June 14, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - The UCLA baseball team took the field for the first time at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on Thursday morning at the team's 50-minute practice on a day with multiple planned activities.
The Bruins, who begin the College World Series on Friday against Stony Brook, took a team photo in front of the "Road to Omaha" statue in front of the second-year home of the College World Series, TD Ameritrade Park, at 8 a.m.
After finishing several photo and video responsibilities with ESPN and Big Screen Network, UCLA took the field for a 50-minute practice, open to the media and public. UCLA players and coaches took part in a 60-minute autograph session on the first-base concourse following the morning practice.
Later in the afternoon, eighth-year head coach John Savage took part with Arizona head coach Andy Lopez, Florida State head coach Mike Martin and Stony Brook head coach Matt Senk in a press conference in a media room at the ballpark.
"We're honored and excited to be back in Omaha after the 2010 run that we made," Savage said during his opening remarks at the press conference. "That is the first time we've been back since 1997. This group of players, our junior class, is one of the best classes in UCLA history. They've won the most games and have been to Omaha two of their three years.
"The last time we were here, we were at Rosenblatt [Stadium], so it's two different mindsets. This is a beautiful ballpark, and we're just excited to be back. We're proud of our team and are looking forward to playing on Friday."
UCLA faces Stony Brook at 2 p.m. (PT)/4 p.m. (CT) on Friday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Ballpark Omaha. The Bruins will send sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko (11-3, 2.56) to the mound for their first College World Series game since finishing as the CWS runner-up in 2010.