The LSU Tigers and Northwestern State Demons are headed to the Corvallis, Ore., Regional in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Regional pairings were announced Monday. LSU (37-25), the No. 2 seed, will face No. 3 San Diego Sate (39-19) in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament at 3 p.m. Friday.
Fourth-seeded Northwestern State (37-22) plays No. 1 Oregon State (44-10-1) at 9:30 p.m. The Beavers are the No. 3 national seed.
Both games will be broadcast on ESPNU.
LSU is coming off a runner-up finish in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. The Tigers, seeded eighth, run-ruled SEC regular-season champion Florida 11-0 in an elimination game then defeated Arkansas 2-1 in the semifinals. They lost to No. 2 seed Ole Miss 9-1 in the title game.
Florida, which defeated LSU for the national championship in Omaha last season, garnered the overall No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament.
“We earned a No. 2 seed, but probably not a high No. 2 seed, which probably meant that they put us into a Top 8 National Seed regional,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “It doesn’t really matter who you play. Once you get in the NCAA Tournament, everybody is good. Every team has either won a championship to earn their way into the tournament or they were so good that they got an at-large bid. You’re going to face a good team no matter where you’re sent, not matter what your seeding is, and that’s the way we’re going to approach it.”
Northwestern State earned its berth by winning the SLC Tournament in Sugar Land, Texas. The Demons went undefeated in the tournament, defeating New Orleans 7-5 in the title game. The championship was the first in school history.
NSU is making its first apperance in a regional since 2005.
The Demons faced LSU on May 15 but have never played San Diego State, the Mountain West tournament champion, or Oregon State.
“They weren’t one of the teams we did a lot of preliminary stuff on,” second-year head coach Bobby Barbier said of the Beavers, who reached the College World Series semifinals a year ago. “I know they’re a really good baseball team. Their coach (Pat Casey) does a tremendous job out there. I look forward to seeing a different brand of baseball. That West Coast baseball is a little different than what we play down here. I’m looking forward to competing against those guys.”
— Staff Reports, firstname.lastname@example.org