Point Park draws the No. 2 seed in the Kingsport Bracket of NAIA Opening Rd
May 6, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. ET
NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round Kingsport (Tenn.) Bracket -- May 9-13, 2013
May 9, 2013 -- No. 2 Point Park (39-14) vs. No. 3 Missouri Baptist (31-11), 2:30 p.m. ET
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PITTSBURGH --No. 19-ranked Point Park University has drawn the No. 2 seed in the Kingsport, Tenn., bracket of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, as announced by the NAIA on Monday (May 6) with the NAIA Selection Show that aired live on the NAIA.org.
The Pioneers (39-14) will begin play in the 45-team national tournament May 9 versus No. 3 seed and No. 20-ranked Missouri Baptist (31-11) at Hunter Wright Stadium, site of the five-team Kingsport Bracket.
The Kingsport Bracket is being hosted by the Appalachian Athletic Conference and the Kingsport Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The No. 1 seed there is defending NAIA World Series champion Tennessee Wesleyan (43-16), ranked No. 8 in the NAIA Top 25 Poll. Tennessee Wesleyan won the AAC Tournament title and stays close to home.
After No. 1 seed Tennessee Wesleyan, No. 2 Point Park and No. 3 Missouri Baptist, the Kingsport Bracket also includes No. 4 seed Taylor (Ind.) (34-12) and No. 5 Benedictine-Springfield (Ill.) (23-23). The Kingsport Bracket is the closest site to Point Park's Downtown Pittsburgh campus with a driving distance of just over six hours.
First-round opponent Missouri Baptist and No. 5 seed Benedictine-Springfield are from the same conference -- the American Midwest Conference. Missouri Baptist had to rely on an at-large bid to nationals since it lost to Benedictine-Springfield, 9-3, in the AMC Tournament. Benedictine-Springfield went on to win the AMC title to earn the automatic bid out as the tournament champion.
Taylor, which lost to Point Park, 3-2, in the first game of last year's NAIA Opening Round in Marion, Ind., qualified as the champion of the Crossroads League Tournament, a league formerly known as the Mid-Central Collegiate Conference until this year. The Trojans are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25.Point Park (39-14) moved up two spots to No. 19 in Sunday's NAIA Baseball Coaches' Final Top 25 Poll, and had an automatic bid to the national tournament as the KIAC Tournament champion. Point Park is one of nine No. 2 seeds in the tournament. There are nine regional sites, each with five teams seeded No. 1-5.
Point Park is in the national tourney for the second year in a row and the 12th time in program history. The Pioneers went 3-0 last year at the Marion, Ind., NAIA Opening Round site to earn a berth in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. Lewiston will be a goal again this year with each of the nine opening round winners advancing there to the World Series May 24-31.
Point Park has won 13 of its last 14 games and enters the national tournament having gone 30-3 since March 23. The Pioneers lead the nation in hitting with an NAIA-best .344 team batting average. Point Park is eighth in the country in runs score per game at 7.56.
The Pioneers pitching and defense has been solid with the team fielding percentage of .964 ranking 25th in the NAIA and the team ERA of 3.40 ranking 28th nationally.