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Kentucky to host NCAA Regional for first time since 2017; games begin Friday at Kentucky Proud Park

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

For just the third time in history, the Kentucky baseball team will serve as host for an NCAA Regional set for Friday-Monday at Kentucky Proud Park.

Grant Smith and the Wildcats will open NCAA play against Ball State at 1 p.m. Friday in Lexington. (UK Athletics Photo)

The Wildcats, seeded 12th nationallly in the event, will host Ball State, Indiana and West Virginia in a double elimination regional. Kentucky (36-18) will play Ball State (36-21) at noonn Friday. Indiana (41-18) will take on West Virginia (39-18) in the second game of a doubleheader at 7 p.m. Friday. The losing teams will play each other at 1 p.m. Saturday, while the winning teams from the opening round will meet at 7 p.m. Friday. The event contimues on Sunday and again on Monday, if necessary.

Overall, 10 teams from the Southeastern Conference earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, with eight of those, including Kentucky, serving as regional hosts. Florida (No. 2), Arkansas (No. 3), LSU (No. 5), Vanderbilt (No. 6), Kentucky (No. 12), Auburn (No. 13), South Carolina (No. 15) and Alabama (No, 16) received one of the top 16 seeds. Tennessee and Texas A&M each received an at-large bid.

Kentucky will serve as a regional host for the first time since 2017. The Wildcats are 18-19 in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Super Regionals in 2017, where they where swept by instate rival Louisville.

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