MAY 12, 2014 – Today at 6 p.m., the Southern Polytechnic State University baseball team begins play at the NAIA National Championship Opening Round as the top seed among the five squads in the Daytona Beach Bracket. Southern Polytechnic’s first game is against the winner between No. 4 seed Tennessee Wesleyan College and fifth-seed Louisiana State University at Alexandria, which squared off in the tournament’s opening contest on Monday at 10 a.m.
The opening rounds are scheduled May 12-15 at nine sites across the country. Each site features a five-team, double-elimination tournament with the winners joining host Lewis-Clark State College at the 58th annual Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, May 23-30. For more information, check out the official website of the 2014 NAIA Baseball National Championship (www.naia.org), which includes the tournament bracket, schedule, links to live statistics and video, and more.
SPSU, which received 413 points in this week’s NAIA coaches’ poll to rank ninth nationally, earned an automatic bid to the national tournament after claiming the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament title last weekend. The team is making its seventh trip in the last eight seasons and 10th overall to the NAIA national event. The Hornets, under second-year head coach Marty Lovrich, are 42-16 overall and ended 20-9 during SSAC regular-season play for third place. SPSU is one of the hottest teams in the nation with 18 wins in its past 20 contests.
Along with SPSU, Tennessee Wesleyan College (TWC), Athens, Tenn., (33-22-1 overall), and Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LSUA), (34-23), other clubs competing in Daytona Beach, Fla., are host Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, (37-19), the No. 2 seed, and third-seed Talladega College (Ala.), (39-18). Embry-Riddle is rated No. 15 in the NAIA while Talladega is 30th, TWC No. 35 and LSUA 38th.