If the Miami Hurricanes want to make it back to the College World Series to end the 2021 season, it will involve plenty of time away from their Coral Gables campus.
The 'Canes were selected as one of the 64 teams for the NCAA Baseball Tournament on Monday, with No. 2 seed Miami in the Gainesville Regional to take on South Alabama in their opener Friday at 5 p.m.
"Great feeling to return there, especially the way we started the season," said right handed pitcher Jake Garland, speaking about Miami's series victory over Florida to start the 2021 season.
A rival of the 'Canes, the nationally seeded Gators are the only school in the Sunshine State to host a regional when No. 1 seed UF (38-20) takes on USF in their opener scheduled for Friday.
"You've been in that environment and you're used to that field already, so it does help," outfielder Christian Del Castillo said about the return trip.
UM (32-19) ended the regular season on a hot streak, winning eight of their final 10 games including series sweeps over Appalachian State and then-No. 19 ranked Louisville.
Miami's luck changed when they entered the ACC Tournament last week, dropping each of their two games against both Duke and rival Florida State.
"It's going to be over for a lot of teams after this weekend," head coach Gino DiMare said. "I know a lot of teams had their ups and downs this season. We had our chances, but we couldn't score enough runs."
The Seminoles (30-22), who won each of their four games against Miami in 2021, were also selected for the tournament in the Oxford, MS Regional as a No. 3 seed, where they will take on Southern Miss on Friday at 3 p.m.
Another state school, Jacksonville, made the tournament field after winning their conference tournament last weekend. The Dolphins will travel to the Columbia, SC Regional and face Old Dominion.
The NCAA selected locations for both the Regional and Super Regional rounds, keeping the tournament out of Mark Light Field for the fourth straight tournament.
"We just want to get back there," said right handed pitcher Daniel Federman in referring to Omaha, site of the College World Series which Miami has not appeared in since 2016.