The Jacksonville University baseball team earned a berth to the NCAA Regionals on Monday and will open up regional play on Friday against the No. 3 seed Florida Atlantic at 6:30 p.m. in a double elimination format.
The Dolphins received an at-large bid as a No. 2 seed in the 2018 Gainesville NCAA Regional. This season’s regional appearance will be the 15th regional appearance in program history.
The team’s No. 2 seeding is the highest program history, and the team’s 39 win total is the highest total since the 2006 team won 43 games.
Head coach Chris Hayes said the team’s success this season is the result of great preparation and a strong sense of unity among teammates.
“They’ve worked extremely hard in preparing to have success,” Hayes said. “They have stayed locked in on trying to win the moment and help each other out. So the belief in each other and connection they have together is the strength of this team.”
Florida earned the top seed in the Gainesville regional. The Gators will square off with the Ivy League champion and No. 4 seed Columbia at 12:00 p.m. on Friday.
The Dolphins notched an 8-4 win over the Gators back in April, defeating the top-ranked squad for the first time since 2007. Jacksonville has also won eight of its last 10 games, and Hayes said this team is in a position to make some noise.
“I think we are in a really good spot,” Hayes said. “I think we have been extremely well lately. We have been swinging the bats well. Our pitchers have done a good job at keeping hitters off-balanced, and we are fielding the baseball extremely well. I look forward to seeing how we perform against the best in the country.”