STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford baseball team, ranked 16th in the nation and selected on Sunday as a host site for an NCAA Regional, had its postseason path laid out Monday morning with the unveiling of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field. The Cardinal will open its 28th career postseason appearance as the top seed of the Stanford Regional, and will face the fourth-seeded UC Davis Aggies Friday at 5 p.m. PT at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. No. 2 Pepperdine and No. 3 Arkansas make up the rest of the Stanford Regional field.
Stanford (Pac-10), Arkansas (SEC), and UC Davis (Big West) all received at-large bids to the tournament, while Pepperdine earned the West Coast Conference's automatic berth.
Friday's meeting will mark the third meeting of the Cardinal and Aggies this season. UC Davis captured the two previous midweek encounters, defeating the Cardinal, 9-8 at Stanford on April 9, then capturing the return engagement by a score of 10-8 on April 30 in Davis.
Stanford owns a 68-25 (.731) record in 24 previous regional appearances, as well as 14 regional titles. The Cardinal captured its most recent regional title in 2006, winning three straight games at the Austin Regional, culminating in a 17-7 title game victory over North Carolina State.
The Cardinal will be looking to play its way towards a 16th College World Series appearance, and third national title, in Omaha, Neb. The 2008 College World Series will begin play on June 14 at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Stanford finished the 2008 regular season with a record of 33-21-2, and turned in a runner-up finish in the Pac-10 with a conference mark of 14-10. Over the course of the year, the Cardinal captured 11 of the 13 weekend series it played, including series victories over national tournament seeds No. 3 Arizona State (April 4-6) and No. 5 CS Fullerton (Feb. 29-March 2).
The Cardinal met nine 2008 NCAA Tournament teams on the diamond earlier in the season, posting a 14-11-1 record against those squads. The victories included weekend series wins over Nebraska, CS Fullerton, Texas, Arizona State and UCLA, as well as a midweek victory over Long Beach State.
The Stanford Regional will begin Friday, May 30, with the Pepperdine-Arkansas contest at 1 p.m. PT, followed by Stanford-UC Davis at 5 p.m. Action will continue in the four-team, double-elimination format until a Regional Champion is crowned on either June 1 or 2.
Games will be played at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. PT Friday through Sunday, May 30-June 1. If a second championship game is required, it will be played Monday, June 2 at 1 p.m. PT. All contests will be played at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.
The winner of this weekend's regional will advance to an NCAA Super Regional to be played from either June 6-8, or June 7-9.