strong pitching of starters Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer and Rob Rasmussen, and their offense has been timely, cranking out 15 hits in Saturday's 10-3 win over Texas Christian.
South Carolina (52-16) reached the CWS final in 1975, 1977 and 2002, losing each time under the old format that ended with a single title game.
"You get a variety of pitchers out there in the games, whether it's a two-game or three-game set," coach Ray Tanner said. "We're all used to the series mentality."
Tanner didn't name his starter for tonight. He's deciding among Blake Cooper (12-2), Tyler Webb (3-2) and Jay Brown (3-0). Cooper has started twice in the CWS but would be coming off only three days' rest.
The Gamecocks have won four elimination games to get to this point. They beat Oklahoma in 12 innings after being down to their last strike, and they got an improbable complete-game, three-hitter from Michael Roth, a career situational reliever called on to start Friday vs. Clemson.
UCLA starts Cole (11-3), the Yankees' 2008 first-round pick. He struck out 13 and allowed five hits in eight innings in a 6-3 win over TCU. Bauer, the national leader in strikeouts, has struck out 24 in 15 innings in Omaha.
Second Jordan heading for UCF
ORLANDO — Another son of former Bulls star Michael Jordan appears headed to play for UCF.
Jeffrey Jordan posted on his Twitter account that he was off to UCF, his "new school." The Knights, however, had not made an official announcement.
The 6-foot-1 point guard left Illinois in May after playing two seasons. He would have to sit out the 2010-11 season under NCAA transfer rules.
Jeffrey Jordan would join his younger brother, Marcus, who was a freshman at UCF last season. Marcus Jordan, who averaged 8.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32 games, tweeted Friday, "My brother … is officially here… Haha let's dooooo ittt!!!!"
The Jordan brothers last played together at Loyola Academy, a private high school in Chicago.
USF FOOTBALL: Sebring defensive end/linebacker Zack Bullock has become the Bulls' fifth oral commitment for the 2011 recruiting class. Bullock, 6 feet 3, 205 pounds, has played mostly defensive end but could start his USF career as a linebacker until he adds more to his frame. He said he chose USF over offers from Iowa State and Western Kentucky.
USF baseball: Former USF star and major-leaguer Chris Heintz, 35, has left his new job as manager of the Gulf Coast League Twins to return to the Bulls as hitting coach. He reached the majors with the Twins as a catcher in 2005 and retired in 2008.
Staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report that included information from the Orlando Sentinel.