Thank goodness for North Greenville. We’ll have at least one team from the state still playing baseball as the calendar turns to June. The Crusaders won their super regional battle with Columbus State Saturday and will open play in the D-2 Championship Tournament in Cary, NC against West Chester of Pennsylvania Sunday night at 6:00 PM. The Crusaders are the #1 seed for the tournament.
The field for the D-1 Tournament will be announced early Monday afternoon. For the first time since 1973, there’s a chance the state of South Carolina will not be represented. Going into the weekend, Charleston Southern and Wofford had a chance to be automatic qualifiers by winning their conference tournaments, but The Bucs lost twice on Saturday to Campbell in the Big South, and Sunday Wofford dropped a pair to UNC-Greensboro in the Southern.
The season is over for Charleston Southern, but Wofford did win the SOCON regular season title, won 42 games and has an RPI of 35. The question simply is, will the Selection Committee take a second team from the SOCON. National baseball pundits do not think so.
USC, of course, is done with their first losing record since 1996. Clemson has 35 wins and a 34 RPI, but an embarrassing two-loss showing in the ACC Tournament doomed the Tigers according to the national analysts.
The College of Charleston won the CAA regular season crown and 37 games, but the Cougars are in a one-bid league, and that will go to the tournament champ Hofstra.
That leaves the state with Coastal Carolina. The 2016 national champions lost their only game in the Sun Belt Tournament which was reduced to single elimination because of the weather. But the league will get multiple bids. Louisiana won the tournament and gets the automatic entry. Georgia Southern was given a host site and thus is in the tournament. Texas State with a 26 RPI and Coastal with a 30 are also projected to make the tournament by Baseball America. The Chants are slated as a three-seed at the East Carolina Regionals.
The 16 regional sites, with host institutions and records are as follows:
- Auburn, Alabama – Auburn (37-19)
- Austin, Texas – Texas (42-18) *through games of 5/28
- Blacksburg, Virginia – Virginia Tech (41-12)
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina – North Carolina (38-19)
- College Park, Maryland – Maryland (45-12)
- College Station, Texas – Texas A&M (37-18)
- Coral Gables, Florida – Miami (FL) (39-18)
- Corvallis, Oregon – Oregon State (44-14) *through games of 5/28
- Gainesville, Florida – Florida (39-22)
- Greenville, North Carolina – East Carolina (42-18)
- Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Southern Mississippi (43-16)
- Knoxville, Tennessee – Tennessee (53-7)
- Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville (38-18-1)
- Stanford, California – Stanford (40-14) *through games of 5/28
- Statesboro, Georgia – Georgia Southern (40-18)
- Stillwater, Oklahoma – Oklahoma State (39-20)