After coming out of nowhere to win their first conference title since 1995, the South Florida Bulls baseball team will make the quick trip north to the Gainesville regional to face the No. 1 seed Florida Gators on Friday at noon on the SEC Network/ESPN3.
The Bulls used the momentum from defeating No. 10 ECU in back-to-back games to close out the regular season to propel them into an improbable title run in Clearwater. Joining USF, and UF will be No. 2 seed Miami Hurricanes, and No. 3 seed South Alabama Jaguars.
The Gators went 38-20 (17-13 SEC) this season, and lost in the SEC Tournament semifinals to Tennessee. The Hurricanes went 32-19 (20-15 ACC) this year, but got bounced early from the ACC Tournament after back-to-back losses to eventual tournament champion Duke, and Florida State. The Hurricanes did win 2-of-3 against the Gators earlier this season. The Jaguars were the only other team in the regional to win their conference tournament as they powered their way through the Sun Belt. USA finished the year 33-20 (15-9 SBC).
USF is 26-67 vs Florida all-time with the last win in Gainesville coming in 2017. The Bulls are 29-84 vs the Hurricanes all-time with the last win coming in 2011. USF hasn’t played South Alabama since 1992, and the Bulls are 34-43 all-time vs the Jags.
This is the third time in the last four NCAA Tournaments dating back to 2015 that the Bulls have been placed in the Gainesville regional. The only other time (2018), the Bulls went to DeLand instead of hosting because former Athletic Director Mark Harlan refused to bid to host. Harlan left for Utah the day the DeLand regional started.
The winner of the Gainesville regional, which is double elimination, will face the winner of the Austin regional between Texas, Southern, Arizona State, and Fairfield in a best-of-three series in the College World Series. Random fact, USF was scheduled to play Fairfield the week the entire world stopped due to COVID-19 last year.