Florida draws Miami, Jacksonville, Manhattan


Florida players celebrate after a 5-0 win over Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament title game at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., on Sunday. (The Associated Press)

Published: Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.

Two of the three visiting teams at this weekend's NCAA Gainesville Regional are familiar to Florida baseball fans.

Facts

Gainesville Regional

At McKethan Stadium
All games on ESPNU
Double-elimination
Friday
No. 2 seed Miami (36-21) vs. No. 3 seed Jacksonville (36-22), noon
No. 1 seed Florida (45-16) vs. No. 4 seed Manhattan (34-17), 4 p.m.
Saturday
Games at noon and 4 p.m.
Sunday
Games at noon and 4 p.m.
Monday
If necessary at 7 p.m.

Regional top seed Florida (45-16) plays No. 4-seeded Manhattan College (34-17) at 4 p.m. Friday, but it's familiar foes Miami (36-21), the No. 2 seed, and No. 3 seed Jacksonville (36-22) squaring off at noon Friday at McKethan Stadium in the double-elimination tournament.




While the Gators, coming off winning their first SEC Tournament title since 1991 on Sunday, swept visiting Miami in early March by a combined 14-6 score, they suffered an 11-2 defeat to Jacksonville on May 17 in Gainesville.

Last year, after sweeping through the Gainesville Regional, the Gators defeated Miami twice in the Super Regional at McKethan Stadium to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., where they went 0-2.

"This time of year it's not who you draw, but how you are playing," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "Every regional is tough. You have to play your best."

The Jaspers of Manhattan College won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament title last Saturday.

The bracket is shaped up where the winner of the Gainesville Regional will square off against the victor of the Atlanta Regional (Georgia Tech, Southern Miss, Mississippi State and Austin Peay) in a best-of-three series June 10-13 for the right to reach Omaha.

Florida received one of the top eight seeds in the 64-team NCAA Tournament. The top eight seeds, in order, are Virginia (49-9), Florida, North Carolina (45-14), South Carolina (45-14), Florida State (42-17), Vanderbilt (47-10), Texas (43-15) and Rice (41-19).

The Gators, who reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the Baseball America poll released Monday, are among seven SEC schools selected for the tournament by the NCAA committee, including defending champion South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

The 16 regional winners move on to the best-of-three super regionals. Those eight winners advance to the College World Series, which begins June 18 at the new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha after 61 years at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Miami is in the field for the 39th consecutive year, which extends its own record, while Florida State is making its 34th straight appearance.

Note: O'Sullivan said sophomore pitcher Brian Johnson, who suffered a concussion when he was hit in the back of the head with a thrown ball Saturday, is still day-to-day.

"We'll let the medical staff handle it," O'Sullivan said. "There is a process you need to follow."

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