NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament: Examining The 48 Team Field

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.