The gates of Carolina Stadium will open once again this season, as the South Carolina baseball team landed one of the 16 host bids in the NCAA tournament Sunday night.
The Gamecocks (42-16), who will serve as a host for a regional for the fifth straight season, also are making their 15th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and 30th overall in the program’s history.
The pairings for the full 64-team field – as well as the eight national seeds – will be revealed on the NCAA championship selection show to be telecast on ESPNU Monday at 12 noon.
"We are ecstatic to be hosting a regional at Carolina Stadium for the fifth straight year," USC coach Chad Holbrook said in a statement. "I'm very proud of our players, coaches and staff and the work they have put forward to be in this position. We know Gamecock Nation will be ready to go, and we are excited to be playing at home in front of the best college baseball fans in the country."
South Carolina, which finished fourth in the SEC and went 0-2 in the conference tournament, remained in the running for a national seed, but late stretch runs by LSU, which won the SEC tournament, and TCU, which won the Big 12 tournament, likely have pushed those teams past the Gamecocks to claim the last two spots.
The 15 other host teams are Virginia, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Oregon State, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, TCU, Ole Miss, Rice, Miami, Fla., Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Cal Poly and Louisville. The four-team regional tournaments begin Friday.
Hosting has proven to be a postseason advantage historically for the Gamecocks, who have held 15 regionals and six Super Regionals at either Sarge Frye Field or Carolina Stadium dating back to 1975.
In the four most recent seasons at Carolina Stadium, that has especially proven to be the case. USC has posted a 16-0 mark in the six-year-old ballpark – 12-0 in regional play and 4-0 in Super Regional play – and gone to the College World Series three times in that span, which included national championships in 2010 and 2011.
The 68th College World Series will begin June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.