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Monday May 30, 2011UF Selected To Host NCAA Baseball Regional; Field To Be Announced Monday

Hoover, Ala.

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 3. 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.”


No. 3 Florida (44-16) is playing No. 4 Vanderbilt (47-9) for the SEC Tournament title this afternoon after sharing the league’s overall and Eastern Division crowns with the Commodores and No. 1 South Carolina. The Gators have been in the top-five in the national polls all season under fourth-year skipper O’Sullivan and eight different players earned recognition from the conference in the year-end awards.


Sophomore catcher Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) was named the SEC Player of the Year, while sophomore left-hander/designated hitter Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) and junior outfielder Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) joined Zunino as first-team All-SEC selections. Second-team recipients from the Orange and Blue included senior second baseman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.), sophomore shortstop Nolan Fontana (Winter Springs, Fla.) and sophomore right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.). UF placed two players on the All-Freshman Team, with third baseman Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) and right-hander Karsten Whitson (Chipley, Fla.) earning the accolade. The duo of Fontana and Zunino achieved All-Defensive Team status.


UF will be hosting NCAA Regional action for the third-straight year for the first time in school history, as it swept through the bracket last June with wins over Bethune-Cookman (7-3), Oregon State (10-2) and Florida Atlantic (15-0) to advance to Super Regionals for the fourth time in seven years. The Gators then defeated Miami (Fla.) twice to advance to the NCAA College World Series for the sixth time.


McKethan Stadium has been the site of nine NCAA Regionals during its existence, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2010. 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, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Oregon State, South Carolina, Rice, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia.


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