College baseball notebook: Conference tournaments to decide NCAA automatic bids and many at-larges

The field for the NCAA baseball tournament will take shape this week with conference tournaments determining most of the 30 automatic qualifiers. Also at stake are 34 at-large bids.

The 16 NCAA regional hosts will be announced Sunday and the rest of the 64-team field next Monday. The College World Series is June 14 through June 23 or 24 in Omaha, Nebraska.

A look at the tournaments in the power conferences:


Site: Truist Field; Charlotte, North Carolina.

Days: Tuesday to Sunday.

2023 champion: Clemson.

Top seed: North Carolina.

Short hops: The Tar Heels' 22 ACC wins match their most since 2018, and they head to Charlotte with wins in 10 of their last 11 overall. ... This is the 50th ACC Tournament and 26th played in the state of North Carolina. Only Virginia and Clemson have participated in all of them. ... Wake Forest's Chase Burns leads the nation with 169 strikeouts. ... Virginia's .340 batting average is best among Power Five teams and third overall.


Site: Charles Schwab Field; Omaha, Nebraska.

Days: Tuesday to Sunday.

2023 champion: Maryland.

Top seed: Illinois.

Short hops: The Illini won their first regular-season title since 2015. ... They have a conference-leading 103 home runs, 26 more than the next team, Maryland. ... Penn State's JT Marr is batting a conference-best .419. ... Camden Janik of Illinois is the nation's second-toughest batter to strike out, having fanned 10 times in 200 at-bats. ... Nebraska's Brett Sears (8-0) is among five unbeaten pitchers in the country with at least eight decisions.

BIG 12

Site: Globe Life Field; Arlington, Texas.

Days: Tuesday to Saturday.

2023 champion: TCU.

Top seed: Oklahoma.

Short hops: Sooners won their first regular-season title since 1995 in the old Big Eight. ... All 10 participating teams have a top-70 RPI, with seven in the top 50. ... Big 12 pitcher of the year Payton Tolle (7-3) of TCU enters with 116 strikeouts and a 2.96 ERA, both league bests. ... Conference player of the year Max Belyeu of Texas hit 11 of his 17 home runs in league games and is batting .341 with 14 doubles and 49 RBIs. ... Kansas State first baseman David Bishop has no errors in 354 chances after committing three in 178 at TCU last season.


Site: Scottsdale Stadium; Scottsdale, Arizona.

Days: Tuesday to Saturday.

2022 champion: Oregon.

Top seed: Arizona.

Short hops: This will be the final Pac-12 tournament with 10 of the 12 programs heading to different conferences. ... Arizona has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in country (3.42-to-1). ... Travis Bazzana's batting average of .429 for Oregon State is second nationally and his .587 on-base percentage is first. ... Arizona State and Southern California enter with six-game win streaks. ... Stanford (20-32) has lost 10 straight games and will have to win the tournament to get in a fourth straight NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal played in the last three College World Series. Their next loss would be their program-record 33rd.


Site: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium; Hoover, Alabama.

Days: Tuesday through Sunday.

2022 champion: Vanderbilt.

Top seed: Tennessee.

Short hops: Charlie Condon's 35 homers for Georgia are most since Lance Berkman finished with 41 for Rice in 1997. Condon's .451 batting average leads the nation. ... Arkansas' Hagen Smith is on track to set a Division I record for strikeouts per nine innings. He enters the tournament averaging 17.53. ... Tennessee's 11 grand slams are an SEC record. Arizona State holds the national record with 14 in 2003. ... Defending national champion LSU won four of its last five SEC series and 14 of its last 19 games to position itself for an NCAA at-large bid.


Tennessee and co-SEC regular-season champ Kentucky remained Nos. 1 and 2 in the and Baseball America polls. Clemson is No. 3 by D1Baseball and North Carolina is No. 3 by Baseball America.

Tennessee (46-10) ended the regular season with four straight wins, including a sweep of South Carolina. Kentucky (39-12) closed with a series win over Vanderbilt.

Clemson (40-13) swept Boston College and won the ACC Atlantic Division.


The SEC announced Monday it would use a double first base on an experimental basis in its conference tournament. The purpose is to reduce collisions between the defense and the batter-runner at first base. It has been used in several SEC nonconference games this season.

A white base will be to the inside of the base line; a green or orange base will be to the outside. A batted ball is fair if it hits or bounds over the white bag; it is foul if it goes over the colored bag without first touching or bounding over the white bag. When an initial play is being made on the batter-runner at first base, the defense must use the white section of the double base and the batter-runner must use the colored base except in the case of a dropped third strike.


The final two days of the Ivy League Tournament were moved from Columbia's campus stadium to Yogi Berra Stadium at Montclair (N.J.) State. A hole that formed in the artificial surface on the mound caused player safety concerns. ... Creighton coach Ed Servais announced Monday he will retire after his 22nd season in 2025. His 678 victories and .627 winning percentage are best in program history. ... Big Ten all-time coaching wins leader John Anderson of Minnesota went into retirement with a 4-2 win at Northwestern. The Gophers (25-23, 11-13) failed to qualify for the conference tournament. Anderson, 69, finished with 623 Big Ten wins and an all-time record of 1,390-1,018-3 (.577). He ranks 14th on the national career wins chart. ... Air Force (26-26, 18-12) finished one game ahead of New Mexico to win the Mountain West regular-season title for the first time.


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