OMAHA, NE (WAFB/AP) - A day after locking down a bid as one of the regional hosts for the NCAA baseball tournament, LSU was awarded the No. 8 seed and will host a super regional if the Tigers win.
"When we showed up on the board it was almost like all of the weight was lifted off of our shoulders," said junior pitcher Aaron Nola. "It is awesome to get to be a national seed. This is our third year in a row as a national seed since I have been here. Getting it definitely gives you an advantage by being able to play in your home stadium."
LSU is seeking its seventh national title and opens up regional play against the Southeastern Lions on Friday at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN3.com.
"We are not going to take Southeastern lightly by any means," said senior left fielder and DH Sean McMullen. "They have a very good ball club. They are coming in with a lot of momentum after winning their conference championship. I know they are going to come in here and compete. They have a lot of talent."
The other two teams in the Baton Rouge regional are Bryant and Houston. They will meet at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.com.
This is the 22nd time in LSU's history that the Tigers have hosted a regional. The winner of the Baton Rouge Regional will face the winner of the Houston Regional in an NCAA Super Regional next weekend.
"We are extremely proud and happy to have the national seed," said head coach Paul Mainieri. "At the same time, being awarded the national seed doesn't matter unless you win the first weekend."
The UL-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns were named the No. 6 seed. They, too, will host a super regional if they can beat the other teams in their regional round.
The committee announced the 16 regional sites Sunday. The 16 regional sites, with host institutions and records (through May 25) are as follows:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - LSU (44-14-1)
Bloomington, Indiana - Indiana (42-13)
Charlottesville, Virginia - Virginia (44-13)
Coral Gables, Florida - Miami (FL) (41-17)
Corvallis, Oregon - Oregon State (42-12)
Columbia, South Carolina - South Carolina (42-16)
Fort Worth, Texas - TCU (42-15)
Gainesville, Florida - Florida (40-21)
Houston, Texas - Rice (41-18)
Lafayette, Louisiana - Louisiana-Lafayette (53-7)
Louisville, Kentucky - Louisville (45-15)
Nashville, Tennessee - Vanderbilt (41-18)
Oxford, Mississippi - Mississippi (41-18)
San Luis Obispo, California - Cal Poly (45-10)
Stillwater, Oklahoma - Oklahoma State (45-16)
Tallahassee, Florida - Florida State (43-15)
Oregon State is the No. 1 national seed for the tournament. The Division I Baseball Committee made the Pac-12 champion Beavers the top seed over SEC regular-season winner Florida.
The other national seeds are: Virginia (No. 3), Indiana (No. 4), Florida State (No. 5) and TCU (No. 7).
The tournament opens Friday with 16 four-team, double-elimination regionals. Best-of-three super regionals will be held next week, with those winners moving to the College World Series in Omaha.
Three teams with losing records are in the tournament after winning conference tournament titles. They are Youngstown State (16-36), Siena (25-31) and Bethune-Cookman (26-31).