SEC Champion Batcats to host NCAA Regional

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The SEC regular season champion University of Kentucky Wildcats have been named as one of the 16 regional host sites for the NCAA college baseball tournament. The regional, which will begin Friday, June 2nd in Lexington at Cliff Hagan Stadium, will involve Kentucky and three other teams to be announced on Monday, when the complete field is revealed.

The University of Kentucky (42-15, 20-10) finished last in the SEC in 2005, and was the preseason pick to repeat that accomplishment this year. Instead, Coach John Cohen's Batcats performed a task not previously performed in the 70+ year history of the SEC, going from "worst-to-first," sharing the regular season championship with Alabama, and those efforts were rewarded today with a home NCAA Regional.

Kentucky finished 0-2 in the SEC tournament held this week in Hoover, Alabama, but the early exit did not dissuade the NCAA Selection Committee. Earlier in the week, selection Chairman Larry Templeton (A.D., Mississippi State) indicated that Kentucky was still in good shape for receiving a regional bid, citing Lexington's geographically favorable location as well as Kentucky's rise from worst-to-first in the conference. Templeton stated that any team that performed that accomplishment in the conference deserved a reward, and it appears the selection committee agreed.

The Southeastern Conference will host five of the sixteen sites to lead all conferences. NCAA Regional sites announced today include Alabama (41-19), Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Arkansas (38-19), Fayetteville, Ark.; Cal St. Fullerton (41-13), Fullerton, Calif.; Clemson (46-14), Clemson, S.C.; Georgia (41-19), Athens, Ga.; Georgia Tech (45-16), Atlanta; Kentucky (42-15), Lexington, Ky.; Mississippi (39-20), Oxford, Miss.; Nebraska (42-14), Lincoln, Neb.; North Carolina (45-13), Chapel Hill, N.C.; Oklahoma (40-19), Norman, Okla.; Oregon St. (39-13), Corvallis, Oregon; Pepperdine (39-19), Malibu, Calif.; Rice (49-10), Houston; Texas (40-19), Austin, Texas; and Virginia (46-13), Charlottesville, Va. This is the first time in Kentucky's history that they have hosted an NCAA regional site.

NCAA Ticket information can be located at this link on the UK Athletics website.

Stay tuned to Kentucky Sports Report, as we will be providing complete coverage of UK baseball as it progresses through the NCAA tournament.

AllWildcats Top Stories