The Missouri baseball team left Columbia for Stillwater, Okla., on May 17 for its final regular season series against Oklahoma State. The team didn’t return home after the series, instead choosing to travel straight to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
After 10 days on the road and a disappointing tournament in Oklahoma City, the Tigers returned home Sunday to get ready for NCAA regionals, which begin Friday.
They won’t have to travel far.
Missouri (40-16) found out Sunday it will host a regional tournament for the first time since 1965, when the Tigers played a three-game series against Saint Louis University.
Missouri joins Texas, the regular season Big 12 champion, and Texas A&M, which won the Big 12 Tournament, as the only schools in the conference to host a regional this year. The Tigers struggled in the tournament, losing two of their three games. Despite the poor showing, Missouri used strong conference play to propel itself to the postseason. A 40-win season, the benchmark for a successful college baseball season, also helped the Tigers’ case.
Regional play marks the first step to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Beginning with 64 teams, the field will be narrowed down to 16 by Sunday in the four-team double-elimination regionals. Those teams will go on to super regionals, which begin June 8. The final eight teams travel to Omaha for the College World Series, which starts June 15.
With the locations set, the Tigers now must wait to see who they will face at Taylor Stadium this weekend. The at-large teams and the top eight national seeds will be announced today at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN. The Missouri baseball team is hosting a watch party at T.K. Brothers restaurant, beginning at 11 a.m. today.
The Tigers’ regional schedule will have two games each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with an extra title game set for Monday if necessary. Unless rescheduling for television is required, the first game will be played a 1 p.m each day, with the second following at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at MUTigers.com until the ticket office opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday, when tickets can be purchased in person or by phone by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS. Beginning Friday, tickets will be available only at Taylor Stadium.