Despite neither team turning in a dominant regular season, the Stanford and Cal baseball teams have a chance to cap off their respective years with a national title.
Stanford earned a spot in the Cal State Fullerton Regional, while Cal learned it will head to the Midwest as part of the Oklahoma Regional when the field for the Division I college baseball tournament was announced Monday.
The Cardinal (31-23), making their 29th trip to the NCAA tournament, will meet New Mexico (37-20) on Friday at 4 p.m. Cal State Fullerton and Minnesota round out the double-elimination regional.
“This is the second season and what we have been playing for all season,” Stanford coach Mark Marquess said.
Meanwhile, the Bears (29-23), who are in the field for the second time in three seasons under coach David Esquer, will meet North Carolina (36-20) Friday at 5 p.m. in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma and Oral Roberts are also in Cal’s regional.
Stanford and Cal were two of eight teams from the Pac-10 Conference, headlined by the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed Ariona State, to reach the postseason.
“Having eight teams selected from the Pac-10 shows the respect I think our conference deserves,” Esquer said. The 16 regional winners move on to the best-of-three super regionals, with those winners advancing to the College World Series, which begins June 19 in Omaha, Neb.
Stanford vs. New Mexico
WHEN: Friday, 4 p.m.
OTHERS IN REGIONAL: Minnesota, Cal State Fullerton
Cal vs. N. Carolina
WHEN: Friday, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Norman, Okla.
OTHERS IN REGIONAL: Oral Roberts, Oklahoma