INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Announced late last night by the NCAA Division III Baseball Committee, Cal Lutheran will play at one of the four six-team regional sites in 2017 as in past years. There are four additional eight-team regional sites to accommodate the 56-team field set to play for the opportunity to advance to the 2017 DIII College World Series in Appleton, Wis. from May 26-31.
Cal Lutheran climbed four spots in the May 9 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) poll to No. 15 while the Kingsmen also find themselves ranked No. 16 in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA)/D3baseball.com poll, which was released the same day.
Each spring more than 375 Division III baseball programs step onto the diamond and today, 56 teams remain. All eight regional sites will use a double-elimination format beginning on Wednesday, May 18. Play for the six-team pods will continue through Saturday and through Sunday for the eight-team pods.
The West Regional will be hosted at Irwin Field by the University of Texas, Tyler in a bracket that again features many top teams from across the country. Host UTT is ranked No. 3 while third-seeded Centenary (La.) is No. 6. CLU, the second seed for the tournament, sits at No. 15 while fourth-seeded Linfield (Ore.) jumped to No. 27 after receiving votes the previous poll.
Like déjà vu, Cal Lutheran (30-10) opens the tournament as the No. 2 seed, this year behind host UT-Tyler (39-7). The remainder of the field includes Centenary (34-8), Linfield (30-13), Concordia University Texas (28-16) and Rhodes (Tenn.) (25-19) as the third through sixth seeds.
Game one for the Violet and Gold is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, May 18, sandwiched between game one and three at 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., respectively. The Kingsmen and Tornados last met in 2012 at the Arizona Desert Classic where CLU was blanked 5-0 by Concordia. Both live stats and a live video broadcast will be available online.
Cal Lutheran is appearing in the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the 15th time in school history and has advanced to the College World Series five times. In both 1996 and 1992 CLU was runner-up. Most recently, the Violet and Gold took the field on the largest stage in 1999, finishing third. The Kingsmen return to postseason play for the second straight spring.
Overall 41 conferences qualified via automatic qualification (AQ) and are considered Pool A. Earning berths via Pool A were Cal Lutheran (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), UT-Tyler (American Southwest Conference), Linfield (Northwest Conference), Rhodes (Southern Athletic Association) and Centenary (Southern Collegiate Athletic 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 and earned two bids this spring.
The remaining 13 berths were reserved for Pool C, which are schools from AQ conferences that were not the conference champion and any remaining Pool B teams. Concordia is the only Pool C bid to appear in the UT-Tyler bracket.
The eight regional sites in 2017 are Syracuse (N.Y.), Whitewater (Wis), Danville (Va.), York, (Pa.), Sauget (Ill.), Tyler (Texas), Washington (Pa.) and Harwich (Mass.), which are all different sites than a year ago.
From May 26-31, the eight winners will meet at Fox Cities Stadium for another double-elimination formatted tournament to crown a National Champion.
In 2016, Trinity (Texas) defeated Keystone (Pa.) to capture the first NCAA Division III Baseball title in program history, marking the second straight season the national champion team was a first-time winner. Trinity is not in the 2017 tournament and Keystone will play in the Mideast Regional hosted by Washington and Jefferson in Washington, Pa.
Release: 2017 NCAA Baseball Tournament
West Regional Website: West Regional Tournament Information (University of Texas, Tyler)
Playoff Central: D3baseball.com Tournament Central
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