Oregon claims No. 5 national seed

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INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Oregon claimed a No. 5 national seed for the 66th annual NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee announced Monday.

The Ducks (42-17, 19-11), who finished third in the Pac-12 conference, will host No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton, No. 3 seed Indiana State and No. 4 seed Austin Peay at the Eugene Regional.

Oregon will face No. 4-seed Austin Peay (38-22) on Friday. Austin Peay has won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference tournament and regular season championships. No. 2-seed Cal State Fullerton (35-19), the 2012 Big West champions, will face No. 3-seed Indiana State (41-17) in the other Regional contest that day. Each of 16 NCAA Regionals features a four-team, double-elimination format.

The Ducks’ No. 5 national seed is the club’s first in program history, and Oregon returns to the NCAA Tournament after appearing as the No. 3 seed in the Norwich Regional in 2010. The Ducks will be making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance overall, and their second since the program was revived for the 2009 season.

Game times will be released Monday, as determined by the NCAA.

An interesting storyline to the Eugene Regional is the inclusion of Oregon and Cal State Fullerton. In his fourth year with the Ducks, head coach George Horton, previously spent 11 seasons as the head coach of the Titans, leading CSF to the 2004 National Championship.

During his tenure with the Titans, Horton compiled an overall record of 490-212-1 (.698) and oversaw six appearances in the College World Series, including back-to-back berths in 2006 and 2007 as well as 2003 and 2004.

The national top eight seeds are Florida (42-18), UCLA (42-14), Florida St. (43-15), Baylor (44-14), Oregon (42-17), North Carolina (44-14), LSU (43-16) and South Carolina (40-17).

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) led all conferences in the number of teams in the championship field with eight, while the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has seven institutions. The Pac-12 had five and the Big 12 and Conference USA each has four selected.

Making the tournament for the first time are Dayton of the Atlantic 10 Conference and Samford of the Southern Conference. Overall, 37 of the 64 teams were in the field last year.

There are 30 Division I conferences which received an automatic berth in the field of 64, along with 34 at-large selections. The 66th Men’s College World Series begins play Friday, June 15, at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb.

Oregon baseball last hosted a postseason event when the District 8 playoffs were played at Howe Field. The Ducks defeated Seattle, 9-4, and Fresno State, 9-5 and 1-0, for the right to move on to the 1954 College World Series.