Right-hander Erik Johnson notched yesterday's win/Photo: Michael Pimentel, Goldenbearsports.com

How’s this for a turn around? A little over two months ago, Cal’s baseball team was bravely battling through the final season of its existence. The university had announced in September the elimination of baseball, as well as five other sports. The Golden Bears baseball team was playing honorably — ranked 13th in the nation — in a bittersweet farewell.

But on April 8, the university reversed its decision, thanks to an unprecedented fundraising effort by baseball supporters. Since then, well, the team has been truly Golden.

Yesterday the Golden Bears (37-21), which this morning’s Chronicle called “the NCAA postseason’s team of destiny”, clinched a spot in the College World Series in Omaha by beating Dallas Baptist 6-2, behind the White Sox-bound arm of Erik Johnson. The Patriots (42-20), had averaged over eight runs a game over the season, but scored two in their pair of games against Cal. Cal has now won six straight postseason games, since losing its first regional game against Baylor on June 3.

It marks the sixth time Cal has gone to the College World Series, finishing as champions in 1947 (the first year of the series) and 1957. Cal’s last appearance was in 1992 when it finished tied for seventh.

In Omaha, Cal’s first game will be against the winner of today’s game between number one-ranked Virginia and UC Irvine. The College World Series is played with eight teams split into two, four-team double-elimination brackets. The winners of each bracket play each other in a three-game series for the championship. All of the games will be televised on the ESPN network.

"*" indicates required fields

See an error that needs correcting? Have a tip, question or suggestion? Drop us a line.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...