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USD qualifies for NCAA College Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2013

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Posted at 4:53 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 19:53:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The last time the University of San Diego qualified for the NCAA College Baseball Tournament, current major league all-star Kris Bryant was a member of the Toreros, which was in 2013.

Now, nine years later, and fresh off a WCC Tournament win, USD is back in the NCAA tourney.

"It's been a long time coming for this program," sophomore pitcher Brycen Mautz said. "It feels great to be a part of the team that is making it happen again."

"When we go out and stretch before practices and games," junior catcher Caleb Ricketts said. "We would go out and touch the space on the wall next to 2013 to signify putting up this year's number (2022) on the wall."

The nine-year tournament drought is over, and USD will open NCAA Regional Tournament play in Corvallis, Oregon, against 2-time NCAA champion Vanderbilt.

While the Commodores are one of college baseball's most storied programs, USD Head Coach Brock Ungricht said his team will focus on themselves.

"We never talk about the opposing team, we never talk about their brand, or who we are playing," Ungricht said. "We really try and stay focused on ourselves and our strengths."

Besides Vanderbilt, USD is playing in a tough four-team regional that also includes 3-time NCAA champion Oregon State.

"We got two of the past four world series champs in Oregon State and Vanderbilt. So it's awesome we get to play such great competition," Mautz said.

"It's important for us to represent our conference and the west coast in general," Ricketts said. "The way the tournament is formatted, it's important for the west coast teams to get in there and make some noise, and show people we can play to."

It's been a special year so far for the USD baseball team. Heading into the tournament they have a 36 -18 record, and doing it with a first-year head coach in Brock Ungricht.

"I'm the fortunate one to be the head coach here, but our coaching staff is unbelievable and our players are unbelievable, Ungricht said. "It's about the attitude and about the belief and it's a dream come true."