0

3 Georgia teams make NCAA baseball field

Photo by John Millikan

Photo by John Millikan

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech is a No. 1 seed playing at home, Georgia is headed west to Oregon and Georgia Southern will play at South Carolina in the 64-team NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

Georgia Tech will play Austin Peay in its opening game of the four-team, double-elimination Atlanta regional, which also includes Mississippi State and Southern Miss.

Georgia Tech, 40-19 after going 1-2 in the ACC Tournament last week, will make its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 27 years and its 27th NCAA appearance overall.

The Yellow Jackets will host a regional for the third straight year, losing last year to Alabama in the championship round.

The Governors and the Jackets have met just once before in school history, a 14-3 Georgia Tech victory in the 1996 NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, La.

Georgia Tech was one of seven ACC teams to receive an NCAA Tournament bid. The SEC also had seven teams to earn berths.

Georgia (31-30) will be a No. 3 seed when it plays No. 2 seed Creighton in its opening game in Corvallis, Ore. The Corvallis regional also includes Oregon State and Arkansas-Little Rock.

This marks the 10th overall NCAA regional bid for the Bulldogs, including their sixth under head coach David Perno in his 10 seasons. Georgia has played the nation's toughest rated schedule and has an RPI of No. 16 according to several of the nation's leading websites.

Georgia played 35 games against this year's NCAA field and posted a 15-20 record. The Bulldogs had 34 games against ranked opponents this year, going 16-18, which is the most games and wins of any team in the SEC.

Georgia has already made one trip West this season, beating 10th-ranked UCLA on the Bruins campus, the USC Trojans on their campus and St. Mary's at Dodger Stadium.

Georgia Southern is the No. 4 seed and will open at defending champion South Carolina. N.C. State and Stetson also will play in the Columbia regional.

Each regional begins on Friday.

Virginia was selected Monday as the top seed for the tournament. The other national seeds, in order, are: Florida (45-16), North Carolina (45-14), South Carolina (45-14), Florida State (42-17), Vanderbilt (47-10), Texas (43-15) and Rice (41-19).

It's the first time Virginia has been seeded No. 1, which doesn't necessarily translate to success in Omaha, Neb. The only top national seed to win it all since the field was expanded in 1999 to 64 teams was Miami in that same year.

"It's definitely an honor, but it doesn't mean anything," Virginia senior right-hander Tyler Wilson said. "We have three other teams coming in to the regional and they have earned the opportunity to be in the postseason as well. They are just as hungry as we are."

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.

Alcorn State, Belmont and Arkansas-Little Rock are all in the regionals for the first time. Mountain West champion New Mexico (20-39) joined Alcorn State (27-28) and Arkansas Little-Rock (24-32) as teams to get in with losing records by winning their conference tournaments.