By JOHN E. HOOVER World Sports Writer
Published: 5/31/2011 2:27 AM
Last Modified: 5/31/2011 3:48 AM
If familiarity breeds contempt, then the TCU Regional should be fun to watch.
Host and top-seed TCU, No. 2-seed Oklahoma, No. 3-seed Dallas Baptist and No. 4-seed Oral Roberts have been involved in 14 games over the past 15 months.
That includes last year’s Norman Regional, where the Sooners beat the Golden Eagles 7-6.
“It looks like a great field,” said OU coach Sunny Golloway. “It’s people that we’re familiar with. We played Oral Roberts in our regional last year. We play DBU and TCU every year. It’s a very familiar field for us.”
Said OU third baseman Garrett Buechele, “We know them well.”
OU, ORU and Oklahoma State were included in the 64-team NCAA Tournament. The field consists of 16 four-team regionals in a double-elimination format. Regional winners advance to next week’s best-of-3 super regional round, and eight super regional winners move on to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
ORU (36-20) is the 4-seed and plays top-seeded TCU (42-17) Friday at 7 p.m. in Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth. OU (41-17) is the No. 2 seed and plays 3-seed Dallas Baptist (39-17) at 2 p.m.
In midweek games this season, ORU lost at TCU, and the Horned Frogs lost twice to the Sooners. OU also lost to Dallas Baptist, which beat TCU twice.
“It’s a very, very solid regional,” said ORU coach Rob Walton. “I think there are four good teams in the regional and it could be anybody’s game.”
After missing the postseason last year, OSU (35-23) is the 2-seed in Nashville and faces third-seeded Troy (42-17) at 2 p.m. at Hawkins Field. Top-seeded Vanderbilt (47-10), the No. 6 national seed, meets 4-seed Belmont (36-24) at 7 p.m.
“We’re excited being in the tournament, and we just need to go out and play,” OSU coach Frank Anderson said. “Everybody is 0-0 … Nashville is a place where the ballpark plays pretty fair. We’ve got to pitch and play defense.”
At Fort Worth, Walton said TCU will be tough to beat.
“OU might be feeling good about it because I don’t think TCU’s beaten OU since ’96. So they’re probably feeling better than anybody at this point,” Walton said.
ORU is making its 14th consecutive regional appearance. It has won 18 of its last 22 games this year, although dropping a 6-4 decision at TCU on May 17.
“I don’t know if anybody’s done a better job than Jim Schlossnagle at TCU building that program,” Walton said. “They’re very athletic, very sound fundamentally, they’ve got power arms and they play the game right. Much deserving of being a No. 1.”
Golloway is leery of Dallas Baptist.
“DBU has a quality club,” Golloway said. “… To be an independent and earn it, you’ve got to be pretty special. They have a lot of wins against Big 12 opponents, including us, a 3-2 win here.”
The winner of the Fort Worth Regional plays the winner of the Houston Regional (Rice, Baylor, California, Alcorn State), while the winner of the Nashville Regional gets the winner of the Corvallis Regional (Oregon State, Creighton, Georgia and Arkansas-Little Rock).
The College World Series is June 18-29 in Omaha, Neb.
How to get tickets
Fort Worth Regional
Prices: $60 adults, $45 ages 3-17
On sale: 8 a.m. Thursday
Prices: $20 adults, $15 ages 3-17, $15 SRO
On sale: 8 a.m. day of game
Order: tulsaworld.com/fwregional, 817-257-7967
Prices: $65 adults, $55 ages 3-17
On sale: 8 a.m. Tuesday
Prices: $17 adults, $12 ages 3-17
On sale: 8 a.m. Tuesday
Order: tulsaworld.com/nashregional, 877-448-2639