UCLA baseball makes NCAA cut, heads to Long Beach Regional

UCLA won’t have to travel far for its ninth postseason appearance since 2006.

The Bruins earned the No. 3 seed in the Long Beach Regional for the NCAA tournament when the field of 64 was announced during Monday’s selection show.

After missing postseason play last year, UCLA (30-25) finished third in the Pac-12 and 51st in RPI.

UCLA will play Texas (37-22) in the first round of the four-team, double-elimination regional tournament on Friday at Blair Field at 4 p.m. Big West champion Long Beach State (37-17-1) will face Mountain West champion San Diego State (41-19) at 8 p.m. in the first round. Both games will be on ESPN2.

“It’s a cliche, but I think it is truly, if not the strongest regional in the field, it’s certainly one of them,” UCLA head coach John Savage said of the Long Beach Regional.

The only regional team the Bruins have a win against this year is host Long Beach State. UCLA outlasted the Dirtbags 2-1 in 11 innings on April 18 and then won 5-1 on April 25, but got swept in a three-game series by Texas in March and lost both games against San Diego State. The Aztecs won 5-4 in April at home, then scored four unanswered runs in the eighth and ninth innings for an 8-6 comeback win at Jackie Robinson Stadium.