Heels To Host Third Straight Regional

INDIANAPOLIS - On the strength of a record-tying regular season and the program's first-ever consensus No. 1 national ranking, the University of North Carolina has been selected as one of 16 regional hosts for the 2008 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, the NCAA announced Sunday.

he Tar Heels (46-12) will host a regional for the third straight season and just the fourth time in program history. They will find out who will join them next weekend at Cary's USA Baseball National Training Complex when the 64-team field is announced on ESPN's selection show at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Play begins Friday, May 30, and runs through Sunday, June 1. A seventh game would be played Monday, June 2, if needed.

"We are extremely excited to be chosen to host a regional in Cary," said 10th-year head coach Mike Fox, who has guided the Tar Heels to back-to-back trips to the College World Series finals. "We have enjoyed some of the largest, most vocal home crowds in Tar Heel baseball history this season and we look forward to more of the same in the postseason.

"Our program is indebted to the Town of Cary and USA Baseball for creating a first-class home for us this season and helping to make this regional a possibility. Hosting for the third straight year is a reward for the continued hard work of our players since the start of fall practice. Their play on the field over the last three months has been fantastic."

General public parking spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in the main stadium lot at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. No RVs or campers will be allowed. The main lot will open to the general public four hours before the first game each day. Overflow parking will be available in the softball lot approximately a quarter mile from the main entrance.

Gates will open two hours before the first game each day, and the stadium will be cleared between games per NCAA regulations.

The Tar Heels went 25-6 at home this season and did not lose a single weekend series. Carolina matched school records with 45 regular season wins and 22 Atlantic Coast Conference victories.

Carolina was one of four ACC schools chosen as host sites, as Florida State, Miami and NC State will also open the tournament at home. The remaining 12 host institutions are: Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Coastal Carolina, Georgia, Long Beach State, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Rice, Stanford and Texas A&M. The winners of the 16 regionals will meet June 6-9 in the best-of-three Super Regional round to determine the eight-team field of the 2008 College World Series, set for June 14-25 in Omaha, Neb.

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