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No. 12 Point Park receives at-large NAIA bid, will go to Marion, Ind., May 10-14

May 6, 2012 at 7:45 p.m.






NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Rd
Thursday, May 10

No. 12 Point Park vs. No. 24 Taylor (Ind.), 4 p.m. ET
at Indiana Wesleyan University (Wildcat Field), Marion, Ind.
(Download PDF Bracket a link above)

Marion, Ind. Bracket Quick Facts
Host: Mid-Central College Conference
Game site: Indiana Wesleyan University (Wildcat Field), Marion, Ind.
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students (per session). All-session pass $25
Point Park Hotel: Best Western Plus, Gas City, Ind. Phone: 765-998-2331


PITTSBURGH -- No. 12 Point Park University (48-9) received an at-large bid to the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round on Sunday night, and it will travel to Marion, Ind., May 10-14 to begin its quest to reach its first NAIA World Series since 1998.

Point Park will meet No. 24 Taylor (Ind.) in the first NAIA Opening Round game May 10 at 4 p.m. (ET). All games for the Marion, Ind., bracket will be played at Wildcat Field on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University.

Point Park came in tied for No. 12 in the Final NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Poll that was released Sunday evening. An hour later, it officially received word that it was awarded one of the 16 at-large bids to the national tournament. There are also 29 automatic bids to the national tourney, which begins with the NAIA National Championship Opening Round at nine sites around the country.

The nine opening round sites each include a five-team, double-elimination tournament. The nine winners join host Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho for the NAIA World Series May 25-June 1. Point Park is the No. 2 seed in the five-team bracket in Marion, Ind.

The Marion, Ind., tournament is being hosted by the Mid-Central College Conference, which is based in the town.

The Marion, Ind., bracket includes NAIA No. 9 Concordia (Calif.) as the top seed. Concordia (37-16) is the defending NAIA World Series champion and enters this year's tourney as the champion of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament.

The third seed in Marion, Ind., is NAIA No. 24 Taylor (Ind.). The Trojans (37-18) come in as the Mid-Central College Conference regular season champions and tournament runner-up. Point Park will face Taylor in its first game on May 10 with a time TBA.

Taylor lost in the finals of the MCCC Tournament to Mt. Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), which takes the No. 4 seed in the Marion bracket. Mt. Vernon Nazarene (33-18) will play No. 5 seed Doane (Neb.) (33-19), which qualified as the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season champion. Top seed Concordia will await the Mt. Vernon Nazarene-Doane winner.

Among the five teams in Marion, Ind., Point Park leads the field with 10 NAIA World Series appearances. Concordia has been to two with a title in 2011. Mt. Vernon Nazarene has two appearances, Taylor has one and Doane zero.

Point Park enters the national tournament with one of the top pitching staffs in the country. The Pioneers rank seventh in the NAIA with a team ERA of 3.00, and its top four starters all have ERAs under 2.55.

Point Park hits .318 as a team and averages 7.3 runs per game. The Pioneers have six starters hitting over .300 on the year.

The at-large bids were given to the first 16 teams in the final Top 25 poll that did not have an automatic bid already. Point Park received the fourth at-large bid that was handed out.

Point Park has reached the national postseason stage for the 11th time in school history. This is the first time the Pioneers are in the NAIA Opening Round, which was established in 2009.Point Park's 10 previous national appearances were their 10 NAIA World Series trips, the last of which came in 1998.

The No. 12 ranking is the lowest one all regular season for Point Park, which had been in the top 10 in every previous poll since the season began. Point Park was as high as No. 8 when it was 28-3.

Point Park is coming off a runner-up showing in the Unaffiliated Tournament in Kinston, N.C. The voters must have dropped the Pioneers based on their loss to tournament champion Asbury (Ky.) (18-37) in the finals. Still, Point Park battled through four, nine-inning elimination games to get to the final game.

Point Park's 48 wins are tied for second in the country, and they are three away from tying the school record for wins in a season. Point Park is in the NAIA national tournament for the first time since 1998, the last time it reached the NAIA World Series.




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