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BASEBALL / COLLEGE WORLD SERIES : Fourth-Seeded Cal State Long Beach Will Begin Play Against No. 5 LSU


Cal State Long Beach is the fourth-seeded team in the College World Series and will open play against fifth-seeded Louisiana State on Friday night at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.

The NCAA on Tuesday announced the pairings and brackets for the eight-team double-elimination tournament that begins Friday and concludes with a winner-take-all championship game June 12.

Top-seeded Texas A&M (52-9) and eighth-seeded Kansas (45-16) are also in Long Beach's bracket.

Arizona State (46-18) is seeded second and will begin play Saturday against seventh-seeded Wichita State (55-16). Third-seeded Texas (50-14) plays sixth-seeded Oklahoma State (43-15).

"This is an awfully tough field to handicap," Arizona State Coach Jim Brock said. "You've got the seven basic powers in college baseball. Kansas is really the only one not there before."

Long Beach (43-17) is making its third World Series appearance in five years under Coach Dave Snow. The 49ers advanced to Omaha by winning the East Regional at Tallahassee, Fla. Sophomore right-hander Daniel Choi is 16-1 and has won 14 consecutive decisions. John Swanson, who hit only two home runs during the regular season, hit three homers in four games at Tallahassee.

Louisiana State (49-16-1), the 1991 national champion, won the South Regional at Baton Rouge, La., to earn its sixth trip to Omaha under Coach Skip Bertman. The Tigers are led by All-American second baseman Todd Walker, who is batting .398 with 19 home runs and 90 runs batted in.

Texas A&M is making only its second appearance in the World Series. The Aggies feature left-handers Trey Moore, who is 12-0 with a 2.68 earned-run average, and Jeff Granger, who is 14-3 with a 2.72 ERA.

Texas, which defeated USC, 3-2, to win the Central Regional II regional at Austin, Tex., is making a record 27th appearance in the World Series. The Longhorns have won four national titles.

Kansas defeated Fresno State, 3-2, in 10 innings to win the Mideast Regional and earn its first trip to Omaha. Right-hander Jamie Splitorff, son of former Kansas City Royal pitcher Paul Splitorff, is 7-1 with a 3.76 ERA.

Wichita State, the 1989 national champion, won the Atlantic Regional at Atlanta and is making its fifth World Series appearance. Oklahoma State, which won the title in 1959, is making its 17th trip to Omaha after an 11-10 comeback victory over Arizona in the Midwest Regional at Stillwater, Okla.

Five-time national champion Arizona State is making its 16th World Series appearance after winning the West Regional at Tempe, Ariz.

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