NCAA baseball Regionals in Florida

Parker Fox, Sports Editor

Along with California and Texas, Florida high schools and universities are known for producing elite baseball players.  Miami, UF, and FSU all have elite baseball programs.  This year, all three were selected to host regionals for the NCAA Tournament.  The Coral Gables Regional (Miami) also features UCF, Missouri State, and Stony Brook.  In the Gainesville Regional (UF), Georgia Tech, Charleston, and Bethune-Cookman will join the Gators.  And in Tallahassee, FSU will face Mississippi State, Samford, and UAB.  The Gators are ranked number 2 in the country and are looking to make a run to Omaha for their first National Championship.  FSU is another favorite, being ranked at number 3 in the country, looking to return to Omaha for the 21st time.  Just behind at number 12, the ‘Canes are the only program in the state with National Championships on their record.  The ‘Canes have made it to Omaha 23 times, coming back to Coral Gables as the National Champions an incredible four times.  With players like Ryan Braun and Jon Jay as alumni, the ‘Canes baseball program expects nothing short of another trip to Omaha and potentially another National Championship.

            All three programs made it to the Super Regionals last season, with the Gators making it to the College World Series.  The Gators knocked the Canes out in a three game set in Gainesville, punching their ticket to Omaha in the process.  They made it all the way to the final series against South Carolina, the defending champions from the previous year.  They lost consecutive games to surrender a second consecutive National Championship to the Gamecocks and flew back to Florida disappointed.  This year, the Gators are even better both offensively and defensively, and anything short on their first title would be considered a failure.  For all three tradition-rich programs, hosting regionals is nothing new.  Hopefully, two of the three programs can make it to Omaha.