JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The best season in recent memory for Jacksonville University baseball will continue for at least two more games. On Monday the Dolphins received an at-large bid as a No. 2 seed for the Gainesville NCAA Regional. On Friday JU will face (No.3) Florida Atlantic at 6:30 p.m.
Joining JU in the Gainesville Regional is No. 1 overall seed Florida who will open against (No. 4) Columbia at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. The winners of each best-of-three series will meet for a trip to the Super Regional.
“These guys deserve it, they’ve had great season,” said Dolphins coach Chris Hayes after JU earned their highest seed in school history. “They’ve worked extremely hard from the day they stepped foot on campus. To see these guys get this accolade and get the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament is such a special opportunity for them.”
After falling to Stetson and North Florida on Friday of the ASUN Championship, Jacksonville’s selection for a spot in the regionals wasn’t a sure thing. However they were confident about their chances to get in. This season the Dolphins earned the school's highest ever RPI rating and re-entered the Top-25 polls for the first time since 1997.
Another thing aiding the Dolphins confidence is that they knocked off the No. 1 Gators in McKethan Stadium back in April. It was the Dolphins first win against a top-ranked team since March 21, 2007 when they bet Florida State at home.
“It’s nice it’s not a far trip for us,” said Dolphins senior Chris Lehane. “It’s not out of our comfort zone we’ve been there this year. We’ve played their almost twice a year and it’s somewhere we’ve won this year. We’re all comfortable playing their and we’re excited to be in a regional no matter where it is.”
On Sunday Florida State, Georgia and Stetson were also announced as NCAA regional hosts. They will play the following:
The #RoadToOmaha starts in Athens!— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) May 28, 2018
We're set to host @DukeBASE, @TroyTrojansBSB and @GoCamelsBSB this weekend at Foley Field.
Friday Schedule (seed)
(1) Dawgs vs (4) Campbell - 7:30pm
Duke (2) vs Troy (3) - 2pm#GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/96E2IjNvoC