The late-season losing streak and tough Sunday loss in Oregon are all in the past now - Cal did enough to grab one of the at large playoff spots for the NCAA tournament. Now it will be up to the Bears to take advantage of that opportunity by playing the type of baseball they've flashed in sweeps of Arizona and Oregon St. and early victories over Rice and Stanford.
Cal was sent to Norman along with North Carolina, Oral Roberts, and the regional host Sooners. Oklahoma is ranked anywhere from 12th to 15th by various publications. Cal managed to avoid getting placed along with one of the top 8 national seeds, a stroke of luck that the Bears will be challenged to take advantage of. They will open play against North Carolina, one of the last teams to make the field, on Friday, June 4th. We'll have a look at Cal's regional opponents later this week.
Cal was right on the bubble entering the day, with various projections tabbing Cal as one of the last teams that could receive an invitation to the playoffs (And ESPN thought we were the last team out!). It's unclear how Cal badly needed both games they took from Oregon this weekend as Cal surprisingly received a two seed at their regional. It appears that the series victory over Oregon was enough to ensure that Cal received a higher seed than Oregon and Arizona. That the Bears made the post-season at all is a testament to the impressive strength of the Pac-10 this year and a solid, if unspectacular non-conference record for David Esquer's team. In addition to Cal, Arizona St, UCLA, Washington St, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon St. and Arizona made the field of 64 - eight out of ten!