The Tigers will play No. 2 seed College of Charleston at 11 a.m. CDT on Friday while top-seed FSU will take on No. 4 seed Mercer at 5 p.m.“We’re really excited to be traveling down to Tallahassee,” Golloway said as he watched the tournament pairings being announced with his team at a local restaurant.
“We’re excited to be playing this time of year," Auburn's second-year head coach said. "We’ve got some worthy opponents down there, we realize that. We feel like, I’m sure like all of the other teams in that regional, we feel like we can go in and win.
"We cross-bracket with the national seed of Florida and we just got back from Gainesville," he noted. "We played very well in three hard-fought games down there and won one of them, the other two could have gone either way. We understand what we’ve got to do to get to Omaha (College World Series) and we feel like it’s something we can do.”
This is Auburn’s 19th regional appearance overall and seventh time to play a regional in Tallahassee, Fla.
College of Charleston posted a 43-13 record and won the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title with a 21-3 mark. The Cougars were 26-8 at home and 17-5 in road games. As a team Charleston hit .305 while the pitchers posted a 3.36 earned run average led by Taylor Clarke, who was 13-1 with a 1.34 ERA and Brandon Glazer, who is 10-1 with a 2.68 ERA.
Florida State finished the season 41-19 and won the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles were 27-7 in home games this year and 17-13 in conference games during the regular season. They hit .257 as a team while the pitching staff posted a 2.81 ERA.
Mercer finished 35-21 after defeating Samford in the South Conference championship game to earn an NCAA berth. The Bears have a .288 batting average with a 4.55 earned run average.
Finishing the season 35-24 overall, Auburn had plenty of reasons to think they had done enough to get the nod. With an overall RPI that finished No. 22 in the country, the Tigers played 30 games against teams with an RPI of better than 50, going 12-18 in those contests. That’s a big reason why Auburn is back in the tournament for the first time since 2010.
Now the Tigers turn their attention to keeping the season going, that means winning a regional for the first time since 1999. That would keep Auburn on track for a goal of making it to Omaha, something redshirt junior Justin Camp said makes this an exciting time for the program.
"I’m probably a little more excited about it than others kind of like Rocky (McCord), we’ve been here so long and we’ve never been," Camp said. "To have the opportunity to finally get to go, it means everything. We get a chance to play for the College World Series and that’s kind of what every team strives for at the beginning of the year so to know that’s it’s really a reality means a lot."
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