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OMAHA BOUND: UC Irvine Opens CWS With Texas

Links associated with this release:
College World Series Bracket
College World Series Information
NCAA Baseball Championship Page


Big West Conference College World Series Release

altUC Irvine is headed to Omaha for the College World Series for the second time since the program was reinstated in 2002 as it opens play against Texas Saturday, June 14 at noon (pacific) on ESPN2.  Louisville and Vanderbilt, also on UCI’s side of the bracket, will play the second game of the doubleheader.

The Anteaters last played at the CWS in 2007 where they went 2-2.

The Anteaters’ road to Omaha wasn’t an easy task as they were sent to the Corvallis Regional.  UC Irvine opened regional play with a 10-3 win over UNLV before upsetting top-seeded Oregon State 14-2.  The Anteaters would face the Beavers two more times, falling 4-0 before downing OSU 4-2 to head to the Super Regionals.

At the Stillwater Super Regional the Anteaters won the best-of-three series against Oklahoma State by scores of 8-4 and 1-0.  In game two, All-America Andrew Morales  struck out eight, walked two and allowed just five hits in a complete-game shutout of the Cowboys.

Road To Omaha

UC Irvine
(3-1 at Corvallis Regional)
(2-0 at Stillwater Super Regional)

• The Anteaters, who finished third in the Big West Conference, are making the program’s eighth postseason appearance in the past 11 years.  They are 24-13 during that span, which includes a trip to the College World Series (2007). 

• UC Irvine’s last postseason appearance was in 2011 where they advanced to the Super Regionals.

• The 2014 season marks UCI’s fourth trip to an NCAA super regional with previous appearances in 2007, 2008 and 2011.

• The Anteaters are making their first trip to the College World Series since 2007 after sweeping Oklahoma State in the Stillwater Super Regional by scores of 8-4 and 1-0.   They are the first Big West team to advance to Omaha since 2009 (Cal State Fullerton).

• UC Irvine traveled to Corvallis to face host Oregon State, UNLV and North Dakota State in regional action.  The Anteaters dominated in the first two contests, knocking off the Rebels, 10-3 and then upsetting top-seed Oregon State 14-2.  The Anteaters lost their second matchup with the Beavers, 4-0, but captured the final game against OSU by a score of 4-2 to earn the final spot in the Super Regionals.

• With this year’s success, UC Irvine is 16-7 in NCAA Regional action, with 14 of the victories coming from  road or neutral contests.

• UC Irvine closer Sam Moore owns a nation-best 23 saves this season, which is a Big West record. He is just one save away from tying the national record set by UCLA’s David Berg last year.

• UC Irvine, who was reinstated as a D I school in 2002, was successful at the D II level; in 1973 and 1974 the Anteaters were crowned Division II National Champions.

All-Regional Team
1B: Connor Spencer
2B: Grant Palmer
3B: Taylor Sparks
SS: Chris Rabago
OF:  Kris Paulino
P: Andrew Morales
Outstanding Player: Connor Spencer

• UC Irvine against the NCAA field.

Arizona State 1-0
Cal Poly 1-2
Cal State Fullerton 0-3
Long Beach State 1-3
Nebraska 1-2
Oklahoma State  2-0
Oregon State 2-1
Pepperdine 0-2
San Diego State 1-2
UNLV 1-0
Total 10-15

Big West
• The Big West sent four teams to the 64-team NCAA Baseball Championship for the first time since 2008.  Big West Champion Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton represented the league at this year’s event. While all four teams made it to the regional finals, UCI is the lone team that advanced to the Super Regionals.

• The Big West has sent at least one team to the Super Regionals 11 out of the last 12 years.  The 2012 season was the lone year where the Big West was not represented at the Super Regionals.

• UC Irvine is the first Big West school to advance to the College World Series since Cal State Fullerton visited Omaha in 2009.  The Anteaters are joined by Texas, Louisville and Vanderbilt on their side of the bracket.  UC Irvine faces Texas in game one on Saturday, June 14 at noon (Pacific).  The Big West Conference is 7-4 against the Longhorns in the postseason with the last two victories coming by way of the 'Eaters in 2007 at the Texas Regional.  No Big West team has faced the Cardinals or Commodores in postseason play.

• Five teams posted a .500-or-better overall winning percentage this year - Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.

• The Big West Conference dominated the other west coast conferences in the regular season (Mountain West, Pac 12, WAC and West Coast), posting an overall record of 98-76-1 (.563)  among its western opponents.  The league owns a .500-or-better winning percentage against each individual conference as well.

• The Big West posted a 153-107-1 (.588) record against nonconference opponents during the regular season.

• Since 2000 the Big West Conference has posted a 117-82 (.584) record in the NCAA Tournament, which includes 16 Super Regional appearances, seven College World Series participants and one national champion (Cal State Fullerton, 2004).

• The Southeastern Conference (SEC) led all conferences in the number of teams in the championship field with 10, the most for a single conference in the history of the tournament. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has seven institutions, while the Big 12 and Pac-12 Conference each have five selected.   The Big West Conference was fifth with four selections.
• The Big West has enjoyed a tradition of representation at the College World Series.  In fact, a Big West school has reached Omaha 18 times. Fullerton  brought home the Big West’s first national title in 1995 and then brought home a second in 2004.

1975 - Cal State Fullerton
1988 - Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State
1989 - Long Beach State
1990 - Cal State Fullerton
1991 - Long Beach State, Fresno State
1992 - Cal State Fullerton
1993 - Long Beach State
1994 - Cal State Fullerton
1995 - Cal State Fullerton (NCAA champ)
1998 - Long Beach State
1999 - Cal State Fullerton
2001 - Cal State Fullerton
2003 - Cal State Fullerton
2004 - Cal State Fullerton (NCAA champ)
2006 - Cal State Fullerton
2007 - Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine
2009 - Cal State Fullerton
2014 - UC Irvine