The Texas Aggie baseball team received its marching orders on Monday when the NCAA announced its 64-team tournament bracket on ESPN. Thought to be headed back to the Fort Worth Regional hosted by TCU, the NCAA threw the Aggies a curveball and sent them to Coral Gables, Florida where the Miami Hurricanes are hosting.
Texas A&M's appearance in the Miami regional will be its first trip to Mark Light Field since Mark Johnson took his 1995 team into the six team regional as the No. 2 seed. That squad dropped the tournament opener to Florida International (FIU) before winning four straight games and into the second regional final contest with Miami before bowing out to the powerhouse south Florida program.
Fifteen years later, many of the same components are in place. Miami is again the No. 1 seed and regional favorite, followed by Texas A&M as the No. 2 seed. Florida International is also in the 2010 regional and again will be the Aggies' opening opponent with Dartmouth filling out the field as the No. 4 seed. The similarities don't stop there. In 1995, other issues overshadowed the opening A&M-FIU game itself. One of the top FIU players had been tragically killed the previous week and emotions and sentiment for the Golden Panthers were running high at the park which sparked the upset. In 2010, the issues are less dramatic, but FIU's Garrett Wittels has captured the nation's attention with his 54-game hitting streak, just four shy of the all-time record held by Robin Ventura.
So all eyes of the nation will be on the regional and specifically the Texas A&M-FIU game as Wittels must face Texas A&M's All-American hurler Barret Loux Friday morning at 11:00 (central) to extend his hitting streak. All games of the Coral Gables Regional will be televised on ESPNU.
If the Aggies can advance on Friday, they will face the winner of the Miami-Dartmouth Friday game on Saturday at 3:00 PM (central).
Stay tuned to Aggie Websider for full coverage and statistical analysis of the Aggies' regional opponents. Also, join the Aggie Websider community in The Tailgate forum to discuss the ins and outs of the NCAA Tournament and the Aggies chances of moving on to the Super Regionals (matched up with Gainesville Regional).
Aggies Headed Back to Coral Gables
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