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Alexander: Memo to UCR — baseball matters in the Big West

By in Press Enterprise on June 20, 2017

By Jim Alexander

The world according to Jim:

• If you care about UC Riverside baseball, you hope that Tamica Smith Jones has been watching ESPN since the NCAA Baseball Tournament began three weekends ago.

If UCR’s athletic director has been paying attention, she has seen two of the school’s Big West rivals front and center. Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State both won regionals. They played each other last week in a riveting Super Regional at Blair Field. And Fullerton survived that to reach the national stage in Omaha this week — if only briefly, exiting after Monday’s 6-4 loss to Florida State — while extending the Big West’s string of appearances at the College World Series to four straight years. …

• The point, as we’ve stated before: Baseball is the one and only sport where a Big West program has a legitimate shot at having a national impact.

Thus, it behooves UCR to do what it can to make its baseball program as strong as it can, to give itself at least a fighting chance to not only get back to a regional (as it has twice in the Division I era) but position itself to maybe go further.

Funding the maximum of 11.7 scholarships would be a good start. …

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