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The road to Omaha starts tonight for UF

Written by gatorcody, June 4, 2010, 0 Comments,
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From the beginning of fall workouts, this was the goal for the Florida baseball team. — a national seed that will allow them to play every NCAA Baseball Tournament game at home. Now that the first goal is accomplished, the Gators can concentrate on goal two, which is a trip to the College World Series in Omaha. The road begins at 7 p.m. tonight at McKethan Stadium when they face Bethune-Cookman in the Gainesville Regional. In the first game of the regional, Oregon State and Florida Atlantic will square off at 1 p.m.

The Gators (42-15) won the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and that propelled them to a #3 national seed.  The top eight seeds in the tournament are assured that they won’t have to leave home to earn their way to Omaha.

“We played well this year, so I think we’re deserving of it,” center fielder Matt den Dekker said. “We figured we would be one of those [eight] teams.”

Last year, the Gators were almost a surprise #8 seed. This year, they left no doubt with their high national ranking and SEC title.

“We kind of figured we would be one of the eight and that was our goal from the beginning of the season,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It’s awfully nice to play at home.”

The benefit of playing at home can’t be overstated for this Florida team. The Gators are 28-3 at home this season compared to a 12-8 record on the road.

“We’ve played most of our games here, so we’re comfortable playing here,” closer Kevin Chapman said. “There’s definitely a home field advantage.”

Most teams play better at home than on the road, but home is especially important for a team as young as the Gators. Depending on the lineup, Florida will start either four or five freshmen in the starting lineup this weekend.

“Any time we’re at home, we’re feeling good,” den Dekker said. “We play really well at home this year.”

* * *

O’Sullivan said freshman catcher Mike Zunino is “100 percent” after looking good during batting practice. Zunino dislocated his thumb while catching a cutter from Steven Rodriguez on May 15 against Georgia. Zunino started the series opener at South Carolina on May 20, but he hasn’t started a game since. He will be in the lineup this weekend.

* * *

The Gators were supposed to play Bethune-Cookman on May 4, but the game was rained out and not made up.  That game would have been relatively pressure free but since this is the tournament and it’s the #1 seed in the region (Florida) against the #4, there will be plenty of pressure.

The pressure nearly got to the Gators last year in the first game of the Gainesville Regional when the opponent was also Bethune-Cookman. The Gators had to rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat BCC that night when BCC righthander Hiram Burgos kept the Florida hitters at bay all night, going seven innings and allowing three runs. He struck out six hitters, but mostly relied on making quality pitches that forced the Florida hitters to get themselves out.

“We’re real familiar with Bethune,” O’Sullivan said. “They gave us everything we could handle last year. We’ll have to play well.”

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Burgos in the 6th round, and the Wildcats turned the reigns over to Ali Simpson (6-1, 4.66) as their ace. The sophomore left-hander has struck out 63, walked 33 and given up 76 hits in 65-2/3 innings of work.

Simpson was originally suspended for three games during the MEAC Tournament after getting in a shoving match with a base runner from North Carolina A&T. He served one game to end the tournament but was scheduled to sit out the first two games of the Gainesville regional.

The MEAC decided to minimize the suspension to a one-game suspension, and Simpson will pitch on Friday night against the Gators.

But it’s the Wildcats offense that has the Gators the most worried.

Sophomore Peter O’Brien is statistically one of the best catchers in the country, hitting .392 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI. Junior first baseman Ryan Durrence is the person who drives the runs in, hitting .368 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI.

“We’re really excited to play at home for this regional,” Chapman said. “They’ve got a veteran club and can really swing it.”

* * *

The winner of Friday night’s game will play at 7 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Florida Atlantic-Oregon State, while the losers of both games will play Saturday at 1.

Florida Atlantic was awarded the No. 2 seed in the regional thanks to an estimated RPI of 38 and winning the Sun Belt conference championship.

The Gators played FAU on May 12 this season. The Owls threw their two best starting pitchers, Mike Gipson and Ryan Garton, as well as their star closer, Ryan Bernal. FAU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run home run from right fielder Andy Mee. The Florida bullpen combined to go seven scoreless innings, and the bats woke up as Nolan Fontana, Matt den Dekker and Austin Maddox each drove in two runs, and the Gators cruised to a 7-3 victory.

That Oregon State was placed in the Gainesville regional came as a surprise to many. The NCAA committee tries to keep teams close to home to keep traveling expenses to a minimum. Oregon State’s arch-rival Oregon also was sent packing. The Ducks are playing in the Coral Gables regional.

The Gators have never played Oregon State and haven’t played a Pac-10 team since playing Arizona State twice in the 2005 College World Series.

The Gators may not be familiar with Oregon State on the field, but they know about their history. The Beavers won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007.

“It was a little bit of a shocker because they’re all the way across the country,” den Dekker said. “They’ve got a good ball club and a good history of playing in the postseason.”

The Beavers are 7-10 on the road this season.

The Oregon State offense has sputtered for most of the year, but things got worse when third baseman Stefen Romero fractured his right arm. The junior was hitting .326 and leading the team with 13 home runs and 41 RBI.

The strength of the Beavers comes on the mound. Greg Peavey (5-3, 3.69) has been their most reliable pitcher and will get the start Friday against FAU. Tanner Robles (5-4, 3.43) will likely start for them on Saturday.

“I think they can really pitch, which is probably the strength of their team,” O’Sullivan said.

* * *

When the season began back in February, Florida’s goal was to win the SEC championship. Now that the SEC goal has been achieved, O’Sullivan can turn the team’s focus to making the trip to Omaha.

“Our first goal was to win the SEC,” Chapman said. “We accomplished that, which was awesome. Our second goal is to win a national championship.”

A trip to Omaha would be special for the senior class. The team has improved every season they have been on campus, but they have never made the trip to Omaha. The trip would be even more special since this is the last season that the College World Series will be held at Rosenblatt Stadium before it moves to new TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha.

“They were talking a lot about how it’s the last year there in Omaha, and it kind of hit home for me because it’s also my last year, too,” den Dekker said. “It’s my last shot to try and get this team back to Omaha. But it all starts here.”

NCAA DIVISION I BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

REGIONALS / Friday-Monday, June 4-7 / Double-elimination

(1) ARIZONA STATE (47-8) / TEMPE REGIONAL

Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark / Host: Arizona State University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Hawaii (33-26) vs. (2) San Diego (36-20), 5 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Milwaukee (33-24) vs. (1) Arizona State (47-8), 10 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 5 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 10 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 4 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 9 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 9:30 p.m.

ARKANSAS (40-18) / FAYETTEVILLE REGIONAL

Baum Stadium / Host: University of Arkansas


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Grambling (22-30) vs. (1) Arkansas (40-18), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (3) Kansas State (36-20) vs. (2) Washington State (34-20), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 8 p.m.

AUBURN (40-19) / AUBURN REGIONAL

Plainsman Park / Host: Auburn University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Southern Mississippi (35-22) vs. (2) Clemson (38-21), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Jacksonville State (32-24) vs. (1) Auburn (40-19), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

GEORGIA TECH (45-13) / ATLANTA RGIONAL

Russ Chandler Stadium / Host: Georgia Institute of Technology


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Elon (38-22) vs. (2) Alabama (37-22), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Mercer (37-22) vs. (1) Georgia Tech (45-13), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(5) VIRGINIA (47-11) / CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL

Davenport Field / Host: University of Virginia


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Virginia Commonwealth (34-24-1) vs. (1) Virginia (47-11), 4 p.m.

Game 2: (3) St. John’s (40-18) vs. (2) Mississippi (38-22), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 6 p.m.

OKLAHOMA (44-15) / NORMAN REGIONAL

L. Dale Mitchell Park / Host: Oklahoma University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Oral Roberts (35-25) vs. (1) Oklahoma (44-15), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (3) North Carolina (36-20) vs. (2) California (29-23), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 Loser eliminated, 2 p.m.

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 8 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (43-15) / COLUMBIA REGIONAL

Carolina Stadium / Host: University of South Carolina


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) The Citadel (42-20) vs. (2) Virginia Tech (38-20), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Bucknell (25-33) vs. (1) South Carolina (43-15), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(4) COASTAL CAROLINA (51-7) / MYRTLE BEACH REGIONAL

BB&T Coastal Field / Host: Coastal Carolina University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Stony Brook (29-25) vs. (1) Coastal Carolina (51-7), 1 p.m.

Game 2: (3) North Carolina State (38-22) vs. (2) College of Charleston (42-17), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(2) TEXAS (46-11) / AUSTIN REGIONAL

UFCU Disch-Falk Field / Host: University of Texas


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Louisiana-Lafayette (37-20) vs. (2) Rice (38-21), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Rider (36-21) vs. (1) Texas (46-11), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 2 p.m.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN (46-11) / FORT WORTH REGIONAL

Lupton Stadium / Host: Texas Christian University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Arizona (33-22) vs. (2) Baylor (34-22), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Lamar (35-24) vs. (1) Texas Christian (46-11), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 8 p.m.

CONNECTICUT (47-14) / NORWICH REGIONAL

Sen. Thomas J. Todd Memorial Stadium / Host: University of Connecticut


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Central Connecticut State (33-21) vs. Florida State (42-17), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (3) Oregon (38-22) vs. (2) Connecticut (47-14), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

LOUISVILLE (48-12) / LOUISVILLE REGIONAL

Jim Patterson Stadium / Host: University of Louisville


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Illinois State (31-22) vs. (2) Vanderbilt (41-17), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (4) St. Louis (33-27) vs. (1) Louisville (48-12), 6 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 4 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 6 p.m.

(6) UCLA (42-13) / LOS ANGELES REGIONAL

Jackie Robinson Stadium / Host: University of California, Los Angeles


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) UC Irvine (37-19) vs. (2) Louisiana State (40-20), 5 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Kent State (39-23) vs. (1) UCLA (43-13), 9 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 5 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 9 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 5 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 9 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 9 p.m.

CAL STATE FULLERTON (41-15) / FULLERTON REGIONAL

Goodwin Field / Host: California State University at Fullerton

Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) New Mexico (37-20) vs. (2) Stanford (31-23), 7 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Minnesota (30-28) vs. (1) Cal State Fullerton (41-15), 11 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 7 p.m.Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 11 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 7 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 11 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 11 p.m.

MIAMI, FLA. (40-17) / CORAL GABLES REGIONAL

Alex Rodriguez Park / Host: University of Miami


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Florida International (36-23) vs. (2) Texas A&M (40-19-1), 12 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Dartmouth (26-17) vs. (1) Miami, Fla. (40-17), 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 4 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(3) FLORIDA (42-15) / GAINESVILLE REGIONAL

McKethan Stadium / Host: University of Florida


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Oregon State (31-22) vs. (2) Florida Atlantic (35-22), 1 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Bethune-Cookman (35-20) vs. (1) Florida (42-15), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

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From the beginning of fall workouts, this was the goal for the Florida baseball team. — a national seed that will allow them to play every NCAA Baseball Tournament game at home. Now that the first goal is accomplished, the Gators can concentrate on goal two, which is a trip to the College World Series in Omaha. The road begins at 7 p.m. tonight at McKethan Stadium when they face Bethune-Cookman in the Gainesville Regional. In the first game of the regional, Oregon State and Florida Atlantic will square off at 1 p.m.

The Gators (42-15) won the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and that propelled them to a #3 national seed.  The top eight seeds in the tournament are assured that they won’t have to leave home to earn their way to Omaha.

“We played well this year, so I think we’re deserving of it,” center fielder Matt den Dekker said. “We figured we would be one of those [eight] teams.”

Last year, the Gators were almost a surprise #8 seed. This year, they left no doubt with their high national ranking and SEC title.

“We kind of figured we would be one of the eight and that was our goal from the beginning of the season,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It’s awfully nice to play at home.”

The benefit of playing at home can’t be overstated for this Florida team. The Gators are 28-3 at home this season compared to a 12-8 record on the road.

“We’ve played most of our games here, so we’re comfortable playing here,” closer Kevin Chapman said. “There’s definitely a home field advantage.”

Most teams play better at home than on the road, but home is especially important for a team as young as the Gators. Depending on the lineup, Florida will start either four or five freshmen in the starting lineup this weekend.

“Any time we’re at home, we’re feeling good,” den Dekker said. “We play really well at home this year.”

* * *

O’Sullivan said freshman catcher Mike Zunino is “100 percent” after looking good during batting practice. Zunino dislocated his thumb while catching a cutter from Steven Rodriguez on May 15 against Georgia. Zunino started the series opener at South Carolina on May 20, but he hasn’t started a game since. He will be in the lineup this weekend.

* * *

The Gators were supposed to play Bethune-Cookman on May 4, but the game was rained out and not made up.  That game would have been relatively pressure free but since this is the tournament and it’s the #1 seed in the region (Florida) against the #4, there will be plenty of pressure.

The pressure nearly got to the Gators last year in the first game of the Gainesville Regional when the opponent was also Bethune-Cookman. The Gators had to rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat BCC that night when BCC righthander Hiram Burgos kept the Florida hitters at bay all night, going seven innings and allowing three runs. He struck out six hitters, but mostly relied on making quality pitches that forced the Florida hitters to get themselves out.

“We’re real familiar with Bethune,” O’Sullivan said. “They gave us everything we could handle last year. We’ll have to play well.”

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Burgos in the 6th round, and the Wildcats turned the reigns over to Ali Simpson (6-1, 4.66) as their ace. The sophomore left-hander has struck out 63, walked 33 and given up 76 hits in 65-2/3 innings of work.

Simpson was originally suspended for three games during the MEAC Tournament after getting in a shoving match with a base runner from North Carolina A&T. He served one game to end the tournament but was scheduled to sit out the first two games of the Gainesville regional.

The MEAC decided to minimize the suspension to a one-game suspension, and Simpson will pitch on Friday night against the Gators.

But it’s the Wildcats offense that has the Gators the most worried.

Sophomore Peter O’Brien is statistically one of the best catchers in the country, hitting .392 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI. Junior first baseman Ryan Durrence is the person who drives the runs in, hitting .368 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI.

“We’re really excited to play at home for this regional,” Chapman said. “They’ve got a veteran club and can really swing it.”

* * *

The winner of Friday night’s game will play at 7 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Florida Atlantic-Oregon State, while the losers of both games will play Saturday at 1.

Florida Atlantic was awarded the No. 2 seed in the regional thanks to an estimated RPI of 38 and winning the Sun Belt conference championship.

The Gators played FAU on May 12 this season. The Owls threw their two best starting pitchers, Mike Gipson and Ryan Garton, as well as their star closer, Ryan Bernal. FAU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run home run from right fielder Andy Mee. The Florida bullpen combined to go seven scoreless innings, and the bats woke up as Nolan Fontana, Matt den Dekker and Austin Maddox each drove in two runs, and the Gators cruised to a 7-3 victory.

That Oregon State was placed in the Gainesville regional came as a surprise to many. The NCAA committee tries to keep teams close to home to keep traveling expenses to a minimum. Oregon State’s arch-rival Oregon also was sent packing. The Ducks are playing in the Coral Gables regional.

The Gators have never played Oregon State and haven’t played a Pac-10 team since playing Arizona State twice in the 2005 College World Series.

The Gators may not be familiar with Oregon State on the field, but they know about their history. The Beavers won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007.

“It was a little bit of a shocker because they’re all the way across the country,” den Dekker said. “They’ve got a good ball club and a good history of playing in the postseason.”

The Beavers are 7-10 on the road this season.

The Oregon State offense has sputtered for most of the year, but things got worse when third baseman Stefen Romero fractured his right arm. The junior was hitting .326 and leading the team with 13 home runs and 41 RBI.

The strength of the Beavers comes on the mound. Greg Peavey (5-3, 3.69) has been their most reliable pitcher and will get the start Friday against FAU. Tanner Robles (5-4, 3.43) will likely start for them on Saturday.

“I think they can really pitch, which is probably the strength of their team,” O’Sullivan said.

* * *

When the season began back in February, Florida’s goal was to win the SEC championship. Now that the SEC goal has been achieved, O’Sullivan can turn the team’s focus to making the trip to Omaha.

“Our first goal was to win the SEC,” Chapman said. “We accomplished that, which was awesome. Our second goal is to win a national championship.”

A trip to Omaha would be special for the senior class. The team has improved every season they have been on campus, but they have never made the trip to Omaha. The trip would be even more special since this is the last season that the College World Series will be held at Rosenblatt Stadium before it moves to new TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha.

“They were talking a lot about how it’s the last year there in Omaha, and it kind of hit home for me because it’s also my last year, too,” den Dekker said. “It’s my last shot to try and get this team back to Omaha. But it all starts here.”

NCAA DIVISION I BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

REGIONALS / Friday-Monday, June 4-7 / Double-elimination

(1) ARIZONA STATE (47-8) / TEMPE REGIONAL

Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark / Host: Arizona State University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Hawaii (33-26) vs. (2) San Diego (36-20), 5 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Milwaukee (33-24) vs. (1) Arizona State (47-8), 10 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 5 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 10 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 4 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 9 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 9:30 p.m.

ARKANSAS (40-18) / FAYETTEVILLE REGIONAL

Baum Stadium / Host: University of Arkansas


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Grambling (22-30) vs. (1) Arkansas (40-18), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (3) Kansas State (36-20) vs. (2) Washington State (34-20), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 8 p.m.

AUBURN (40-19) / AUBURN REGIONAL

Plainsman Park / Host: Auburn University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Southern Mississippi (35-22) vs. (2) Clemson (38-21), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Jacksonville State (32-24) vs. (1) Auburn (40-19), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

GEORGIA TECH (45-13) / ATLANTA RGIONAL

Russ Chandler Stadium / Host: Georgia Institute of Technology


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Elon (38-22) vs. (2) Alabama (37-22), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Mercer (37-22) vs. (1) Georgia Tech (45-13), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(5) VIRGINIA (47-11) / CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL

Davenport Field / Host: University of Virginia


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Virginia Commonwealth (34-24-1) vs. (1) Virginia (47-11), 4 p.m.

Game 2: (3) St. John’s (40-18) vs. (2) Mississippi (38-22), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 6 p.m.

OKLAHOMA (44-15) / NORMAN REGIONAL

L. Dale Mitchell Park / Host: Oklahoma University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Oral Roberts (35-25) vs. (1) Oklahoma (44-15), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (3) North Carolina (36-20) vs. (2) California (29-23), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 Loser eliminated, 2 p.m.

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 8 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (43-15) / COLUMBIA REGIONAL

Carolina Stadium / Host: University of South Carolina


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) The Citadel (42-20) vs. (2) Virginia Tech (38-20), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Bucknell (25-33) vs. (1) South Carolina (43-15), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(4) COASTAL CAROLINA (51-7) / MYRTLE BEACH REGIONAL

BB&T Coastal Field / Host: Coastal Carolina University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Stony Brook (29-25) vs. (1) Coastal Carolina (51-7), 1 p.m.

Game 2: (3) North Carolina State (38-22) vs. (2) College of Charleston (42-17), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(2) TEXAS (46-11) / AUSTIN REGIONAL

UFCU Disch-Falk Field / Host: University of Texas


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Louisiana-Lafayette (37-20) vs. (2) Rice (38-21), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Rider (36-21) vs. (1) Texas (46-11), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 2 p.m.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN (46-11) / FORT WORTH REGIONAL

Lupton Stadium / Host: Texas Christian University


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Arizona (33-22) vs. (2) Baylor (34-22), 3 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Lamar (35-24) vs. (1) Texas Christian (46-11), 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 8 p.m.

CONNECTICUT (47-14) / NORWICH REGIONAL

Sen. Thomas J. Todd Memorial Stadium / Host: University of Connecticut


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (4) Central Connecticut State (33-21) vs. Florida State (42-17), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (3) Oregon (38-22) vs. (2) Connecticut (47-14), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

LOUISVILLE (48-12) / LOUISVILLE REGIONAL

Jim Patterson Stadium / Host: University of Louisville


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Illinois State (31-22) vs. (2) Vanderbilt (41-17), 2 p.m.

Game 2: (4) St. Louis (33-27) vs. (1) Louisville (48-12), 6 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 4 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 6 p.m.

(6) UCLA (42-13) / LOS ANGELES REGIONAL

Jackie Robinson Stadium / Host: University of California, Los Angeles


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) UC Irvine (37-19) vs. (2) Louisiana State (40-20), 5 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Kent State (39-23) vs. (1) UCLA (43-13), 9 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 5 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 9 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 5 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 9 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 9 p.m.

CAL STATE FULLERTON (41-15) / FULLERTON REGIONAL

Goodwin Field / Host: California State University at Fullerton

Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) New Mexico (37-20) vs. (2) Stanford (31-23), 7 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Minnesota (30-28) vs. (1) Cal State Fullerton (41-15), 11 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 7 p.m.Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 11 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 7 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 11 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 11 p.m.

MIAMI, FLA. (40-17) / CORAL GABLES REGIONAL

Alex Rodriguez Park / Host: University of Miami


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Florida International (36-23) vs. (2) Texas A&M (40-19-1), 12 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Dartmouth (26-17) vs. (1) Miami, Fla. (40-17), 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 12 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 4 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

(3) FLORIDA (42-15) / GAINESVILLE REGIONAL

McKethan Stadium / Host: University of Florida


Friday, June 4

Game 1: (3) Oregon State (31-22) vs. (2) Florida Atlantic (35-22), 1 p.m.

Game 2: (4) Bethune-Cookman (35-20) vs. (1) Florida (42-15), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6

Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m. Loser eliminated

Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7

Game 7 (If necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m.

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