NCAA field announced: Florida baseball to host NCAA regional in Gainesville
Florida’s Condron Ballpark will serve as one of 16 regional host sites for the NCAA baseball tournament, the NCAA selection committee announced Sunday night.
The Gators baseball team (39-22), the No. 13 overall seed, will host Central Michigan, Liberty University and Oklahoma in the Gainesville Regional, scheduled for June 3-6.
Central Michigan (42-17) defeated Ball State, 11-7, for the MAC Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament bid, while the Gators have plenty of experience with Liberty.
Florida hosted Liberty in the season-opening series in Gainesville, with UF taking the first game of the series, 7-2, after UF football coach Billy Napier tossed the ceremonial first pitch. The Flames bounced back, however, and defeated the Gators in consecutive contests to take the series and hand UF a 1-2 record after the opening weekend.
The Oklahoma Sooners defeated rival Texas for the Big 12 Tournament title.
The Gators to open regional play on Friday night
The Gators, despite losing ace Hunter Barco for the season, have won 16 of their last 21 games after starting conference play with just six wins in 18 tries.
UF fell, 8-5, to No. 1-ranked Tennessee earlier Sunday in the SEC Tournament Championship, capping an eight-day stay in Hoover, Alabama. The No. 7-seeded Gators made the final day of the conference championship for the 15th time in program history after a 9-0 defeat Saturday of No. 5-ranked Texas A&M.
UF, the No. 1 seed in the regional, will face 4th-seeded Central Michigan at 6:30 p.m. in the second game on June 3; it's No. 2 seed Liberty vs. No. 3 seed Oklahoma in the first game at 1 p.m. Both games are on ESPN Plus.
Florida is one of two teams in the state to host an NCAA Regional as the Miami Hurricanes will also host the Coral Gables Regional. The Gators took two of three games against the Hurricanes this season.
UF's selection marks the 18th time in program history the Gators have hosted an NCAA Regional.