Due to the ongoing (though much improving!) COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA is continuing to make alterations to their normal schedule through the end of the 2020-2021 athletics year. For College Baseball, this means that there will be 16 dedicated host sites chosen for the regional postseason round out of 20 potential nominees.
On that list, to the surprise on nobody, is the beautiful ballpark that TCU Baseball calls home, Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs, a top ten team and in first place in the Big 12 conference, have few, if any, remaining obstacles to hosting the first round of postseason play at home in front of what the governing body of NCAA Athletics has deemed will be a maximum crowd of 50% of capactiy.
Certainly, this has been a unique season, but the committee is very appreciative of all of the schools that submitted bids to host. We received a number of quality bids from schools around the country that were interested in being a part of this championship, including a few potential first-time hosts,” said Jeff Altier, chair of the committee and director of athletics at Stetson. “We are extremely excited to bring the Division I Baseball Championship back in 2021 and let the student-athletes, coaches and fans once again experience this terrific event.”
Two other Big 12 schools have also made the cut, and both are located in the Lone Star State. Another likely national seed, Texas, as well as Texas Tech - who owns series wins over both the Frogs and Longhorns — are likely to open their ballparks for play in June. Seven SEC teams also could see Regional rounds played on their field, as well as some less than traditional schools including Gonzaga, Louisiana Tech (who the Frogs took a series from earlier this season), and Notre Dame, which has been dominant in the ACC.
According to a press release from the NCAA, the designation of predetermined sites will have no bearing on the teams selected to participate or for seeding in the 2021 Division I Baseball Championship. The championship field will consist of 30 conference automatic qualifiers and 34 at-large qualifiers.
The final 16 predetermined sites will be revealed at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, May 30.
The bracket and pairings for the 2021 Division I Baseball Championship will be released at noon Eastern time Monday, May 31, on ESPN2.
All games of the 2021 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship will be broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks, starting with regionals June 4-7 and followed by super regionals June 11-14. The 2021 championship will culminate June 19-29/30 with the Men’s College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.
TCU will host ULM this weekend for a three game set, with Friday’s game set for 6:30pm and a double header happening Saturday to get away of incoming weather. The two game set will start at 1 p.m. with the series finale following approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The stadium will be cleared between games and a new ticket will be needed for the second game. Friday’s series opener remains on schedule at 6:30 p.m.
TCU enters the weekend ranked as high as No. 5 in the country. The Horned Frogs are 34-12 on the season and 16-5 in Big 12 play. TCU holds a one-game lead in the race for the regular season title with only a series at Kansas State remaining on their conference schedule.