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Baseball roundtable: How far will Cardinal go?

Coming off their first conference title since 2004, the Stanford Cardinal (44-10, 22-8 Pac-12) will host their 17th NCAA regional this weekend. With their dominant pitching and high-scoring offense, the Cardinal have had, in Year 1 of head coach David Esquer’s tenure, one of the program’s best seasons in recent years, ultimately earning them the No. 2 national seed in the tournament. Yet the road only gets more difficult from here: The Stanford Regional is arguably one of the most competitive in the entire tournament, as it includes red-hot Big 12 champ Baylor, powerhouse and rival Cal State Fullerton and one of the best four-seeds in the tournament, Wright State.

We asked Daily managing editor of sports Jose Saldana, Stanford insiders R.J. Abeytia (The Bootleg) and Jacob Rayburn (Cardinal Sports Report) to reflect on the Cardinal’s trajectory going into the postseason, what’s different from last year and the team’s prospects for advancing to Omaha.

By the numbers: 2018 baseball regular season

Stanford baseball has earned a national seed for the second year in a row after a historic 2018 season under first-year head coach David Esquer. The No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and the 22-8 conference record speak for themselves, but some of the other numbers that emerged from Stanford’s season tell the story of just how particularly special Stanford’s 2018 regular season was.

Remarkable season is more than just winning Pac-12

It has been 14 years since No. 3 Stanford baseball (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) were crowned Pac-12 Championships. Back then, would-be MLB players Jed Lowrie and Sam Fuld roamed sunkissed lawn of Sunken Diamond.

14 years of coming up short in the regular season. All those ghosts on the diamond who tried their damndest to win a conference title can be appeased when the Cardinal travel to the Evergreen State to play Washington (28-22, 18-9) in their final series of the season.