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Former Pirate ramrods super regionals

From Associated Press and staff reports

All games to be televised

NEW YORK — Defending national champion Texas is hitting the road for a super regional matchup at Florida State, the No. 1 national seed.

The Longhorns (46-18) and Seminoles (54-11-1), traditionally among college baseball's most successful programs, begin play Saturday night in one of eight best-of-three super regionals announced Monday by the NCAA Division I baseball committee.

Texas and Florida State survived close calls in the regionals before advancing. The Longhorns were taken to an elimination game by Lamar, while the Seminoles had to beat South Alabama twice on Sunday.

Of the eight national seeds, No. 3 Georgia Tech and No. 4 Auburn failed to get to the super regionals. The Yellow Jackets, hosts of the Atlanta regional, were quickly swatted out of the competition with back-to-back losses to Stetson and East Carolina, while another regional host, Auburn, lasted until Sunday before being eliminated by Ohio State.

Three teams seeded No. 3 in their regionals — Houston, Southwest Missouri State and the Buckeyes — advanced.

The unpredictable outcomes made for an interesting day for one-time ECU athletics administrator Charlie Carr, who oversaw the process of selecting and seeding the field of 64 and placing each team in a region that made sense.

"I don't think I've been as excited as I was [Sunday] watching the scores," said Carr, chairman of the NCAA committee. "We had a little bit of everything."

Carr is currently the senior associate athletic director at Florida State under former ECU director of athletics Dave Hart.

"Needless to say, picking seeds isn't an exact science," Carr said. "We certainly had some teams create some excitement."

The committee gave preference to the national seeds in selecting super regional hosts.

"As we did in the regionals, we tried to reward teams' success on the field," Carr said. "You want to reward the people doing well on the field."

Florida State, which has played in 18 College World Series, is playing in its fifth consecutive super regional. Texas advanced to its third super regional in five years.

Some of the regionals will get underway on Friday and others, as in the case with the matchup between the Seminoles and Longhorns, will begin on Saturday. The other seven sites and pairings are:

  1. North Carolina State (45-16) at Miami (42-15-1), starting Saturday.

  2. Houston (36-28) at Rice (51-10), starting Saturday.

  3. Southwest Missouri State (38-24) at Ohio State (44-19), starting Saturday.

  4. Baylor (44-21) at LSU (43-19-1), starting Friday.

  5. Arizona State (53-12) at Cal State Fullerton (46-13), starting Friday.

  6. Long Beach State (41-18) at Stanford (44-15), starting Friday.

  7. North Carolina (42-21) at South Carolina (42-20), starting Friday.

All games will be played on campus fields, and each super regional winner earns a berth in the College World Series at Omaha, Neb., starting June 13.

Four of last year's College World Series participants — Texas, South Carolina, Rice and Stanford — are two wins away from return trips. Houston and Ohio State are looking for their first CWS appearances since 1967, while North Carolina State hasn't been to Omaha since 1968. Southwest Missouri State has never been in the College World Series.

"Bottom line, you really see an unbelievable balance across college baseball," Carr said. "We're excited and proud that we had so much success, not so much as a committee, but in college baseball."

ESPN will televise all super regional games for the first time, with all games available on a special pay-per-view package. Some super regionals will be shown on ESPN and ESPN2, while others will be televised regionally.

"ESPN worked diligently with us to give all of our teams an opportunity to play on national television," Carr said. "We're tremendously excited about this and are looking forward to making it successful."

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. contributed to this report.

02/23/2007 10:44:34 AM

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