Four ACC schools to host regionals
Four Atlantic Coast Conference schools were among the 16 selected as regional hosts for the 2009 NCAA baseball tournament, the NCAA announced.
Fourth-ranked North Carolina joined conference members Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech as ACC hosts.
Other conferences with multiple host schools are the Big 12 (Oklahoma, Texas); Big West (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine); Conference USA (East Carolina, Rice); and SEC (Florida, LSU, Ole Miss).
Top-ranked UC Irvine has been selected to host a college baseball regional for the first time in school history.
The Anteaters, a College World Series participant two years ago, joined Louisville and TCU on Sunday as first-time hosts.
"We are excited by the opportunity to be able to play in our own park in front of our own fans," coach Mike Gillespie said. "It's a first for UC Irvine and we're looking forward to it being a memorable event for us and the other teams involved."
UC Irvine, in its second season under Gillespie, won the Big West title and has been ranked at the top of the major national polls for the past several weeks.
"It's awesome for us to host," Anteaters shortstop Ben Orloff said. "It's good for the area and our fans. It will give us a chance to show what UC Irvine baseball is all about."
Each of the 16 host schools are guaranteed berths in the 64-team tournament, which starts Friday.
Of the 64 spots, 30 are awarded as automatic berths to Division I conference tournament winners; 34 are at-large selections.
The complete pairings for the 2009 field will be announced during Monday's The Road to Omaha selection show (ESPN, 12:30 p.m. ET).
Each regional features four teams playing in a double-elimination format.
The road to Omaha begins with regional play at the following sites/hosts:
• Atlanta/Georgia Tech
• Austin, Texas/Texas
• Baton Rouge, La./LSU
• Chapel Hill, N.C./UNC
• Clemson, S.C./Clemson
• Fort Worth, Texas/TCU
• Fullerton, Calif./Cal State Fullerton
• Gainesville, Fla./Florida
• Greenville, N.C./East Carolina
• Irvine, Calif./UC Irvine
• Louisville, Ky./Louisville
• Norman, Okla./Oklahoma
• Oxford, Miss./Mississippi
• Tallahassee, Fla./Florida State
• Tempe, Ariz./Arizona State
Florida State is hosting for a Division I-record 27th time since the NCAA went to the regional format in 1975, while Arizona State and LSU are hosts for the 19th time.
The eight super regional hosts will be announced at 11 p.m. ET on June 1.
The College World Series begins June 13 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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