Army To Face Virginia In NCAA Tournament

Head Coach Joe Sottolano speaks with reporters following Monday's announcement.

Head Coach Joe Sottolano speaks with reporters following Monday's announcement.

May 27, 2013

Charlottesville Regional Central

Interview with players

Interview with head coach Sottolano

WEST POINT, N.Y. - For the second straight season, fifth time in 10 years, and sixth time in program history, the Army baseball team is heading to the NCAA Regionals. On Monday, it was announced that the Black Knights are going back to Virginia for the second year in a row and will meet the Cavaliers in the Charlottesville Regional on Friday.

The field of 64 for the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament was announced on ESPNU, and Army's pairing was unveiled approximately 20 minutes into the hour-long special. The Black Knights gathered as a team to celebrate the special moment.

In addition to top-seeded Virginia (47-10), second-seeded UNC Wilmington (37-21) and third-seeded Elon (32-28) will join No. 4 seed Army (29-21) at the Charlottesville Regional. The Cavaliers earned one of eight coveted national seeds (sixth overall) and are hosting an NCAA Regional for the fourth year in a row.

The Black Knights will travel to Charlottesville, Va., on Wednesday to prepare for their first-round matchup with the nationally ranked Cavaliers. UNC Wilmington and Elon will meet in the other first-round contest. All of the games in the Charlottesville Regional will be broadcast live by ESPN3.

The four-team, double-elimination tournament begins Friday and continues through Monday (if necessary). The winner of the Charlottesville Regional will advance to face the winner of the Starkville Regional in the NCAA Super Regionals (June 7-10).

The Army Athletic Ticket Office will take requests for seating in the Army section beginning Tuesday (May 28) at 9 a.m. Requests will be taken by phone only at 1-877-TIX-ARMY. There will be a limited amount of tickets behind the Army dugout.

Tickets may also be purchased directly from Virginia at virginiasports.com or by calling 1-800-542-8821. More information, to include ticket prices and various packages, can be found on the Cavaliers' website.

"We are certainly very excited about the opportunity to compete at the Charlottesville Regional," said Army head coach Joe Sottolano. "I know our guys are going to be hungry and excited about traveling down to Virginia. We're going to enjoy this moment, but we'll work hard the next few days to prepare and then just see where the cards fall.

"Virginia does a great job, and I have a ton of respect for their coaching staff and entire administration," added Sottolano. "From a pitching perspective, they throw strikes and work to both sides of the plate. This is a first-class program all the way around, and we certainly have the utmost respect for what they've accomplished."

Friday's first-round schedule at Davenport Field features Virginia versus Army at 1 p.m., followed by UNC Wilmington against Elon at 6 p.m. The losers of Friday's games will be paired in an elimination game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, while Friday's winners will square off Saturday at 6 p.m.

Game times for Sunday are set for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., while Monday's "if necessary" championship game is slated to begin at 6 p.m.

This weekend's showing at the Charlottesville Regional will mark Army's sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Black Knights registered the program's first NCAA tourney appearance in 2000 after winning the Patriot League Championship. Army also earned NCAA Regional berths after capturing conference titles in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012.

In their most recent trip to the NCAAs, the Black Knights dropped a 9-1 decision to top-seeded Virginia and a 2-1 10-inning verdict to second-seeded Oklahoma at the Charlottesville Regional last June.

By winning the school's seventh Patriot League Tournament championship overall two weeks ago, Army captured its fifth conference crown in 10 years. The Black Knights have garnered at least a share of six regular-season Patriot League titles in the past 10 years and earned Patriot League Tournament berths nine times during that span.

"It feels good to be rewarded for all of the hard work we've put in this year," said Army junior co-captain Gunnar Carroll. "It's definitely an exciting day for the program. We are going to focus on playing our game, and I think everything will work out. This season has been a lesson in resiliency. We didn't start the year the way we would have liked, but everyone stuck with the process, worked hard and the result is another Patriot League championship and NCAA Regional appearance."

Virginia earned an at-large selection into the field to secure its 10th straight NCAA Regional berth. It marks the 13th NCAA appearance overall for the Cavaliers, who will serve as a regional host for the seventh time in 10 years (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). The Cavaliers advanced to the College World Series in 2009 and 2011.

UNC Wilmington also earned an at-large berth into the Regionals after being eliminated from the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. It marks the sixth NCAA Regional appearance for the Seahawks since 2003.

Elon won the Southern Conference Tournament to earn the league's automatic berth to the Regionals. The Phoenix is heading to the NCAAs for the sixth time in its 14-year history of competing at the Division I level.

Army and Virginia have met six times previously, and the Cavaliers own a 4-1-1 advantage in the all-time series following last season's 9-1 victory against the Black Knights. Army has never faced either UNC Wilmington or Elon.

The 64 teams in the NCAA field will open play Friday, May 31, at 16 regional sites across the country. The winners of each of the 16 Regionals advance to the best-of-three Super Regionals, taking place June 7-10. The eight Super Regional winners travel to the College World Series to be held June 15-26 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 31

Game 1: #1 Virginia vs. #4 Army - 1 p.m.
Game 2: #2 UNC Wilmington vs. #3 Elon - 6 p.m.

Saturday, June 1
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 1 p.m.
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 6 p.m.

Sunday, June 2
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 1 p.m.
Game 6: Regional Championship Game (Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5) - 6 p.m.

Monday, June 3
Game 7: Second Regional Championship Game (Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6) - 6 p.m.
**Played if Game 5 winner wins Game 6**

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