NCAA names super regional host sites; five first-timers will travel

NCAA names super regional host sites; five first-timers will travel
Auburn pitcher Casey Mize, the No. 1 selection in the MLB draft, and the rest of the Tigers will play at SEC rival and defending national champion Florida. (The Associated Press)

Five college baseball teams making their first super regional appearances will all go on the road this weekend, while top-seeded Florida is hosting its fourth consecutive round of 16 series.

Duke, Tennessee Tech, Washington, Stetson and Minnesota all have never reached the super regional round since this NCAA tournament format was adopted in 1999. But they’ll have to win a best of three series on the road if they want to advance to Omaha.

The NCAA announced the super regional host sites Tuesday morning.

There was a bit of suspense involved, since the Washington-Cal State Fullerton (both 3 seeds in their regionals) and Mississippi State-Vanderbilt (both 2 seeds) match-ups did not include a top 16 overall seed.

Fullerton and Vanderbilt were awarded hosting duties. Since 1999, 71.3 percent of super regional hosts have advanced. Seven of the eight home teams won their super regional series last year.

Florida was one of those teams. The Gators clinched the 16th and final super regional bid early Tuesday morning when they defeated Florida Atlantic 5-2.

Florida, which won the 2017 national championship, will now host an Auburn team that is playing in its first super regional in 19 years.

Six SEC teams — Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State — advanced to the super regionals.

The eight super regional match-ups, with the eight winners of the three-game series advancing to the College World Series in Omaha:

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

No. 11 overall seed Stetson at No. 6 North Carolina

No. 14 Minnesota at No. 3 Oregon State

Washington at Cal State Fullerton

Mississippi St at Vanderbilt

SATURDAY-MONDAY

Tennessee Tech at No. 13 Texas

South Carolina at No. 5 Arkansas

Auburn at No. 1 Florida

Duke at No. 9 Texas Tech

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