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Pirates, Owls named regional hosts

From staff and Conference USA reports
All rights rights reserved.

< Story updated Sunday, 05.24.09, 8:49 PM >

Conference USA regular season champion East Carolina and the league's tournament champion, Rice, were both picked on Sunday to host NCAA baseball regionals.

The selections marked the first time the selection committee has chosen two Conference USA schools among the 16 regional hosts for the NCAA's 64-team championship playoffs.

The Pirates edged out the Owls for C-USA's regular season title on May 16, the regular season's final day, but were ousted from the conference tournament after dropping two games out of three.

Rice mitigated its disappointing regular season finish by sweeping through the C-USA championship tournament at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, claiming the title on Sunday with an 8-6 victory over host Southern Mississippi.

East Carolina will be hosting a regional for the first time since 2004 when the regular season champion Pirates won the regional played at Kinston's Grainger Stadium. It will be third time the Pirates have hosted NCAA regional play.

The Owls will serve as NCAA regional hosts for the eighth time in the last nine years.

The 16 regional hosts and sites:

  • Arizona State, Tempe, AZ

  • Cal-Irvine, Irvine, CA

  • Cal State-Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

  • Clemson, Clemson, SC

  • East Carolina, Greenville

  • Florida, Gainesville, FL

  • Florida State, Tallahassee, FL

  • Georgia Tech, Atlanta

  • Louisiana State, Baton Rouge, LA

  • Louisville, Louisville, KY

  • Mississippi, Oxford, MS

  • North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  • Oklahoma, Norman, OK

  • Rice, Houston

  • Texas, Austin, TX

  • Texas Christian, Fort Worth, TX

Each regional field features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, May 29, to Monday, June 1.

Conference USA's regular season champion has hosted a regional in all but one year since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1999.

The remaining at-large teams, top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced at 12:30 p.m. ET, on Monday during a live, half-hour program on ESPN. The committee will set the entire 64-team bracket through both the super regionals and the first round of the Men's College World Series, and will not reseed the field after play begins.

Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on on Monday, June 1, at approximately 11 p.m. ET.

Thirty Division I conferences receive an automatic berth in the field of 64, along with 34 at-large selections. The 63rd Men's College World Series begins play Saturday, June 13, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, NE.

View Final Conference USA Championship Brackets

View Game-by-Game Tournament Scores & Attendance

PAGE UPDATED 05/25/09 01:59 AM.

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