BYU won the WCC Tournament last weekend and has been selected to open play in the NCAA Regional at Stanford, California, on Thursday. (Photo by Kyle Terada/Terada Photo)
PROVO, Utah—Stanford, California, is the route chosen for No. 26 BYU baseball as it starts on the Road to Omaha at the NCAA Regional hosted by Stanford University on Thursday.
The Cougars, 37-19, will open the tournament at 1 p.m. PDT as the No. 3 seed facing No. 2-seed Cal State Fullerton (34-21), champions of the Big West Conference. The other team facing the top-seeded Cardinal (40-14) in the Stanford Regional is Western Athletic Conference Champion Sacramento State (32-27). Stanford hosts the regional as the tournament's No. 8 overall seed and plays the Hornets at 6 p.m. PDT. All games can be seen worldwide on ESPN3.com.
BYU's opening game opponent enters the matchup ranked No. 14 in the latest national rankings, while the Cardinal is ranked No. 8 in the nation. The games at the Stanford Regional will be played at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond
The winner of the BYU-Cal-State Fullerton game advances to play the winner of Stanford-Sacramento State on Friday, while the other two teams play later on Friday in the double-elimination tournament. All games in the Stanford Regional will be played at either 1 or 6 p.m. PDT and can be seen worldwide on ESPN3.com.
The Cougars, regular-season tri-champions in the West Coast Conference, won the WCC Tournament last weekend in Stockton, California, on their way to equaling the program's 10th-best season in school history with 37 victories. Riding a four-game winning streak coming off the WCC Tournament, BYU earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Road to Omaha with dominating back-to-back 10-3, 16-3 wins on Saturday in Stockton over fellow tri-champion Gonzaga.
“It's really gratifying for me to see the fruits of our players' labors come to fruition," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "We've hit good pitching all year long, and I feel like our mentality is really good right now. Cal-State Fullerton is a very well coached, talented and confident team. It's going to be a battle."
This is BYU’s 12th selection to an NCAA Regional since 1979, the first year that format was adopted. BYU has made two appearances in the College World Series in 1968 and 1971. In 1958 and 1961 the Cougars declined going to the CWS because of issues with Sunday play. If BYU is playing in Game 7 at the Stanford Regional, that contest will be played on Monday, June 5 at 1 p.m. PDT
The Cougars are scheduled to leave Tuesday.