The Virginia baseball team makes its fifth-consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament this weekend as the Cavaliers make the trek to the West Coast to compete in the NCAA Fullerton Regional. No. 3-seeded Virginia battles No. 2-seed UCLA in the tournament opener at 7 p.m. Friday at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif., on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
The host and No. 5 national seed Titans take on Rider at 11 p.m. Friday. All games from the Fullerton Regional will be televised on ESPNU and available on radio broadcast from WINA (1070 AM).
Virginia (38-21) will make its first-ever appearance in California and is taking on its first opponent from the Golden State. UVa has not been west of the Mississippi River since 2005 when the Cavaliers competed in Corvallis, Ore., for the NCAA regional.
The Virginia baseball program will be making its first-ever appearance in the state of California. In fact, the Cavaliers have never faced a team from the state of California. Virginia has not taken on Rider since 1987. UVa holds a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with the Broncs.
Virginia enters the tournament with plenty of confidence after reaching the championship game of the ACC Baseball Championship last weekend. UVa defeated then-No. 1 North Carolina and then-No. 4 Florida State in earning the championship game berth before succumbing to then-No. 2 Miami in the championship. David Coleman (Fr., Richmond, Va.) was a unanimous selection to the all-tournament team.
UCLA went 31-25 (18-13 Pac-10) in the regular season and earned an at-large bid to the tournament as the Bruins make their third straight NCAA appearance. UCLA features reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Tim Murphy, who is 5-6 with a solid 3.52 ERA. Alden Carrithers leads the team with a .380 batting average. UCLA won seven of its last 10 games entering the tournament.
Rider (29-26, 16-16) won the MAAC tournament championship as the No. 4 seed and will be competing in its first NCAA regional since 1994. Cal State Fullerton (37-19, 16-8), the Big West co-champion with Long Beach State, is in the postseason for the 17th straight season and the 30th time in 34 years at the Division I level.
The Fullerton Regional will pair with the Stanford Regional (Palo Alto, Calif.). The Stanford Regional will feature Stanford (1), Pepperdine (2), Arkansas (3), and UC Davis (4).
All-tournament tickets are available now for $80 (reserved) and $68 (general admission). Individual game tickets, which go on sale at 12:01 a.m. PDT Tuesday, are $20 (box seats), $15 (reserved) and $10 (general admission).
Tickets may be ordered online at www.FullertonTitans.com/tickets.html.
Fullerton Regional Schedule (all televised by ESPNU)
Friday, May 30
7 p.m. - Game 1: No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 Virginia
11 p.m. - Game 2: No. 1 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 4 Rider
Saturday, May 31
7 p.m. - Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
11 p.m. - Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
Sunday, June 1
7 p.m. - Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
11 p.m. - Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Monday, June 2
11 p.m. - Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (if necessary)
*second game each day to begin at 11 p.m. or 50 minutes after game one