NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament: Examining The 48 Team Field

Franklin Pierce University heads into the NCAA D-II Baseball Regional Tournament as the top ranked team in the nation. The Ravens have lost just two games this season.

The NCAA Division II Baseball Selection Committee has announced its field of 48 teams for its 2015 Division II Championship tournament.

Division II selects six teams from each of their eight regions, using a weighted formula for seeding purpose. The eight Division II regions are Atlantic Region, East Region, Central Region, Midwest Region, South Region, South Central Region, and West Region.

Twenty of the 48 teams participating in the double-elimination regional tournament received automatic bids, according to the NCAA.

The Regional tournamants will take place from May 14-17 at the home field of the top-seeded team from each region. Each of the eight Regional Champions will advance to championship finals, which will also use a double elimination format. The finals runs from May 23-30 and will be played at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, with Mount Olive College serving as host.

Southern Indiana, which is not in this year’s championship field, won the 2014 title with a victory over Colorado Mesa.

The Following is a look at each of the eight regions. Click here for complete schedule and live stream.

Atlantic Regional

Mercyhurst University (35-8) earned the top seed in the Atlantic Regional and will serve as host of the region. Games will be played at Jerry Uht Park — the home of the Erie Seawolves, the AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers — in Erie, Pennsylvania, according to the school’s website.

The PSAC received four of the six bids while the Moutain East Conference and CIAA each received one bid apiece.

  1. Mercyhurst. The Lakers are the top seed and earned an at-large bid to the regional tournamnt. The Lakers shared the PSAC West title with Seton Hill and finished runners in the PSAC championship. This season marks the fifth consecutive season that Mercyhurst has won at least 30 games and 11th straight year they have finished with a winning record. The Lakers are ranked No. 10 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
  2. Millersville (42-9). The Mauraders earned the PSAC automatic bid by defeating Mercyhurst in the conference tournament finals. The PSAC title was Mercyhurst’s first in 17 years. Millersville also won the PSAC East crown and is No.9 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
  3. Seton Hill (42-11). Seton Hill finished tied for first in the PSAC West with Mercyhurst. The Griffins, led by USA Golden Spikes Award candidate Nick Sell, are making their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Seton Hill earned an at-large bid.
  4. Winston-Salem State (40-13). The Rams won the CIA title for a fifth consecutive season and earned an automatic bid. Winston Salem is ranked No. 21 in the country.
  5. West Chester (26-13). The Golden Rams are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid. This marks the first time, since winning the National Title in 2012, that the Rams are in the NCAA championships.
  6. West Virginia State (34-15). The Yellow Jackets are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 after receiving an at-large bid. The Yellow Jackets won the Mountain East for the second straight year.

The Erie Time News reports that Mercyhurst will open against West Virginia State, while Millersville will face West Chester and Seton Hill takes on Winston Salem State.

Central Regional

The St. Cloud Times reports that St. Cloud State will host the Central Regional at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

  1. St. Cloud State (51-3). The Huskies is ranked No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and has won 21 straight. The Huskies, who have the most wins in D-II this year, earned the automatic bid by winning the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. St. Cloud State has made the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years and seventh all-time.
  2. Minnesota State-Mankato (41-7). The Mavericks finished second in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to St. Cloud State and earned an at-large bid. The Mavericks are ranked No. 5 in the country by Collegiate Baseball. Minnesota State-Mankato has won five of the past six regional tournaments and is making its 34th appearance overall.
  3. Emporia State (39-14). The Hornets received an at-large bid after falling to Missouri Southern State in the Mid-American Athletics Association championship game. The Hornets are ranked third in the nation in home runs, fourth in slugging percentage, seventh in runs scored, eighth in hits, ninth in doubles and tenth in stolen bases, according to the school’s website. Emporia State is making its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 12 years and 11th overall.
  4. Southern Arkansas (39-16). The Muleriders received an automatic bid after winning the Great American Conference Tournament.
  5. Missouri Southern State (40-12). The Lions earned the automatic bid after winning the MIAA tournament and regular season titles. The Lions are ranked No. 16 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
  6. Henderson State (27-19). The Reddies earned their first ever NCAA Tournament bid after finishing runners-up to Southern Arkansas in the Great American Conference Tournament.

St. Cloud State opens the tournament against Henderson State, while Minnesota State-Mankato battles Missouri Southern State and Emporia State takes on Southern Arkansas.

Eastern Regional

The Keen Sentinel reports that Franklin Pierce University is hosting the regional tournament for the seventh time in the last 11 years at Pappas Field in Rindge, New Hampshire. Five of the six teams in this year’s regionals partook in the tournament last year, with Stonehill being the only “new” team to the tournament.

  1. Franklin Pierce (46-2). The Ravens are ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball with the nation’s fewest losses. The Ravens, who earned the Northeast 10 automatic bid, are making their 11th straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and 12th overall. Franklin Piece has won six regional tournament crowns.
  2. Stonehill College (33-13-1). The Skyhawks earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after advancing to the finals of the The Northeast 10 tournament finals. Stonehill is making its third ever tournament appearance.
  3. Southern New Hampshire (30-12). The Penmen are making their fourth straight NCAA appearance after receiving an at-large bid out of the Northeast-10.
  4. Wilmington University (33-12). The Wildcats received an automatic bid by winning the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Wilmington is making its fifth straight appearance.
  5. Dowling College (27-15). The Golden Lions are in the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Dowling entered the East Coast Conference tournament as the top seed but lost their first two games.
  6. St. Thomas Aquinas (27-17-1). The Spartan’s earned their third straight NCAA appearance after winning their third consecutive ECC crown. St. Thomas Aquinas is the defending East Regional champion.

Midwest Regional

Quincy University will host the Midwest Regional at the Lou Brock Sports Complex at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, according to the school’s website. Four Great Lakes Valley Conference teams (Quincy, Truman, Drury, and William Jewell) and two teams (Grand Valley State and Ashland) from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference received regional bids.

  1. Quincy (39-15). The Hawks earned an at-large bid after winning the GLVC West Division and falling to Drury in the conference tournament finals. Quincy is ranked No. 22 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
  2. Grand Valley State (34-16). The Lakers earned an automatic bid by winning the GLIAC conference tournament. GVSU, which won the Division II World Series in 2013, is making its 14th straight NCAA appearance — second longest current active streak in D-II according to the school’s website. The Lakers are winning 14-of-their last 17 games.
  3. William Jewell College (37-17). The Cardinals are making its first ever NCAA tournament appearance after receiving an at-large bid.
  4. Truman State (31-20). The Bulldogs are making their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.
  5. Drury (31-22-1). The Panthers received an automatic bid after winning the GLV conference tournament title. Drury has won 14-of-16 games.
  6. Ashland (36-19). The Eagles received an at-large bid, making it the 13th time in the past 17 years Ashland has reached the NCAA tournament.
  7. The first round matchups are Quincy versus Ashland, Grand Valley State vs. Drury and William Jewell vs. Truman State.

South Regional

The South Region is loaded with five teams ranked in the most recent Collegiate Baseball poll. No. 4 West Alabama will host the regional at Tartt Field in Livingston, Alabama.

  1. West Alabama (40-9). The Tigers received an automatic bid after winning the Gulf South Conference tournament and regular season crown. The Tigers have won 29-of-30 its past 30 games.
  2. Nova Southeastern (38-11). The Sharks won Sunshine State Conference, for the first time in program history, to receive an automatic bid. Nova set a program record for wins and is ranked No. 6 in the nation.
  3. Tampa (35-13). The Spartans received an at-large bid after finishing second in the Sunshine State. The Spartans received their 16th straight bid to the NCAA tournament. Tampa, which has won three national titles in the past 10 years, is ranked No. 8 in the nation, according to the school’s website.
  4. Florida Tech (36-11). The Panthers are in postseason play for the fourth time in eight years after receiving an at-large bid. Florida Tech is ranked No. 7 in the nation.
  5. Lynn University (34-13-1). The Flying Knights received an at-large bid, marking the first time in program history that they are in the tournament in back-to-back seasons. This will be the Flying Knights, who are ranked No. 14 in the nation, fifth tournament appearance overall. Lynn won the 2009 NCAA championship.
  6. Albany State (20-32). The Golden Rams are the only team in the tournament with a losing record and received an automatic bid after winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

West Alabama faces Albany State in the first round, while Nova Southeastern takes on Lynn and Tampa battles Florida Tech in the first round.

Southeast Regional

Catawba College will host the Southeast Region at Finch Field in Thomasville, North Carolina.

  1. Catawba (40-13). The Indians earned the No. 1 seed in the region despite going 2-3 in their last five games, including the Southern Atlantic Conference. Catawba is ranked No. 12 in the nation.
  2. Mount Olive (37-14). The Trojans earned an at-large bid to the tournament for their sixth straight appearance. TheTrojans have two regional titles and one World Series title to their credit. Mount Olive is ranked No. 24 in the country.
  3. North Georgia (35-15). The Nighthawks received an at-large despite losing to Georgia College in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The No.17 Nighthawks are making their second ever tournament appearance.
  4. Georgia College (33-17). The Bobcats earned their 11th NCAA bid, including third straight, by winning the Peach Belt Conference Tournament title. The Bobcats have two regional championships to their credit.
  5. Wingate (32-24). The Bulldogs earned the South Atlantic Conference automatic bid by winning the conference tournament. Wingate is making its first NCAA appearance since 2011.
  6. North Greenville (27-23). The Crusaders earned their first ever NCAA appearance by winning the Conference Carolinas.

South Central Region

Colorado Mesa will host the regional at the at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colorado, for the second straight year, according to the school’s website.

  1. Colorado Mesa (46-7). The Mavericks won their second straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament crown to receive an automatic bid. The Mavericks is ranked No. 3 in the nation and is making their 15th NCAA appearance. Colorado Mesa has now won a record 11 RMAC tournament crowns.
  2. St. Edward’s (40-11). The Hilltoppers earned the Heartland Conference automatic bid. st. Edward’s, the No. 15 ranked team in the nation, is making its fourth straight tournament appearance and fifth overall.
  3. Angelo State (37-15). The Rams are playing in their fifth NCAA tournament after earning the Lone Star Conference automatic bid by winning the conference tournament. The Rams led the Lone Star Conference in 14 statistical categories this season and are leading the region with a 3.03 pitching staff ERA. The No. 23 ranked team in the nation has outscored its opponents this season 286-177 according to the school’s website.
  4. Colorado State-Pueblo (39-14). The Thunderwolves received an at-large bid, giving them their ninth NCAA bid all-time. CSU-Pueblo is ranked No. 19 in the nation.
  5. West Texas A&M (35-18). West Texas is making its second ever NCAA appearance after receiving an at-large bid.
  6. St. Mary’s (38-14). St. Mary’s earned an at-large bid for its seventh NCAA tournament appearance.

West Regional

Cal Poly Pomona was selected to host the West Regional. The regional will be played at Mazmanian Field on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, according to the school’s website.

  1. Cal Poly Pomona (39-14). The Broncos won their first ever California Collegiate Athletic Association championship to receive the conference’s automatic bid. Cal Poly is ranked No. 13 in the nation.
  2. Azusa Pacific (32-18). The Cougars qualified for the NCAA tournament in their first year of eligibility.
  3. California Baptist (30-20).
  4. Dixie State (31-17).
  5. UC San Diego (33-19). UC San Diego is the only other team in the West Region ranked in Collegiate Baseball poll at No. 30.
  6. Point Loma (33-16).

[Photo via Franklin Pierce Athletics]