LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell baseball team gathered at Damon’s Grill on Monday afternoon to watch the NCAA selection show on ESPNU and had to wait until the final bracket segment was revealed to learn its postseason destination. As the show neared its conclusion, the fourth-seeded Bison found out they will be traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia, for NCAA Regional play and will take on the host Cavaliers (44-13) Friday at 2 p.m. at Davenport Field. No. 2 seed Arkansas (38-23) and No. 3 seed Liberty (41-16) are the other two teams in the four-team regional.
Friday’s Bucknell-Virginia game will air live on ESPN3, while the 7 p.m. Arkansas-Liberty contest will be televised on ESPNU.
The NCAA Regional will run May 30-June 2 at Davenport Field. The four teams will play a double-elimination tournament for the right to advance to next week’s Super Regional against the winner of a regional that includes South Carolina, Maryland, Old Dominion and Campbell.
“It’s going to be exciting and be a great atmostphere,” commented Bucknell second-year head coach Scott Heather, a 2003 Arkansas graduate and a former pitcher for the Razorbacks. “It should be a lot of fun and I am excited for our team to be involved in an NCAA Tournament.”
Bucknell (30-19-1) is making its sixth NCAA appearance, all since 1996. The Bison last qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and lost to host South Carolina and Virginia Tech in the Columbia Regional. Bucknell is 1-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with its victory coming in 2008 at No. 4 national seed Florida State.
Bucknell is 1-22 all-time against Virginia in a series that began in 1912. The teams last met in 2013 with the Cavaliers winning both matchups. The Bison were the first opponent for the Cavaliers at Davenport Field when it opened in 2002.
Virginia, the No. 3 overall national seed, was the third seed in the recent ACC Tournament and won six of its final eight regular-season games. The Cavaliers are a regional host school for the fifth consecutive year.
Bucknell earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament by winning the Patriot League Tournament as the top seed in the four-team field. The Bison swept both fourth-seeded Navy and third-seeded Lehigh in best-of-three series at Depew Field to win their sixth Patriot League title. Bucknell enters the NCAA postseason having won 22 of its last 30 games and is one victory shy of equaling the program record for wins in a season.
Game times for Saturday will be announced at a later date.