IRVINE — Having seen his team officially dispense with the formalities by capping a three-game series sweep with an 11-3 victory over Big West Conference visitor Cal State Northridge Sunday, UC Irvine baseball coach Dave Serrano was eager to talk about the task at hand.
"We're playing for the Big West championship," Serrano said of the regular-season-ending three-game series at UC Riverside that begins Friday.
The No. 12-ranked Anteaters improved to 38-14-1, 13-5 in conference, with their third straight dismantling of the Matadors. It was UCI's seventh straight victory, its seventh straight triumph against Big West competition, and its final regular-season home game. It also established a record for single-season wins since the program joined the NCAA Division I ranks before the 1978 season.
UC Riverside also completed a weekend sweep of Big West rival Long Beach State with a 7-6 win in 10 innings Sunday at Blair Field. The No. 16-ranked Highlanders (36-17, 15-3) take a two-game lead over both UCI and No. 11-ranked Long Beach State (34-17, 13-5), into the weekend after knocking the 49ers from first place into a second-place tie with the Anteaters.