- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The University of Texas was selected Monday as the top seed for the 64-team Division I baseball tournament.

The Longhorns (41-13-1), who won the Big 12 tournament for the fourth time, will host one of 16 four-team, double-elimination regionals that begin Friday. It’s the second time Texas, coached by Division I career victories leader Augie Garrido, has been the No. 1 overall seed.

“It’s an honor to be the No. 1 seed, but we know all too well that being named No. 1 by someone doesn’t get you anything,” Garrido said. “You have to go play the games to earn the No. 1 that means something.”

The ACC had seven teams selected, including Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia. The Cavaliers will face San Diego State and likely ace right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals’ presumptive No. 1 draft pick, in the first game.

The other national seeds, in order, are Cal State Fullerton (42-14), LSU (46-16), North Carolina (42-16), Arizona State (44-12), UC Irvine (43-13), Oklahoma (41-18) and Florida (39-20).

The 16 regional winners move on to the best-of-three super regionals beginning June 5. The eight super regional winners advance to the College World Series, which begins June 13 in Omaha, Neb.

“We had an opportunity to fully vet and understand the teams that we had available to us - the positives, the negatives - and the things associated with them,” selection committee chairman Tim Weiser said. “At the end of the day, we felt comfortable with the field that we have.”

Defending national champion Fresno State, the first team to win it all as a No. 4 seed in a bracket, will play UC Irvine in the first round of the Irvine, Calif., regional. UC Irvine is ranked No. 1 in most national polls but is in arguably the tournament’s toughest bracket. It includes ACC champion Virginia and San Diego State.

Coach Tony Gwynn said the Aztecs likely will follow their usual practice of leading off a series with Strasburg, who is 13-0 with a 1.24 ERA. He said there is no temptation to hold back Strasburg “because of the toughness of our bracket.”

“I watched Virginia play Florida State yesterday, and they’ve got a good team,” Gwynn said Monday. “They hit the ball, they’ve got good pitching. They’re a solid club. Irvine’s the one seed. They’ve been No. 1 for like the last five weeks, so we know they’re solid. And Fresno’s the defending national champion.”

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