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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Auburn baseball to host NCAA Regional

Postseason baseball is coming back to Auburn. The Tigers, who returned to prominence by winning 40 games and capturing the SEC Western Division title for the first time since 1995, were awarded one of the NCAA's 16 regional host sites Sunday.

It's the fourth time in school history Auburn will host a regional and the first time since 2003.

"Our first and foremost goal was to get into SEC tournament, and then the next thing you know we won the West, and now we're hosting,'' Auburn head coach John Pawlowski said. "It's a tribute to what these guys have done on the field. They know it's going to be a great challenge, but it's one that they feel like they deserve, and they do."

The SEC had the most regional sites, with Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina also hosting.

The four-team regionals will take place Friday through Monday, with a double elimination format.

The rest of the 64-team bracket — including the top eight seeds and regional pairings — will be released tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The bracket will be set through the Super Regionals and will not be re-seeded once play begins.

It's Auburn's first NCAA appearance since 2005 and 18th overall. The Tigers last hosted in 2003 but were upset that year by third-seeded Ohio State.

They have played extremely well at home this year, going 27-7 at Plainsman Park. They were 13-12 at neutral and road sites.

"We encourage Auburn fans to come out and pack the park," Pawlowski said. "Anytime you're playing at home, it helps."

Auburn, which surged down the stretch to clinch the SEC West, struggled in its first conference tournament appearance since 2003, getting eliminated on the third day after losses to seventh-seeded Alabama and sixth-seeded Ole Miss.

"I think it will help them realize we have to play at a higher level," Pawlowski said. "I think it's going to only to help us."

The team got banged up in Hoover, with two of its top hitters suffering injuries. Left fielder Brian Fletcher bruised his hand after being hit by a pitch Thursday and center fielder Trent Mummey suffered a hamstring injury. Both were held out of the starting lineup in Auburn's final tournament game Friday against Ole Miss.

Pawlowski said Fletcher was "feeling better" and took some swings Sunday, while Mummey remained "very limited."

The Tigers will gather tomorrow to watch the NCAA selection show and see the other three teams in their regional, after which Pawlowski will set the pitching rotation.

Tickets can be purchased online at autigertickets.com or by calling 1-800-AUB-1957. Reserved seats for all sessions are $75 and terrace tickets are $50. Students of participating teams can buy ticket packages for $25.

Current Auburn season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase their same seats, based on availability. The school cannot guarantee the exact seat location, however, because it is an NCAA event.

Here is the breakdown of regional hosts by conference:
  • Southeastern 4 (Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina)
  • Atlantic Coast 3 (Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia)
  • Big East 2 (Connecticut, Louisville)
  • Big 12 2 (Oklahoma, Texas)
  • Pacific-10 2 (Arizona State, UCLA)
  • Big South 1 (Coastal Carolina)
  • Big West 1 (Cal State Fullerton)
  • Mountain West 1 (TCU)


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

WAR EAGLE!!! I love our chances of advancing to the Supers in Plainsman Park. Regions Park was not an "offensive" park.