Alabama baseball may have played its way into hosting an NCAA regional. Here's what it would mean to the Crimson Tide.
HOOVER — After missing out on the NCAA Tournament last year, Alabama baseball has put itself in a position to host a regional for the first time since 2006.
A 7-4 win over instate rival Auburn in the SEC Tournament on Thursday should be the cherry on top of Alabama's resume. The Crimson Tide holds an RPI ranking at No. 11 and has 18 SEC wins. Alabama has series wins over Auburn, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt to go with wins over Arkansas, Florida and Kentucky.
D1Baseball projects Alabama as the No. 11 national seed, hosting Southern Miss, Arizona State and Samford. Alabama would be paired with Stanford for the super regional round. The May 25 projections have seven SEC schools hosting, with Auburn right above Alabama.
Alabama pitcher Garrett McMillan said it hurt last year not seeing Alabama on the board, but the team is excited to be in a tournament.
"We’re not really focused on if we’ll host or not. We’re just happy that we’ll probably be in. Last year wasn’t fun not seeing our name on selection day. We’re just happy to be where we’re at and keep playing every day," McMillian said.
When asked if he thought his team had done enough to host, Alabama coach Jason Jackson kept it short: "Yes." Jackson looked at the bigger picture and what a Tuscaloosa regional would mean for not only his team but the program and its fans.
"I think it would mean a lot," he said. "Mean a lot to our fan base, mean a lot to our athletic department but also a lot to our players and all of our staff. All of the people that have put a lot of time and effort into getting this thing where it is. Our facility is built to host, I think our fan base in hungry for it. I think it would be mean a lot to a lot of people. We’re excited for that opportunity if we get it."
The Crimson Tide will find out if has done enough to host on Sunday night when the hosts are announced, with the full bracket coming out on Monday.