UCLA baseball to face off against Florida State in NCAA Auburn Regional
UCLA baseball players observe a game from the dugout. The Bruins were placed in the NCAA Auburn Regional, which is set to begin Friday. (Joseph Jimenez/Assistant Photo editor)
By Jay Fenn
May 30, 2022 11:45 p.m.
The Bruins’ quest for their second national championship will begin in Auburn, Alabama.
UCLA baseball (38-22, 19-11 Pac-12) received an at-large bid for the NCAA regional on Monday, with the Bruins set to travel to the home of the No. 14 overall seed Auburn (37-19, 16-13 SEC). The blue and gold, the second-highest seed in the region, will be joined by Florida State (33-23, 15-15 ACC) and Southeastern Louisiana (30-29, 14-10 SLC).
The bid marks the second consecutive season the Bruins have been selected to a regional. Last year, UCLA’s season came to an end in the Lubbock Regional at the hands of Texas Tech.
Auburn is coming off a first-round exit in the Southeastern Conference tournament to Kentucky – the same team that defeated the Tigers in two of three games to close out the regular season. However, Auburn has defeated a plethora of tournament teams throughout the season, including Ole Miss, Texas Tech and the No. 1 overall seed Tennessee.
The Tigers are headed by SEC co-Player of the Year infielder Sonny DiChiara, who led the conference in on-base percentage and slugging with percentages of .561 and .782, respectively, while also boasting a .382 batting average, the second highest in the league.
Florida State was ranked in the top 10 earlier in the season, but its inability to win on the road – with a 7-15 record away from home – put them on the tournament bubble. The Seminoles are led by their lone All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team selection – left-hander Parker Messick – who is MLB.com’s No. 50-ranked draft prospect.
UCLA’s road to Omaha begins Friday against Florida State.