Cal State Fullerton and BYU will open the NCAA Division I baseball tournament at 1 p.m. PT Thursday at Stanford’s Sunken Diamond.
The Stanford Regional is the only one of the tournament’s 16 regionals that will start Thursday and end Saturday; BYU is not allowed to play on Sunday because of religious beliefs. Long Beach State and UCLA will take part in the Long Beach Regional at Blair Field beginning Friday.
Fullerton will be making a regional appearance for the 26th consecutive year, the second-longest active streak in college baseball behind Florida State’s 40. The Titans (34-21) are expected to start right-hander Connor Seabold against BYU (37-19), which has a team batting average of .324.
Seabold has a record of 10-4 and an earned-run average of 2.94, with 108 strikeouts and 19 walks in 110 1/3 innings. BYU’s offense is paced by outfielder Brock Hale, who has a .399 batting average and 12 home runs, and catcher Bronson Larsen, who is batting .344 with 16 home runs and 62 runs batted in.
Stanford (40-14) and Sacramento State (32-27) will play their first games in the four-team, double-elimination regional at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Cardinal will be trying to extend the career of Coach Mark Marquess, who is in his 41st and final season.
Stanford finished second in the Pac-12 Conference regular season, behind Oregon State, which is the top-seeded team in the tournament. Sacramento State placed fourth in the Western Athletic Conference regular season but advanced by winning the league’s postseason tournament.