Cal State Dominguez Hills, which has clinched at least a tie for its second straight California Collegiate Athletic Assn. baseball title, will host its first NCAA Division II baseball regional May 15-17.
Dominguez Hills Athletic Director Sue Carberry said Tuesday it was still uncertain whether the double-elimination regional will involve two or three teams. The first games will be played May 15 at noon and 3 p.m.
Other teams in the running for playoff berths are Sacramento State and Chico State from Northern California, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Northridge, the Toros' closest pursuer in the CCAA.
The Toros, who appeared in their first regional last year, entered the week 3 1/2 games ahead of Northridge with four to play. Pomona was 5 1/2 behind with five to play. The Toros close out the regular season at Pomona with a single game at 2:30 p.m. Friday and a noon double-header at Dominguez Hills on Saturday.
The Toros began the week within one victory of the school record of 37, set last year. Dominguez Hills is the first CCAA team to repeat since UC Riverside in 1981-82.
The winner of the Western regional will advance to the Division II World Series at Montgomery, Ala.
Dominguez Hills won four conference games last week to pull away from the field. The Toros have won 26 of their last 31 games and 10 of 11.
Last week's victories included several strong pitching performances as senior Brian Ayers shut out Pomona, senior Mike Aspray pitched a complete game against Northridge and junior Joe Cortez pitched into the ninth inning against Riverside. Aspray is 9-3 with five complete games and a 2.84 earned-run average, Ayers is 6-1 and reliever Chris Haslock is 7-2 with 9 saves and a 2.54 ERA.
Outfielder Jon Beuder is in contention for the CCAA batting title with a .379 average, and senior Fred Hanker entered the week with 55 runs batted in, one short of his team record. The hottest hitter lately has been sophomore outfielder Joe Pardo, who has hit .467 in the last seven games to raise his average to .309.