Sunday May 24, 2009UF Selected To Host NCAA Baseball Regional; Field To Be Announced Monday
The University of Florida learned on Sunday afternoon that it was awarded one of 16 NCAA Baseball Regional sites. Four teams will compete at McKethan Stadium in a double-elimination tournament starting on Friday, May 29. The winner will advance to the best-of-three Super Regional to be held the following weekend at eight different sites. The 64-team field for the NCAA Tournament will be announced live on ESPN on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
“We’re extremely excited about hosting games in Gainesville,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It is great news for the program, our players, the University and the fans.”
Florida (39-20) finished 1-2 at the SEC Tournament after winning the league’s Eastern Division crown for the first time since 2005 and placing second overall in the regular-season standings. The Gators have been a fixture in the national polls in O’Sullivan’s second season at the helm and boast three All-SEC players, sophomore second baseman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.), senior outfielder Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) and junior right-hander Billy Bullock (Balm, Fla.), as well as SEC Co-Freshman of the Year first baseman Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.).
UF will be hosting its first NCAA Regional action since 2005, when it swept through the bracket and later captured both games at the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional on its way to a runner-up showing at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. McKethan Stadium has been the site of seven NCAA Regionals during its existence, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2005. Prior to the 1999 season, when the new NCAA Super Regional format was introduced, the Orange and Blue advanced to the CWS three times it hosted NCAA play: 1991, 1996 and 1998.
The other 15 schools chosen as host venues include: Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Clemson, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Louisville, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Rice, Texas, TCU and UC Irvine.