FAYETTEVILLE - The 20th-ranked Arkansas baseball team has been selected as the No. 2 seed in the Charlottesville Regional and will face No. 3 seed Liberty Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 64-team field was announced live on ESPNU, as 16 host sites around the country are home to four-team regionals to make up the 2014 NCAA Tournament field.
The Razorbacks will open the Charlottesville Regional against Liberty in first round action of the double-elimination bracket. Also at this regional site are the host Virginia Cavaliers who open play with Bucknell. The Razorbacks are scheduled to open postseason play Friday, May 30, at 6 p.m. Central against the Flames. Virginia hosts Bucknell at 1 p.m. Central.
The game is scheduled to be televised by ESPNU.
The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Memorial Day. Ticket books may be purchased in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall, by calling the Ticket Office at (800) 542-8821 or logging on to VirginiaSports.com. Davenport Field will seat 5,001 for postseason play.
Arkansas enters the NCAA Tournament with a 38-23 overall record. The Razorbacks are making their 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and are in the tournament for the 27th time overall in program history.
The Razorbacks are one of just seven teams nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament each of the last 13 years (Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, Rice and South Carolina). Arkansas is 64-56 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 46-37 record in NCAA Regionals.
Arkansas has advanced to the College World Series seven times, most recently in 2012, and appeared in five Super Regionals. The Razorbacks are 8-5 in NCAA Regional openers over the last 13 years.
Entering the NCAA Tournament, the Razorbacks are No. 33 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) with 17 wins over top 50 RPI squads. Arkansas has defeated 12 top 25 teams this season, including six of those when they were ranked in the top 10.
The Arkansas offense is led by Brian Anderson, who leads the squad with a .311 batting average, including 14 doubles and 49 runs batted in, while Eric Fisher has turned into a power threat at first base with nine home runs and 14 doubles. Joe Serrano’s 21 multi-hit games lead the team, including his six three-hit contests.
The Razorbacks continue to boast one of the top pitching staffs in the country with a 2.63 earned run average. Arkansas has held its opponents to two runs or less in 32 games this season, with nine shutouts. Trey Killiananchors the starting rotation with a 2.18 ERA in 13 starts, including four complete games and 61 strikeouts in 90.2 innings of work. Chris Oliver has been equally impressive in 15 starts with an 8-4 record and 2.45 earned run average. Jacob Stone has emerged as the late-season closer with a 0.99 ERA and .132 batting average against, while Michael Gunn’s 0.84 ERA and 26 appearances are tops on the team.
The host Virginia Cavaliers enter postseason play with a 44-13 overall record and finished ACC play with a 22-8 mark. They are 29-3 at home this season. Joe McCarthy leads the team with a .305 batting average playing in all 57 games this season. The pitching staff is paced by Nathan Kirby with a 1.48 ERA and an 8-1 mark in 14 appearances. Kirby’s opponents are hitting just .180 against him this season.
Also on the hill for the Cavaliers is Brandon Waddell with a 2.73 ERA and a 7-3 record in 14 appearances and Josh Sborz with a 3.38 ERA and a 4-4 mark in 14 appearances.
Liberty enters the postseason with a 41-16 record and a 23-3 mark in Big South play. The Flames entered the Big South Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed but fell in the championship game to Winthrop. Shortstop Dalton Britt and outfielder/pitcher Ashton Perritt were named to the All-Tournament team.
Gyan Seiz leads the team hitting .362 followed by Alex Close at 3.24 and Dalton at .300 as the three everyday players hitting above the .300 threshold. Trey Lambert leads the pitching staff with a 2.10 ERA and an 11-2 record in 102.2 innings. Parker Bean checks in with a 2.71 ERA followed by Blake Flughum at 3.16.
The Bucknell Bison wrapped up the regular season with a 30-19-1 overall record and a 15-5 mark in the Patriot League. The Bison were paced by Corey Furman at the plate hitting .388 in 116 at bats this season. Joe Ogren hit .324, Anthony Gingereli hit .312 and Brett Smith hit .303 in everyday action.
The Bison had 12 men on the mound this season with Tom Hrabchak leading the team with 17 appearances. Hrabchak had a 1.57 ERA in 23.0 innings. Dan Weigel tossed 88.2 innings with a 2.84 ERA while Bryson Hough threw 80.1 innings with a 4.37 ERA.
2014 NCAA Charlottesville Regional Schedule
Friday, May 30
Game 1 - No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Bucknell, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
Game 2 - No. 2 Arkansas vs. No. 3 Liberty, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 3 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m.
Game 4 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 1
Game 5 - Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.
Game 6 - Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4, 8 p.m.
Monday, June 2
Game 7 - Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 7 p.m.
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