The cheering and shouting from Ohio State baseball players reached such a crescendo that it sounded as though they were celebrating a winning home run, and in a lot of ways their selection to the NCAA tournament Monday was quite a clout for a team that has to grind for everything it gets.

The Buckeyes were pretty certain they would receive an at-large bid after winning losers bracket games against Iowa and Michigan in the Big Ten tournament, having an RPI of 39 and the 35th strongest schedule in the nation.

>> Video: Ohio State baseball coach Greg Beals talks about making NCAA tournament

Just the same, there was bedlam when the players saw they were the No. 3 seed in the Greenville (N.C.) Regional and would play second-seeded South Carolina (33-24) in the first round at 2 p.m. Friday. Host and top seed East Carolina (43-16) plays North Carolina-Wilmington (32-21) at 7 p.m.

“I felt really good about our chances coming into today but your destiny is 100 percent in the hands of a committee, so you are not 100 percent sure,’’ coach Greg Beals said. “You see your name go up on the board and there are some pretty good fist pumps. Then I went into the compete mode (scheduling scouting reports).’’

Ohio State (36-22) made the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons. The last time that happened was in ’07 and ’09.

The grinding mentality paid off in the Big Ten tournament when the Buckeyes defeated Iowa 2-0 and Michigan 5-3 in losers’ bracket games. They were eliminated by Minnesota 8-1 in a semifinal.

“We deserve to be in the NCAA tournament,’’ infielder Noah McGowan said. “We were confident we were going to get in. I like our matchup.’’

Outfielder Dominic Canzone noted that Illinois was one of the last teams left out of the NCAA tournament despite winning the same number of games in the conference tournament as the Buckeyes and finishing fourth in the regular season.

“Winning two of three games against Illinois during the regular season had a lot to do with (our being selected),’’ Canzone said. “We had to grind out those last three games (in the conference tournament) knowing we had a regional to play for.’’

The committee gave the Buckeyes a favorable draw in that they weren’t placed in a regional against any of the top eight overall seeds.

“We think we have a real good chance of winning at East Carolina,’’ Canzone said.

Senior Seth Kinker, a reliever, watched the selection show with quiet confidence in The Boardroom restaurant in Value City Arena during the selection show.

“We were very, very confident in the body of work we’ve come up with the whole year,’’ Kinker said. “I think we played the hardest Big Ten schedule by far. We’ve proven day in and day out that we can compete with the top teams. We were just excited to see our name pop up there. It didn’t matter where we were going.’’

When he was hired before the ’12 season, Beals said he wanted his teams to play for the Big Ten championship and get into the NCAA tournament on a yearly basis.

This team is close to his heart because it has overcome shortcomings defensively and with starting pitching.

“I love the character and the fight in this group,’’ he said. “We go to the Big Ten tournament trending poorly in the season and got into the losers bracket with our backs against the wall and play two of our best games of the year against Iowa and that team up north. I have no worries about this team having a feeling of momentum and being ready to play Friday afternoon.’’

mznidar@dispatch.com

@markznidar