USC among SEC hosts for baseball regionals
OMAHA, Neb. — South Carolina is one of five Southeastern Conference teams that have been selected among the 16 hosts for regionals in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.
Along with the Gamecocks (42-16), SEC Tournament champion LSU and regular-season champion Florida are hosts, along with Mississippi and Vanderbilt.
The 16 regional hosts announced Sunday night are guaranteed spots in the 64-team NCAA tournament. The rest of the field will be announced today at noon. Clemson is among the teams waiting to learn its fate in the announcement, which will be broadcast on ESPNU.
More information on the Columbia Regional will be released following the announcement. The four-team, double-elimination regionals will start on Friday. Regional winners advance to the best-of-three super regionals the following week. The remaining eight teams will play in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, beginning June 14.
Other regional hosts are: Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Oklahoma State, TCU, Oregon State, Indiana, Rice, Louisville, Cal Poly and Louisiana-Lafayette.
This will be South Carolina’s 30th appearance in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament. It won back-to-national championships after winning the College World Series in 2010 and 2011 along with four national runner-up finishes in 1975, 1977, 2002 and 2012. South Carolina has reached 11 College World Series in school history. South Carolina’s 15 consecutive trips to the NCAA Baseball Tournament (2000-present) is the longest current streak of the 14 SEC schools.
“We are ecstatic to be hosting a regional at Carolina Stadium for the fifth straight year,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “I’m very proud of our players, coaches and staff and the work they have put forward to be in this position. We know Gamecock Nation will be ready to go and we are excited to be playing at home in front of the best college baseball fans in the country.”
This marks the 16th time in school history that the Gamecocks will host a regional. South Carolina is 58-8 (.879) in all-time history in NCAA Regional or NCAA Super Regional games in Columbia. South Carolina has won 27 straight NCAA Tournament games at home dating back to game three of the 2002 NCAA Super Regional vs. Miami (Fla.). South Carolina is 16-0 in postseason history at Carolina Stadium.
Florida State will play in a regional at home for the 31st time since the NCAA went to the regional format in 1975. Miami’s hosting for the 24th time and LSU for the 22nd time.
FSU is among eight teams that also were hosts in 2013. The others are Virginia, LSU, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Oregon State, Indiana and Louisville.
Cal Poly is the only first-time host. The Mustangs (45-10) won the Big West championship last week for their first league title since 1994, when they played in Division II.
Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana-Lafayette is hosting for the first time since 2000, when it reached the College World Series. The Ragin’ Cajuns (53-7) set a Sun Belt record for wins, and their 10-game win streak is the longest in the nation.
Louisville (45-15) will start the NCAA tournament at home despite losing to Houston (44-15) in the American Athletic Conference final and entering Sunday with a lower RPI than the Cougars. The Cardinals also beat out Washington for a regional. The Huskies (39-15-1) finished second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon State, but they lost four of their last five games.
The NCAA uses several criteria to determine regional sites, including trying to reward regular-season performance and geographical distribution.
The Division I Baseball Committee will set the entire 64-team bracket through super regionals and the first round of the CWS. The field will not be re-seeded after play begins.
Single game tickets for regional games will go on sale at 10 a.m. and will be sold for $15. To purchase regional tickets, visit www.GamecocksOnline.com/tickets, or call 803-777-4274 or 800-472-3267.
Miami (Fla.) (41-17)
Oregon State (42-12)
South Carolina (42-16)
Cal Poly (45-10)
Oklahoma State (45-16)
Florida State (43-15)