I don’t know if you were aware but the Ohio Bobcats baseball squad is the sole flag-bearer remaining for the Mid-American Conference to win a national championship this year. That journey to the title begins today in Lexington, KY as the Bobcats open regional play against the host school, the University of Kentucky.
If you can make it in person, you should. Lexington is a great time, I’m right up the road, and the baseball in the 859 this weekend should be fun to watch. It’s summer. You’re American. It’s baseball. Get on board, people.
Kentucky comes in as a surprise SEC squad that nearly won the conference. If you’re not familiar with baseball, winning the SEC is a big deal. For a team that was pre-season predicted to finish near the bottom to be in contention on the closing weekend is amazing. The Wildcats come in at 39-20 and are the top seed and host of the regional. The Wildcats just missed out on a national seed and are in a position to host a Super Regional should they win out and Louisville lose. Of course, that assumes Kentucky wins their regional. Which they won’t. Because... OHIO!
From the Ohio press release:
Ohio and Kentucky are joined in the double-elimination regional by No. 2 regionally-seeded Indiana (33-22) and No. 3 regionally-seeded North Carolina State (34-23), who will face off at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners of Friday's games will square off on Saturday (June 3) at 12:04 p.m. ET. The losers of Friday'sgames will play an elimination game at 12:04 p.m. ET on Saturday. The survivor of the elimination game will play the loser of the winner's bracket game on Sunday (June 4) at 1:04 p.m. ET. The winner of that contest will play the winner of Saturday night's game at 7:04 p.m. ET on Sunday for the regional title. If necessary, a winner-take-all second regional title game will be played on Monday (June 5) at 7:04 p.m. ET.
The Bobcats have never faced Kentucky, Indiana or North Carolina State in NCAA Championship play.
The 2017 NCAA Championship consists of 16 four-team, double elimination Regionals, held at campus sites across the nation next weekend (June 2-5). The 16 regional host sites will be announced on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET. The 16 Regional champions advance to the NCAA Super Regionals, which will be held at campus sites the following weekend (June 9-12). The eight Super Regional champions punch tickets to Omaha, Neb., and the 2017 NCAA College World Series, which will be held June 17-27/28 at TD Ameritrade Park. The CWS is made up of two four-team, double-elimination brackets. The survivors of the brackets play a best-of-three games national championship series to decide the NCAA champion.
Ohio will be making its 16th NCAA Championship appearance and second in the last three years. The Bobcats are 17-28 (.378) all-time in national postseason play. The Bobcats went 0-2 at the NCAA Championship Champaign Regional in Champaign, Ill., in 2015, falling to No. 6 national seed Illinois, 10-3, and Wright State, 8-3. Ohio earned its lone trip to the NCAA College World Series in 1970, going 2-2. The Bobcats swept through District 4 play, beating Minnesota, 6-4, then topping Southern Illinois twice by scores of 7-0 and 8-5 to punch a ticket to the CWS. At the College World Series, Ohio went 2-2, beating Southern California, 4-1, falling to Texas, 7-2 and defeating Iowa State, 9-6, before being eliminated by Florida State, 2-0.
Your important details for today’s tilt:
Time: 12:00 ET
Location: Cliff Hagan Stadium, Lexington KY
Stream: WatchESPN app, pending cable provider access
It’s a high noon showdown in the Bluegrass State. Let’s get it Bobcats. The Road to Omaha starts now.