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16 regional sites selected by NCAA

Defending national champion Cal State Fullerton was selected
Sunday as one of the 16 regional tournament hosts by the NCAA
Division I baseball committee.

The Titans (41-14), led by star right-hander Ricky Romero and
outfielder Sergio Pedroza, are trying to become just the fifth
program to repeat as College World Series champions.

The Southeastern Conference -- with Florida, Louisiana State,
Mississippi and Tennessee -- and Atlantic Coast Conference -- with
Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Miami -- led the field with
four regional hosts each.

The Big 12 had three representatives selected: Baylor, Nebraska
and Texas.

"There were very, very, very few slam dunks this year to
host," committee chairman Charlie Carr said. "You could split
hairs between maybe 25 of them. This was maybe the toughest
decisions we've had to make since I've been involved."

Pac-10 champion Oregon State (41-19) will host for the first
time since the NCAA went to a regional format in 1975.

"This is great news for everyone involved with Oregon State
baseball," Beavers coach Pat Casey said. "For our team, our
staff, and especially our fans because they're going to be able to
watch us play in the postseason. They've given us a tremendous
home-field advantage this season."

Long Beach State, Mississippi and Tulane will be hosting
regionals for the second time. The other host is Arizona State.

"One of the criteria is geographical distribution, but it's one
of many factors that go into it," said Carr, also the senior
associate athletic director at Florida State. "The most overriding
factor is trying to reward success."

Each of the 16 host schools are guaranteed berths in the 64-team
tournament, which starts Friday. The rest of the field, including
the top eight national seeds, will be announced by the committee
Monday.

Each of the four-team, double-elimination regionals will be
played on campus sites from June 3-6. The winners of each regional
will advance to the super regionals, played June 10-13.

The eight winners of the super regionals will play in the
College World Series, which starts June 17 in Omaha, Neb.

Carr said the committee received over 40 bids from schools to
host in the postseason.

"It was a similar number to what we've had in the past," Carr
said. "It's a great representation of our college baseball
membership."

Florida State will be hosting for the 24th time, while Miami and
Texas are hosts for the 21st time since the regional format
started.

Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami,
Mississippi and Texas each hosted regionals last year. Long Beach
State didn't, but hosted a super regional.

The committee received a bid from Big East regular-season
champion St. John's, representing the Northeast -- an area that
rarely bids for or plays host to regionals. But the Red Storm lost
their two games in the conference tournament and don't have the
attendance numbers many of the other schools awarded regionals do.

"Their bid was certainly within the guidelines of our
parameters and we certainly gave them consideration," Carr said.
"There were so many bids that were so close."

Cal State Fullerton is trying to join Texas (1949-50), Southern
California (1970-74), Stanford (1987-88) and Louisiana State
(1996-97) as repeat national champions.

The remaining at-large teams, top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced at 11:30 a.m. ET, Monday, May 30, during a live, half-hour program on ESPN.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.