BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU were ranked as the No. 8 overall seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, making it the fifth consecutive season the Tigers have earned a national seed.
"First of all, I'm very proud of the fact that we have been a national seed for five consecutive seasons. I think we are the only team in the country that can stake that claim," said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "I think that speaks volumes to the consistency of our program and competing at a high level. Without question, the more experience that the players have of being in these kinds of environments, it's got to help them moving forward."
"We continued to get better throughout the year, and I'm really proud of how we finished and where we are at right now," said junior Kramer Robertson. "We got a great opportunity in front of us and we put ourselves right where we wanted to be when we started this year."
The Tigers will host Rice, Southeastern Louisiana, and Utah Valley in the Baton Rouge Regional.
LSU will play No. 4 seed Utah Valley Friday at 2 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium, followed by No. 3 seed Southeastern versus No. 2 seed Rice at 7 p.m.
"This is what happens in the NCAA Tournament. You see names up there that a lot of people aren't familiar with those schools, but they have very good baseball teams. I'm sure we are going to have our work cut out for us," Mainieri said. "I told our team before we came into this event that every team in the tournament is either a conference champion or a really good at-large team like us. You have to take every team seriously, and you have to be ready and prepared. Utah Valley, Southeastern Louisiana and Rice are obviously all really good ball clubs, so it's going to be a great tournament."
Southeastern head coach Matt Riser said while the Lions have good seasons before, they didn't have the numbers to back it, but that's certainly not the case this year.
The Lions finished ranked 40th in RPI with 39 overall wins, 22 of which came in conference play.
"We've been in this position many, many of times and just really never had the metrics to go with it. This was the highest we've finished from an RPI standpoint. This is the most top 50 wins we've had, most top 100 wins we've had," Riser. "Had all the metrics in our favor, but this schedule was set up for us in the right way. The other schools in our conference had good years as well and it really improved our conference RPI as well. It just really helped everything from that standpoint to get us to the point to get that at-large bid."
All the games for the Baton Rouge Regional will be aired online only through ESPN3.com.
This year the Baton Rouge Regional will be paired with the Raleigh Regional, which is hosted by North Carolina State. Click here for information on how to get tickets for the Baton Rouge Regional.
"Obviously, I'm thrilled that they selected us. It's wonderful to think that you don't have to pack your bags again until Omaha if you're fortunate enough to make it there," Mainieri said. "I'm especially happy for our fans. They love to come out to postseason play at The Box. If we are fortunate enough to get through the first round and have supers here, it will be an awesome experience for our fans and also for our players and staff."
LSU is not the only school in Louisiana hosting a regional this season as UL-Lafayette is also hosting a regional. The Cajuns will be the No. 1 seed and will host No. 2 seed Arizona, No. 3 seed Sam Houston St, and No. 4 seed Princeton.
The Lafayette Regional will be paired with the Starksville Regional, which is hosted by No. 6 overall seed Mississippi State. Click here for information about the Lafayette Regional.
Along with LSU, Southeastern and ULL, there were two other Louisiana schools selected to play in the tournament. Tulane is the No. 2 seed in the Oxford Regional, while Louisiana Tech is the No. 3 seed in the Starkville Regional. With 5 schools in the tournament, that is the most from Louisiana since 2005.
Each regional will have four teams playing in a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals will be scheduled from Friday, June 3 to Monday, June 6. The winner of each of the regionals will face off in a super regional, which will be a best of three series.
The eight super regional hosts will be announced online on Monday, June 6 around 10 p.m. CT, and the 70th College World Series will begin play Saturday, June 18 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.