Wake Forest No. 1 seed in NCAA baseball tourney



OMAHA, Neb. — Wake Forest, which leads the nation in wins and has not lost consecutive games, was named the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA baseball tournament on Monday, and the Southeastern Conference had a record-tying 10 teams picked to play in regionals.

The 64-team tournament opens Friday in 16 regionals. Winners advance to eight best-of-three super regionals. Those winners move on to the College World Series in Omaha.

The top eight national seeds are assured of hosting super regionals if they win their regionals.

The national seeds following Wake Forest are Florida (44-14), Arkansas (41-16), Clemson (43-17), LSU (43-15), Vanderbilt (41-18), Virginia (45-12) and Stanford (38-16).

Seeds Nos. 9 through 16: Miami (40-19), Coastal Carolina (39-19), Oklahoma State (41-18), Kentucky (36-18), Auburn (34-21-1), Indiana State (42-15), South Carolina (39-19) and Alabama (40-19).

The last four teams to get bids, in alphabetical order, were Arizona (33-24), Louisiana (40-22), Oklahoma (31-26) and Troy (39-20). The first four out were Arizona State (32-23), Kansas State (35-24), Kent State (42-16) and UC Irvine (38-17).

The SEC matched the record it set in 2014 with 10 teams making the tournament. Of those, a record eight will host regionals.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has eight teams in the field, the Big 12 has six and the Pac-12 has five.

Wake Forest has been dominant on the mound and offensively.

The Demon Deacons are led by two-time ACC pitcher of the year Rhett Lowder and are first nationally with a 2.82 ERA and nine shutouts. Brock Wilken (27) and Nick Kurtz (23) have combined for 50 of Wake Forest’s 110 home runs, and the Deacons are averaging 8.9 runs per game.

They’ve been on the rise since going 20-27 two seasons ago. They made a regional and were 41-19-1 last year, and this season they started 26-3 on their way to their first ACC regular-season championship since 1963.

Other notes about the tournament:

  • Vanderbilt has the longest active streak with its 17th straight appearance. Texas is in the tournament for a record 62nd time. Florida State (23-31) saw its record-tying streak of regional appearances end at 44.

  • Tulane (19-40), which won the American Athletic Conference tournament as the No. 7 seed, has the most losses of any team to ever make the national tournament. The Green Wave’s reward is a spot in the Baton Rouge Regional and an opening game against LSU.

  • Summit League champion Oral Roberts is on the longest win streak in the nation, at 18 games. Clemson has won 16 in a row.

  • Connecticut is in a regional for a fifth straight time for the first time since the 1950s.

  • There are no teams making their first appearances, but Penn is in for the first time since 1995, Santa Clara for the first time since 1997 and San Jose State for the first time since 2002.



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