Sunday May 30, 2010UF 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, June 4. 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 happy 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 and we appreciate the support.”
Florida (42-15) finished 2-2 at the SEC Tournament after winning the league’s overall and Eastern Division crowns for the first time since 2005. The Gators have been a fixture in the national polls under third-year skipper O’Sullivan, the 2010 SEC Coach of the Year, and eight different players earned recognition from the conference in the year-end awards. Third baseman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, while junior left-hander Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) was voted first-team All-SEC. Second-team recipients from the Orange and Blue included senior outfielder Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), freshman shortstop Nolan Fontana (Winter Springs, Fla.), Maddox and sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.). UF placed five players in six spots on the All-Freshman Team, with Fontana, left-hander/designated hitter Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), Maddox, right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) and catcher Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) earning the accolade. The trio of den Dekker, Fontana and Tucker achieved All-Defensive Team status.
UF will be hosting NCAA Regional action for the second-straight year, as it swept through the bracket last June with wins over Bethune-Cookman and a pair of triumphs over Miami (Fla.) to advance to Super Regionals for the third time in six years. McKethan Stadium has been the site of eight NCAA Regionals during its existence, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2009. Prior to the 1999 season, when the new NCAA Super Regional format was introduced, the Orange and Blue advanced to the NCAA College World Series three times it hosted NCAA play: 1991, 1996 and 1998.
The other 15 schools chosen as host venues include: Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Cal State Fullerton, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, TCU, Virginia and UCLA.