No. 1 UCLA and No. 4 Stanford held serve on their home fields in the College World Series regional rounds, as each team suffered a home loss before advancing to the Super Regionals to be held this weekend.
Sadly, No. 16 Oregon State—as well as Arizona State and No. 25 California—were not so fortunate, as those Pacific-12 Conference teams were eliminated when the CWS narrowed its field from 64 to 16 after the first weekend of play.
First, the good: Despite suffering a 3-2 loss to Loyola Marymount in its regional on home turf, UCLA rallied to win three straight and punch its ticket to the Super Regionals. The Bruins will host Michigan, winner of the Corvallis regional (see below), in a best-of-three series to determine which team advances to the CWS finals in Omaha.
Also, Stanford lost to Fresno State on its home field, forcing the Cardinal to likewise win three straight games and advance to the Super Regionals. For some reason, though, the NCAA is sending Stanford to Starkville, MS, to play No. 3 Mississippi State in the Super Regional, which does not make sense at all, considering there are other Super Regionals featuring much lower-ranked teams.
Now, the bad news: The Beavers, the defending national champions, went out with a whimper. They lost two games right away and were gone, as Michigan went on to claim the regional and advance to face UCLA in the Super Regional. Considering Oregon State was ranked No. 3 just a little bit ago, it was a steep fall from high ground for the Beavs.
As for Arizona State and Cal … The Golden Bears also lost their first two games, giving up a combined 20 runs. That was ugly for a team ranked 25th in the country. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils pitching also disappeared: Coughing up a combined 28 runs in two losses to Southern Mississippi, ASU lasted only three games in its regional demise.
Overall, it is likely UCLA will advance to Omaha, but Stanford got a bum deal in being sent to face Mississippi State on the road. The Pac-12’s strong regular season has been diminished by interesting choices by the NCAA in terms of seeding its tournament—not only sending Cal and ASU far across the country but now doing the same to highly ranked Stanford.