Despite having lost eleven of its last fifteen games, Cal baseball still has a chance to turn its season around and earn a postseason berth.
Center fielder Chad Bunting captured perfectly the effect that the Cal baseball team's recent seven-game losing streak - extended by Sunday's 11-2 loss against No. 10 UCLA - has had on its postseason outlook.
"Six games ago, I would have told you that a regional was 100 percent (certain)," Bunting said Saturday afternoon. "Now, we need to win a few games."
Four remain and, as misfortune would have it, all are away from Evans Diamond. The Bears are 10-13 on the road this year and 3-9 when playing a Pac-10 opponent. They travel to Pacific on Tuesday and Oregon over the weekend for a series that, all of a sudden, may determine whether or not they make the NCAA tournament.
The conference is so muddled in the middle right now - and strong overall - that Cal coach David Esquer says it's "very likely" that between six and eight Pac-10 teams will qualify. The Bears (27-22, 11-13 in the Pac-10) have a national top-ten strength of schedule and, as a result, belong in the top 50 in RPI.
But their overall record does not jump out and, if they do not reach 30 wins, they may be seen as an unattractive candidate.
"We are a playoff team," Esquer said. "We're not playing like it right now, but we are a playoff team."
After the jump we have the transcript from Shane Vereen's livechat, the stream for Tedford's appearance on Chronicle Live tonight, and a look ahead to this weekend's crucial postseason matchup for softball.
- The answers are generally what you'd expect (rather generic and predictable), but the livechat with Shane Vereen has a few useful insights into offseason work, modifications to the Ludwig offense, and a look into Shane's non-football life.
- Tedford will be on tonight's Chronicle Live and will air from AT&T Park. Go here for the live stream, starting at 5pm.
- In a meandering column, John Crumpacker talks about funny names, good parking, and the success of Diane Ninemire's softball team. He also briefly previews next month's NCAA Championships for track and field.