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Virginia Tech will host Connecticut on Friday, and Virginia will play at home against Army that day, too.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Connecticut, Coastal Carolina and Oklahoma will be heading to Virginia Tech for an NCAA baseball regional.
Courtesy of UVa
Virginia's Reed Gragnani makes a tag at second. The Cavaliers are the top seed in their regional, with UNCW (37-21) second, Elon (32-28) third and Army fourth.
DAVE KNACHEL | Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech's Devin Burke pitched the Hokies to victory over Georgia Tech in the ACC baseball tournament.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Coach Pete Hughes led Virginia Tech into the NCAA regionals this spring. He tweeted that he had a heart attack on Wednesday. He was released from the hospital on Friday.
Associated Press | File 2011
Coach Brian O'Conner and the Cavaliers will host a regional that includes Army, Elon and UNC Wilmington.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
>BLACKSBURG - A Big South team and the champions of the Big East and Big 12 tournaments will be heading to Virginia Tech for an NCAA baseball regional.
The field and pairings for the 64-team NCAA tournament were announced Monday. Virginia Tech and Virginia learned Sunday night that they would be among the 16 regional host schools, but they found out Monday which schools will be in their respective regionals.
Virginia Tech will face Connecticut at 5:30 p.m. Friday in its four-team, double-elimination regional at English Field. Coastal Carolina, steered by Franklin County High School graduate Gary Gilmore, will face Oklahoma at
1 p.m. Friday.
"We're excited," Tech pitcher Devin Burke said after watching the tournament selection show on ESPNU with the rest of the team at a restaurant. "We're looking forward to the challenge. Our regional's not easy."
Virginia - the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament - will host a regional that includes Army, Elon and UNC Wilmington.
The Hokies (38-20) are the top seed in their regional, with Oklahoma (40-19)
second, Coastal (37-21) third and UConn (34-26) fourth.
After going 9-15 in Big East regular-season play, UConn was only seeded eighth in the Big East tournament. But the Huskies won the tournament to earn an automatic NCAA bid. Tech is 10-5 all-time against its former Big East rival.
Oklahoma won the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 1997. The Sooners are used to winning in the commonwealth during the NCAAs. They won the UVa regional both in 2010, when the Sooners made it all the way to the College World Series, and last year.
Tech's only meeting with the Sooners came in 1978.
Coastal Carolina received an at-large bid. The team's string of six straight Big South tournament crowns ended last weekend when Liberty won that tournament. Tech is 3-6 all-time against the Chanticleers, with two of those three wins coming last year.
"It's a heck of a regional," Tech coach Pete Hughes said. "UConn is hot; they had to run through a very good league to win that tournament. ... Coastal Carolina is one of the most successful programs in this region the last 15 years. ... [The Sooners] have played well when they've come into this part of the country."
Tech will be hosting a regional for the first time.
"It's a satisfying accomplishment," outfielder/designated hitter Andrew Rash said. "We've worked hard for it.
"We can sleep in our own beds and stay in our own routines."
If the Hokies win their regional, they will face the winner of the LSU regional in the super regionals for a berth in the College World Series. The Tigers (52-9) are the No. 4 overall seed in the tournament, so they would get to host the best-of-three super-regional series if they win their regional. The Southeastern Conference tournament champs average 10,885 fans at their ballpark.
Virginia (47-10) will host Army (29-21) at 1 p.m. Friday in its regional. Elon will meet UNCW at 6 p.m. Friday.
UVa is the top seed in its regional, with UNCW (37-21) second, Elon (32-28) third and Army fourth.
For the third time in four years, Virginia reaped one of the eight national seeds in the tournament. That means if UVa wins its regional, it would also get to stay home for its super regional. UVa would host the winner of the Mississippi State regional.
"We have to play really great baseball this coming weekend to have that opportunity," UVa coach Brian O'Connor said at a news conference in Charlottesville.
"I am extremely proud of our guys for where we came from ... at the beginning of the season," Pulaski County graduate Jared King of UVa said at that news conference. "Outside of that locker room, the expectations were not as high."
Army won the Patriot League tournament. The Black Knights also were in UVa's regional last year, when they lost to the Cavaliers 9-1.
UNCW was the regular-season champ of the Colonial Athletic Association.
Elon won the Southern Conference tournament.
Both the Tech and UVa regionals will continue through Sunday or Monday, with all games on ESPN3.com. UVa will begin selling tickets today, while Tech will begin selling tickets Wednesday.
Liberty will be in the South Carolina regional. William and Mary received an at-large bid and will be in the North Carolina State regional.
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