May 26, 2008
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The No. 20-ranked University of California baseball team, 33-19-2 overall and 12-12 in the Pac-10, has received an at-large berth into the 2008 NCAA Baseball Tournament and will compete in the Long Beach, Calif. Regional, hosted May 30-June 2 at Blair Field in Long Beach.
The Golden Bears enter the Long Beach Regional as the No. 3-seeded team and will face No. 2-seeded and No. 7-ranked University of San Diego (41-15) at 2 p.m. on Friday May 30. The other two teams in the Long Beach Regional include No. 1-seeded and No. 22-ranked Long Beach State (37-19) and No. 4-seeded Fresno State (37-27). Those two teams will play at 6 p.m. on Friday.
If Cal wins on Friday, it would play the winner of the Long Beach State-Fresno State game at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 31. The tournament is a double-elimination format with the championship game scheduled to be played on Sunday, June 1 at 5 p.m.
The Bears have a 6-0 record this season against the Long Beach Regional field. Cal defeated the University of San Diego, 5-0, on Mar. 2 in San Diego during the University of San Diego Tournament. The Bears are 2-0 against Fresno State, defeating the Bulldogs, 14-4, on Feb. 28 at the University of San Diego Tournament, and, 5-4, Apr. 2 at Evans Diamond. Also at Evans Diamond, Cal swept then No. 5-ranked Long Beach State - 6-1, 10-6, 4-3 - Mar. 28-30.
The Bears, under head coach David Esquer and led by senior second baseman Josh Satin, junior first baseman David Cooper and junior right-hander Tyson Ross, among others, are making their first NCAA Regional appearance since 2001 when they went 1-2 at the Baton Rouge, La. Regional. This will be Cal's 10th regional appearance all-time where it owns a 22-11 record. The Bears have also qualified for the College World Series nine times, most recently in 1992 under coach Bob Milano. Cal captured the first CWS title in 1947 and also won the national championship in 1957.
"We are extremely happy to be in the NCAA tournament," said Esquer, whose Bears had a thrilling 7-6 10-inning victory over UCLA Sunday on Satin's game-winning home run. "Our kids have worked hard all season and deserve to be in a regional. We are in a tough of a bracket as any in the tournament, but you are always going to have to defeat good teams to advance."