Beavers top national seed, host Corvallis Regional

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The Oregon State Beavers are the No. 1 national seed in baseball’s postseason for the first time in school history.

The Beavers will host UNLV, UC Irvine and North Dakota State in the Corvallis Regional this weekend at Goss Stadium to kick off the NCAA tournament. Oregon State’s highest national seeding previously was No. 3 last season.

The Beavers are headed to the postseason for the sixth consecutive season and 15th time overall. It is the fifth time the team will host a regional.

The NCAA tournament opens Friday with 16 four-team, double-elimination regionals. Best-of-three super regionals will be held next week, with those winners moving to the College World Series in Omaha.

“It’s really special to be number one for our players,” head coach Pat Casey told reporters at a selection party on Monday morning. “It’s a long haul. Hopefully it rejuvenates them a little bit, gets them going a little bit.”

The Beavers finished the regular season 42-12 and claimed the Pac-12 title for the second straight year. The Division I Baseball Committee on Monday made Oregon State the top seed over SEC regular-season winner Florida (40-21).

The Beavers open Friday night with North Dakota State, which went 25-24 and 10-12 in the Summit League.

The Bison, making their first NCAA Div. I postseason tournament appearance, claimed their first Summit League tournament title with a 9-0 win over Western Illinois on Saturday. They are the regional’s No. 4 seed.

Regional No. 2 seed UNLV, which finished 35-23 overall and 20-10 in the Mountain West, will open with Friday’s early game against third-seeded UC Irvine, which was 35-22 overall record and was 15-9 in the Big West.

The Rebels are making their first postseason appearance since 2005.

“I’m glad we are going to Corvallis,” UNLV coach Tim Chambers said. “It is going to be a tough bracket but I am happy that we are a No. 2 seed. This team has grinded it out all year long. I don’t know if there is a team in the country that has been through as much as we have been through as far as injuries are concerned.”

The Anteaters, who slumped to finish the regular season with six straight losses, are making the program’s eighth postseason appearance in the past 11 years.

The winner of the Corvallis Regional will face the winner of the Stillwater Regional, which includes Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Cal State Fullerton and Binghamton.

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