You better shout, you better cry, the baseball playoffs are coming to town.
That’s right. Anteater baseball took another landmark step on Sunday when we were selected to host the Regionals for the first time in UC Irvine history.
The administration and athletics worked hard to make Anteater Ballpark well-equipped to handle the crowd that the baseball playoffs attract. Bleachers were added on the Anthill right behind the visitor’s dugout. Ample seating will be available for cheaper prices on the Anthill for all the games as well. This is the biggest event UCI will ever host, and students should come out to witness it for two reasons.
The first reason: This is the college experience. Your top-ranked team has been one of 16 teams selected to host the first round. In the south, ticket prices for such events skyrocket on eBay. At Louisana State Univeristy last year, there were more than 8,000 Tiger fans at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge and that figure does not even include the hundreds more who were ticketless and remained in the parking lot tailgating as they followed along on TV or radio. It would be a shame if visiting teams were better represented in our own house because our students didn’t care enough to appreciate such an electric event.
The second reason: Our Anteaters perform the best in wildy supportive crowds. They have shown it for the last two years in the postseason. The best example was when over 10,000 fans in Omaha, NB adopted UCI as their team in the College World Series (CWS). That UCI team became a regular highlight on SportsCenter, and the darling of the nation, not to mention the first team in CWS to win back-to-back extra inning games, which were against California State University and Arizona State University. Again, even if you don’t like baseball this is an event you will absolutely not want to miss.
This is how the baseball playoffs work. The top 64 teams in the nation are selected to compete in the first round, the Regionals. There are 16 locations, and four teams are placed in a double elimination format. The selections for the Irvine Regional, along with the 15 others, will be made Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.
The team with the best record in each Regional will advance to the Super Regional, which will pit two teams against each other in a best two-out-of-three series with the winner advancing to the final eight in Omaha for the CWS. If UCI wins the Irvine Regional, it will most likely host a Super Regional given that the ’Eaters are the top team in the nation and a national seed in the postseason.
The other hosts are as follows: North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Rice, East Carolina, Louisville, Texas Christian, Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton.
Pre-sale tickets are available at UCIrvineSports.com. All-session reserved seating tickets are $100, all-session bleacher seating tickets are $75 and all-session lawn seating tickets are $50. Single game tickets will be available on May 27, but expect these tickets to sell like hotcakes.
You will probably forget about your finals two weeks after you get your grades, but rooting for your team in the playoffs will stay with you forever. Make your move.