Surprising no one, Florida baseball got one thing it had been looking for all season on Sunday: A chance to host a NCAA Baseball Regional in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The University of Florida was awarded one of 16 Regional host sites for the first step in the road to the College World Series in Omaha, and the Gators will almost assuredly be a No. 1 seed in the Gainesville Regional.
Florida is marking its fourth straight year as a Regional host, having also stayed at home for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and the Gators have won the Gainesville Regional in all three years. Gainesville has hosted regionals 10 times since 1989, including five times before the NCAA introduced Super Regional play.
The Gators also hosted Super Regionals in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2011, winning in both Regional and Super Regional play at home in 2005, 2010, and 2011 to advance to the College World Series. Florida is in line to host a Super Regional in 2012, as well, as a likely national seed, but both national seeds and seedings for the Regionals will be announced on Monday at noon on an ESPNU selection show.
Regional play follows a double-elimination format, and play will begin on Friday, June 1.