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Highlander Baseball Goes to Postseason


Highlander Baseball Goes to The Postseason

In Second Year of Div I Play, Highlanders Land a Berth in Regional Post-Season Play

(May 27, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —- In only its second year of Division I play, the University of California, Riverside’s baseball team has landed a spot in the West Regional of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

The UC Riverside Highlanders, who finished the regular season with a 40-15 overall record and a 14-7 mark in the Big West Conference, good for third place, will face the Richmond, Va. Spiders, champions of the Atlantic-10, at 2 p.m., Friday May 30, in the first game of a four-team, double-elimination tournament. The winner advances to the regional championship game against the winner of the Stanford, Illinois-Chicago match. The Stanford regional winner will face the Long Beach winner in a best-of-three super regional June 6-8, for a berth in the College Word Series in Omaha, Neb.

UC Riverside, which is ranked 22nd by Baseball America, has become the first team in school history to reach the NCAA postseason.

“We really didn’t care where we were going, but I can’t think of a better place than Stanford, and now we have the opportunity to play there,” UC Riverside Head Coach Jack Smitheran said. “This puts on the map, although we’ve been around for a while, but this is a real testament to the hard work of the kids on this team.”

His team finished in the Big West, behind regional powerhouses Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. Earlier this season, the Highlanders shocked the collegiate baseball world by sweeping then-top ranked Cal State Fullerton, and was swept by Long Beach State (38-18).

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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