May 31, 2011 8:07:00 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama baseball team has earned the No. 3 seed at the 2011 NCAA Tallahassee Regional, the NCAA Division Baseball Committee revealed Monday.
No. 1 seed Florida State (41-16), No. 2 seed Central Florida (38-21), and No. 4 seed Bethune-Cookman (35-22) will join Alabama at the regional. The Seminoles are the No. 5 national seed in this year''s tournament.
The winner of the Tallahassee Regional will play the winner of the College Station (Texas) Regional next week in the Super Regionals.
"It feels good to see our name up there, but it''s a really tough regional," said Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard, whose team enters regional play with a 33-25 record. "We played Central Florida earlier in the season, so we know they have a really good club, and Florida State is a tough place to play. We''re excited to be in and we have a lot of guys back from last year that played extremely well and won a regional. I think we''re going to lean on that. We''re excited to still be playing and this team deserves to continue on."
The double-elimination regional will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, June 3, when Alabama plays Central Florida at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Florida State will play Bethune-Cookman at 5 p.m. Friday.
Alabama is making its 22nd NCAA Regional appearance, its fourth straight, and its 14th in the past 17 years. The Crimson Tide was the No. 3 seed in the Conway Regional in 2008, the No. 2 seed in the Clemson Regional in 2009, and the No. 2 seed in the Atlanta Regional last year.
Gaspard is making his third NCAA Regional appearance, and second straight with the Crimson Tide. In Gaspard''s first season at the Capstone, he led the Crimson Tide to an Atlanta Regional Championship, defeating the No. 8 overall seed Georgia Tech. Gaspard also took Northwestern (La.) State to the 2005 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, where the Demons posted a 1-2 record with a win against Marist.
Alabama and UCF will meet for the 11th time, and second time this season. The Knights defeated the Crimson Tide 12-4 in the South Alabama Classic on Feb. 27 to improve to 6-4 all-time against Alabama.
Alabama is 1-6 all-time versus Florida State, but hasn''t played the Seminoles since the 1991 Atlantic Regional. That year, FSU defeated the Crimson Tide twice in the regional, with the second win coming in the championship game by a final score of 6-5.
The Crimson Tide hasn''t played Bethune-Cookman in baseball. Bethune-Cookman made the field of 64 with an automatic bid by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship.
Alabama is one of seven Southeastern Conference teams to receive an NCAA tournament bid. Florida is the No. 2 seed overall, while South Carolina is the No. 4 national seed. Vanderbilt collected the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament.
Alabama posted an 11-15 record against teams in the 2011 NCAA tournament. The list of opponents to make this year''s tournament field includes Alcorn State (3-0), Arkansas (3-2), Central Florida (0-1), Florida (0-4), Georgia (0-1), Mississippi State (2-1), South Carolina (1-2), Southern Mississippi (1-1), Troy (1-0), and Vanderbilt (0-3).
To purchase tickets for the NCAA Baseball Regional, call the Florida State Athletic Ticket Office at 850-644-1830. The Florida State Athletic Ticket Office hours are 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. today through Friday. Tickets also are on sale at www.seminoles.com. Only all-session tickets will be sold until Thursday night. All-session booklets are $50 for reserved seats, and $35 for general admission bleacher seats.
Individual session tickets for the first two Friday sessions will go on sale at 5 p.m. Thursday at www.seminoles.com. Tickets for additional individual sessions will go on sale the evening prior the session once teams are determined.