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Friday, August 19, 2022

Florida clinches NCAA berth as third seed in Lubbock Regional

<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-5bc8b538-7fff-3288-152c-aae3bcf810fd"><span>Since Kevin O’Sullivan took over as coach in 2008, UF has made the NCAA Tournament 12 consecutive times and has an overall record of 530-253.</span></span></p>

Since Kevin O’Sullivan took over as coach in 2008, UF has made the NCAA Tournament 12 consecutive times and has an overall record of 530-253.

The streak continues.

On Monday, the Florida baseball team learned its postseason fate during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, sneaking into the tournament to extend its NCAAs appearance streak to 12.

The Gators will travel to Lubbock, Texas, to join Army, Dallas Baptist and host Texas Tech.

Third-seeded UF (33-24) will play second-seeded DBU (41-18) at 8 p.m. on Friday after No. 1 Texas Tech (39-17) and No. 4 Army (35-24) get the regional underway at 4 p.m.

It marks the first since 2013 that Florida won’t host an NCAA Regional.

After a quick departure from the SEC Tournament last week, UF was fearing the possibility of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time under coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who took over in 2008.’s final projected NCAA field had the Gators as the final team in, placing them 64th out of 64 teams.

When the results were unveiled, however, UF wasn’t even in the last four in.

The team’s high RPI, brutal schedule and impressive array of RPI top-50 wins proved too much for the committee to truly consider leaving the team out.

The Gators were the 10th team from the SEC to make this year’s field, the most of any conference.

UF has been on the rise over the last few weeks, sweeping the Missouri Tigers during the final regular season series.

The team will need to use every bit of momentum it has earned recently as two top-25 teams await in Lubbock.

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The Texas Tech Red Raiders earned the eighth-overall seed and a host regional site after finishing first in the Big 12 before losing to West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.

Texas Tech won 13 games against RPI top-50 teams, held an impressive 25-6 record at home and finished in the top 10 of’s most recent top 25.

The batting lineup features some pop, highlighted by infielder Cameron Warren (14 home runs, 67 RBIs), Co-Big 12 Player of the Year infielder Josh Jung (11 home runs, 53 RBIs) and Second Team All-Big 12 infielder/outfielder Dylan Neuse (eight home runs, 48 RBIs).

On the mound, First Team All-Big 12 starter Caleb Killian (8-3, 3.89 ERA) and reliever Dane Haveman (2-1, 2.08 ERA in 28 appearances) could give the Gators issues if the two teams meet.

UF and Texas Tech last met in the 2018 College World Series, splitting two games in Omaha.

The Dallas Baptist Patriots, Florida’s first opponent, has the most wins out of any team in the Lubbock Regional at 41.

Ranked 24th in the most recent top 25, DBU dropped a 16-3 decision to Indiana State in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship.

The Patriots won the regular season MVC title and defeated other Texas teams in major conferences including Texas A&M and TCU on their way to a 5-3 record against the RPI-top 25.

Making its sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, DBU is led by infielder Bryce Ball (17 home runs and 52 RBIs) and starting pitcher MD Johnson (9-2, 2.46 ERA).

In order to extend their Super Regional appearance streak to five, the Gators will need to show consistency on the mound and in the batter’s box to defeat two of the best teams in the country.

Follow Evan Lepak on Twitter @evanmplepak and contact him

Since Kevin O’Sullivan took over as coach in 2008, UF has made the NCAA Tournament 12 consecutive times and has an overall record of 530-253.

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