UC-Irvine is coached by one of Garrido's former Cal State-Fullerton standouts Dave Serrano. The third-year head coach has compiled a 107-64-1 mark in three seasons in Irvine and was the Titans' pitching coach when Cal State shocked Texas in the 2004 College World Series finals.
Meanwhile, nine UC-Irvine players were listed on the Big West All-Conference team released this week. It was the most honorees from one school in a single season since the Anteaters joined the Big West Conference in 1985. The list includes First-Team All-Conference 2B Cody Cipriano who led his club with 12 home runs to tie the program's single-season record. Cipriano bats .342, accounted for 52 RBI and is third on the team with 67 hits. First-Team honoree Taylor Holiday led his conference in doubles (21), triples (8) and runs scored (59), RHP Scott Gorgen, also a Fist-Team All-Conference selection, posted a 10-2 record. He owns a 3.06 ERA and has fanned 96 batters.
Texas extends its NCAA-leading record for post-season appearances to 51 and are the winningest program in college baseball history. Yet, the Horns have historically struggled against California teams (Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Cal, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Diego State, UC-Santa Barbara). Including this year's series losses to San Diego and Long Beach State, Texas' overall record against major Golden State programs now stands at 87-76-1.
If the seeds hold, Texas can anticipate a first-ever match-up against the Anteaters on Saturday night.
The Anteaters will open the Round Rock Regional with a scheduled 1:00 p.m. (CDT) first-pitch Friday against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons (33-27) were considered a bubble team but reached the finals of the ACC Conference Tournament, falling eventually to No. 3 national seed North Carolina, 3-2. 1B Allan Dykstra paces his team with 18 homers and 59 RBI. Texas owns a 2-0 series lead against Wake Forest, but the programs have not met since 1949. That's when the Demon Deacons were the national runners-up to national champ Texas in the College World Series. Wake's CWS championship in 1955 remains the ACC's only national collegiate baseball title in history.
The Horns will also face Brown (27-19) for the first time when the squads take the field at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) Friday. The Brown Bears won the program's first Ivy League baseball title this past season and will likely start RHP Jeff Dietz (9-3, 2.53 ERA).
The Round Rock Regional will be held at the Dell Diamond as current Disch-Falk Field renovations have significantly limited space for media, umpires and visiting teams. Eight of Texas' first 11 games this season were played at the Diamond.
The Horns (44-15) are hosting an NCAA Regionals for the 23rd time. Regional games are slated for June 1-4. The winner advances to the Super Regional to face the survivor of the Wichita Regional (Wichita State, Arizona, New Orleans, Oral Roberts). The site of the Super Regional is yet to be determined, but the best-of-three series is expected to be held at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi if the Horns advance.
Game 1: Wake Forest vs. UC-Irvine, 1:00 p.m.
Game 2 : Texas vs. Brown, 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 12 p.m.
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 12 p.m.
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.
MONDAY (if necessary)
Game 7: Game 4 winner vs Game 5 winner, 1 p.m.