INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –Announced this morning by the NCAA Division III Baseball Committee, No. 6 Cal Lutheran will play at one of four six-team regional sites. Additionally, there are four eight-team regional sites set to play for the opportunity to advance to the 2013 Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wis. from May 24-28.
The spring began with 439 baseball teams participating in the NCAA. The field is down to 56 teams competing in a double-elimination format tournament at eight regional sites beginning on Wednesday, May 15. Play will continue through Saturday for the six-team pods and through Sunday for the eight-team pods.
With four ranked teams, including three of the top-6 schools from the May 7 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Poll, the West Region bracket is one of the toughest in the country.
Cal Lutheran (34-7-1) enters the tournament, hosted by Concordia University Texas at Tornado Field, as the second seed behind national leader and top seeded, No. 1 Linfield (Ore.). Rounding out the pod as the number 3-6 seeds are No. 17 Texas-Tyler, Pomona-Pitzer, No. 3 Trinity (Tex.) and Texas Lutheran, respectively.
CLU and TU have never met on the diamond. This year Trinity won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championships and returns to the Postseason for the fourth consecutive year and eighth time in program history.
Cal Lutheran is back in the Postseason for the first time since receiving an at-large Pool C bid in 2009. CLU has appeared in 12 West Regionals, including 2013, and has advanced to play in the College World Series five times. In both 1996 and 1992 the Kingsmen was runner-up. Most recently, the Violet and Gold took the field on the largest stage in 1999, finishing third.
CLU earned an automatic bid by winning the Inaugural SCIAC Baseball Post Season Tournament.
Overall 38 conferences qualified via automatic qualification (AQ) and are considered Pool A. Joining CLU and Trinity in Austin, Tex. as AQ teams are Linfield (Northwest Conference) and Texas-Tyler (American Southwest Conference).
Pool B is made up of independent schools and schools that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for an AQ. Four teams earned Pool B bids this spring.
The remaining 14 berths were reserved for Pool C, which are schools from AQ conferences that were not the conference champion and any remaining Pool B teams. Both Pomona-Pitzer and Texas Lutheran were Pool C selections.
SCIAC rival, Pomona-Pitzer fell to Cal Lutheran in the SCIAC Post Season Tournament, but jumped in the regional poll to earn a chance to play in Texas.
The eight regional sites are at Rhodes (Tenn.), Concordia (Tex.), Augustana (Ill.), Wisconsin-White Water (Wis.), Misericordia (Pa.), ECAC (Harwich, Mass.), Ithaca (N.Y.) and Rose-Hulman Insititute of Technology (Ind.). The eight winners will meet at Fox Cities Stadium from May 24-28 for another double-elimination formatted tournament with the final team standing named National Champions.
A year ago Marietta defeated Wheaton (Mass.) 7-2 to win the sixth national title in school history. Marietta enters the playoffs as the number two seed in the Rose-Hulman bracket.