TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The NCAA Selection Committee announced the field for the 2006 NCAA Baseball Tournament this morning, awarding the Alabama Crimson Tide the No. 4 national seed in this year's bracket.
Alabama (41-19) will host Troy (45-14), Southern Miss (38-21) and Jacksonville St. (35-22) in this weekend's Regionals. The Crimson Tide will take on Jacksonville St. in Game 1 at 6:30 Friday night. Troy meets Southern Miss at 2:30 on Friday afternoon in Game 2.
Winning the Regional would assure Alabama as one of eight Super Regional hosts which take place June 9-12. The Crimson Tide's bracket is matched up with the Chapel Hill Regional which includes North Carolina, Winthrop, UNC-Wilmington and Maine.
Alabama last hosted a Regional in 2002 when they dropped the final game to Florida Atlantic 6-5, advancing the Owls to the Super Regionals. This will be the Tide's ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament under Head Coach Jim Wells.
"This is a great reward for our season," said Wells. "The guys did what they had to do. Our part is to play better than we did last week, get pitching in order and get the fans out to the games.
"There are some good teams in our Regional. Troy is a big physical team. I am very aware of them. Southern Miss is always good swinging the bat.
Jacksonville State is a hot team. One of the big factors in all sports is how you are playing right now."
Alabama has already played Troy and Southern Miss at The Joe this season. The Tide defeated the Golden Eagles 13-3 on March 15, but dropped an 8-5 decision to the Trojans on March 22.
The rest of the national top eight seeds are Clemson (47-14), Rice (50-10), Texas (40-19), Cal St. Fullerton (43-13), Nebraska (42-15), Georgia (41-19) and Georgia Tech (45-16).
"We were expected to be up here," said Alabama LHP Wade LeBlanc, "but I don't think anyone thought we would be a 4 seed. This is a blessing to be all the way up as a 4 seed."
Alabama is one of eight SEC teams in the field, which leads all conferences.
The Crimson Tide joins Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt in the 64-team tournament.
"We worked really hard this year," said Tide centerfielder Emeel Salem. "We are definitely excited about being up at the top."
*2006 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Schedule*
Friday, June 2, 2006
Game 2 2:30 PM (2) Troy vs. (3) Southern Miss Game 1 6:30 PM (1) Alabama vs. (4) Jacksonville St.
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Game 3 2:30 PM Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser Game 4 6:30 PM Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
Sunday, June 4, 2006
Game 5 2:30 PM Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser Game 6 6:30 PM Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner
Monday, June 5, 2006
Game 7 2 PM If Necessary