The NCAA selection committee gave Cal a relatively kind regional match-up, and it will be an all Bear matchup when Cal takes on Baylor to start their playoff run. Cal's struggles down the stretch likely bumped them down from a two seed to a three, but they won't have to travel to the east coast and they are facing the weakest of the top 8 national seeds. You can view the whole bracket, including a day-by-day schedule (times TBA) for Cal's regional here.
Cal (31-20) has in fact already played and beaten the Rice Owls (38-18), besting them 7-6 in 15 innings in San Francisco earlier this year. But for now the focus is on Baylor. The Bears (29-26, 13-14 Big 12) have had an up and down year. They finished the regular season hot but then got swept out of the Big 12 tournament without a win and finished the season below .500 in conference. Like Cal, their strength is their pitching staff, particularly right-handed ace Logan Verrett. First baseman Max Muncy has some pop and leads the team in most major offensive statistics.
The Houston regional will begin on Friday, June 3rd with Rice taking on Alcorn State (27-28), the champions of the SWAC for the first time in their history. Cal will then play Baylor. The winner of the Houston regional would play the winner of the Fort Worth regional (TCU, Oklahoma, Dallas Baptist, Oral Roberts) for a trip to the College World Series. Game times have yet to be announced. Stay tuned with CGB for announced game times and viewing options as well as a deeper breakdown of the Houston regional. Go Bears!