Indianapolis, Ind.-- The University of Maine baseball team, which has won 17 of its last 18 games, will face the national number three seed University of North Carolina in its first NCAA Baseball Championship appearance since 2006. The Black Bears received the four seed in the Chapel Hill Regional as announced by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee on Monday afternoon on ESPN.
The Black Bears and Tar Heels will square off at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 3 at UNC's Boshamer Stadium. Florida International and James Madison round out the four-team Chapel Hill Regional.
America East teams have won NCAA Regional games in each of the last two years. Stony Brook eliminated North Carolina State last season, and Binghamton upended George Mason in the 2009 tournament.
Maine (32-22) received an automatic berth to the NCAA Baseball Championship by winning the America East Championship with three straight wins last week. Junior centerfielder Taylor Lewis earned Most Outstanding Player honors with a .417 (5-for-12) batting average in the tournament. The Black Bears also got solid performances out of their starting pitchers as Keith Bilodeau, Jeff Gibbs and Stephen Perakslis pitched a combined 22.1 innings, giving up just 11 hits, four earned runs and striking out 18 batters in their tournament starts.
The Black Bears are 5-12 in six NCAA Championship appearances since 1990. In the program's last NCAA appearance in 2006, Maine also faced North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels (45-14) reached the NCAA Championship as an at-large team. UNC won last year's regular-season, three-game series against the Black Bears, 2-1, and swept Maine's America East foe Stony Brook, 3-0, earlier this season. Four Tar Heels earned All-ACC distinction this season, led by ACC Freshman of the Year, Colin Moran, a third baseman who also earned first-team honors.
Each of the 16 regionals features four teams, playing a
double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted
from Friday, June 3, to Monday, June 6 (if necessary).
2011 NCAA Chapel Hill Regional Schedule
Friday, June 3
Game 1: # 2 FIU (40-18) vs. #3 James Madison (40-17), 1 p.m.
Game 2: #1 North Carolina (45-14) vs. #4 Maine (32-22), 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 4
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 5
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.
Monday, June 6
Game 7: 6 p.m. - If necessary