The Sam Houston State Bearkats were confident enough in their overall body of work to know that a disappointing showing by the Southland Conference regular season champions in the conference tournament would be overlooked when it came to the field of 64 regional selections.
But they waited in suspense as 14 regional sites were announced with a few automatic spots left and at-large bids yet to be filled. Then Sam Houston drew the No. 3 seed in the Houston Regional, pitted against No. 2-seed Arkansas on Friday for a chance to play the winner between Rice and Prairie View A&M, both teams Sam Houston has defeated earlier in the season (Rice and SHSU split two games).
"It was nerve-wracking. We thought we were going to be picked to the (Texas) A&M Regional to go there and it didn't come up," Sam Houston senior pitcher Justin Jackson told The Huntsville Item. "I looked at our chances and said I don't know, but it came up finally. We waited a long time. It was a great feeling. ...
"Each time they said (this was a bubble team that got in) and our name didn't pop up there, you just thought that it wasn't going to happen."
"There were a lot of emotions," senior outfielder Jake Arrington said. "You want to get in and if you don't, there's nothing you can do about it. We had done everything we could up to this point."
Read more about the NCAA Baseball Tournament at SB Nation Houston.