For the first time since 2012, the No. 22 UCF baseball team will be heading to an NCAA Regional tournament. The Knights will be the No. 2 seed in the Tallahassee Regional along with No. 3 seed Auburn, No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech., and host No. 1 seed Florida State.
First-year head coach Greg Lovelady has led the Knights to a 40-20 overall record and captured The American’s regular-season championship. It was the first conference title for the Knights since 2004 when they claimed the ASUN regular-season crown.
“I’m really proud of these guys for all the hard work they’ve put in,” Lovelady said. “For these seniors, some of them who have never been to a regional. One of my big goals as a coach is to make sure that every single player that comes through our program gets this opportunity. These are the things that they’re going to talk about for the rest of their lives.”
After entering The American tournament as the number one seed last weekend, UCF advanced to the semifinal round and recorded its 40th win of 2017 along the way. The last time the Knights won 40 games was also the team’s most recent NCAA Regional appearance, back in 2012 when the Black and Gold came up just short of an NCAA Regional title, falling to Stony Brook in the regional final in Miami.
UCF also brought home several American Athletic Conference awards, including head coach Greg Lovelady as Coach of the Year, senior starter Robby Howell as co-Pitcher of the Year, and newcomer Rylan Thomas as Rookie Position Player of the Year. Five Knights were also named to the all-conference squad.
The Knights have appeared in NCAA Regionals 11 times previously, including seven times in Tallahassee, twice in Gainesville, and once at both Columbia and Miami.
The double-elimination regional tournament is scheduled for June 2-5 at Dick Howser Stadium. The weekend’s winner will then be one of just 16 teams from across the country to advance to the NCAA Super Regional June 9-12. Beginning at 3 p.m. on May 29, fans can click here to purchase tickets via the FSU ticket office.