UC Davis realizes first NCAA tourney berth
Tribune, AP and UC Davis reports
Selection Monday was a good day for first-timers, but not a good day for the two-time NCAA baseball champion.
UC Davis is among four schools who are part of the 64-team field for the first time. The others are Dallas Baptist, Lipscomb and Mount St. Mary’s. Dallas Baptist, which ended the San Francisco Dons’ tournament aspirations with a three-game sweep last week, is the first independent other than Miami to be selected since Cal State Northridge in 1992.
The Aggies, who are in their first official season as D-I members, are in the Stanford regional and will play the host Cardinal on Friday at 5 p.m. The four-team regional also includes Pepperdine and Arkansas.
“I thought we had a really good season and had a strong resume for the selection committee,” said Aggies’ coach Rex Peters. “Our players have really moved our program a long way in our first season at the Division I level. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time.”
The Aggies (34-22) are the No. 4 seed in the Stanford regional and will play the top-seeded Cardinal for the third time this season. UC Davis won both meetings against Stanford and have four of the past five games in the series.
The Aggies made their final NCAA Division II playoff appearance in 2003, a year after South Tahoe High graduate Greg Bruso was the ace of the club’s pitching staff. In 2002, Bruso was the California Collegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year after compiling a 10-4 record with a 1.94 earned run average.
Meanwhile, Oregon State (28-24) won’t have an opportunity to win its third straight title. The Beavers did not receive an at-large bid, despite having five series wins against teams in the 64-team field, including Arizona, Arizona State and Georgia.
Nevada (34-26), the Western Athletic Conference tournament runner-up didn’t receive an at-large berth either. Fresno State (37-27) is the only WAC representative in the tournament. The Bulldogs will play host to Long Beach State (37-19) on Friday. Cal (33-19-2) and San Diego (41-15) also are in the Long Beach regional.
Miami was selected as the top seed.
The Hurricanes (47-8), who won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament for the first time, will host one of 16 four-team, double-elimination regionals that begin Friday.