Three PBC Baseball Teams Reach NCAA Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS, IND – Three Peach Belt Conference baseball
teams learned late Sunday that they are among the 48 teams who will
compete for the national championship as the field was released by
the national office. Francis Marion will host the six-team
southeast regional in Florence, S.C. where they will be joined by
Georgia College & State University and Columbus State
Francis Marion, who are ranked fifth in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II Top 30 poll, own a 38-12 record and will face sixth-seeded and 20th-ranked Erskine College (40-15) in Thursday’s final contest (time to be determined). This will be Francis Marion’s sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament, and fifth in the past eight seasons. Head coach Art Inabinet guided the 2006 Patriot squad to a 41-18 mark, the regional championship, and the school’s only appearance in the World Series. Last year, FMU was 2-2 in the Southeast Regional.
Georgia College returns to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. The PBC regular-season champions, the Bobcats are 35-15 overall on the year and were 19-5 in conference play. Ranked #8 in the nation, the Bobcats are the third seed for the regional and will take on fourth-seeded Mt. Olive, ranked #6 in the nation. GCSU and PBC Coach of the Year Tom Carty will be seeking the school’s first trip to the Division II World Series since 1995.
Columbus State won the 2010 PBC Tournament over Georgia Southwestern 6-5 late Sunday night and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA field. The Cougars did not need the automatic bid, as they were in line for an at-large berth, but the tournament championship lifted the Cougars to the #2 seed in the southeast. 42-10 on the year and ranked 10th nationally, the Cougars make their fourth trip to the NCAAs in the last five years. CSU won the 2002 national championship. Columbus State will meet fifth-seeded Catawba, ranked #23 in the nation.
The regional winner advances to the Division II World Series, May 22-29, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Lynn University is the defending national champion, while Mount Olive won the 2008 title.
The Southeast Regional could arguably be the toughest regional in the nation as it is the lone one to boast four teams ranked in the Top 10.
Thursday’s opening-round times will be announced soon.