It's not likely that anything could soften the sting of a pair of one-run losses that eliminated the UC Irvine baseball team from the NCAA Regionals.
But the fact that Missouri, which sent the Anteaters packing with a 5-4 triumph in 14 innings on Saturday, went on to win the four-team mini-tournament, should help convince those concerned with such things that Coach Dave Serrano's program is not far from where he believes it can and should be.
The Anteaters, who concluded their season 36-24, battled the Tigers ? who opened the season in the Top 10 and will now take on Cal State Fullerton in this week's Super Regional ? inning upon maddening inning for nearly five hours Saturday at Pepperdine.