FGCU Baseball Heading to NCAA Regionals
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team has been selected to the 2006 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship tournament as selected by the NCAA Division II Baseball Committee early Monday morning.
The committee selected 48 teams in eight geographical regions to participate in this year’s field. Each regional will comprise of six teams competing in double-elimination tournaments. Eight regional competitions will be played May 18-21, at eight on-campus sites. Regional champions will advance to the double-elimination championship finals May 27 to June 3 at Paterson Field in Montgomery, Alabama, which will be hosted by Valdosta State University and the city of Montgomery.
FGCU (39-15) is seeded second in the South Region and was one of 28 at-large teams to earn an NCAA bid. 20 conferences received automatic qualification into the 2006 championship.
The University of Tampa, the Sunshine State Conference Champions, is seeded first and is the host institution for the South Region. South Atlantic Conference champ Catawba College is the No. 3 seed while Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Albany State University is seeded No. 6. Florida Southern College, seeded No. 4, and Lynn University, seeded at No. 5, were the other two at-large selections in the South Region.
FGCU will meet the Lynn Fighting Knights of the SSC, a team that they split four games with during the regular season, in their first game of the double-elimination tournament on Thursday at 3 p.m. in Tampa. The Eagles, who tied a school record for wins in a season this spring, posted a 10-6 record against teams selected for this year’s South Region field.
The winner of the LU/FGCU game will face the winner of the Catawba/Florida Southern game at 7 pm on Friday, May 19. The loser will face the loser of the Tampa/Albany State contest at 11 am on Friday.
The Eagles feature six regulars hitting better than .330 and are hitting .328 as a team. Senior third baseman Jason Louwsma (.373-9-69) is the team’s top offensive threat. Junior right-handers Justin Stiver (6-4, 3.64) keys a pitching staff that has registered a 3.46 team ERA.
This year marks the 39th annual championship, and the 22nd consecutive year that the finals will be held in Montgomery, Alabama.
South Regional Seedings
1. Tampa 46-6
2. Florida Gulf Coast 39-15
3. Catawba 44-12
4. Florida Southern 38-17
5. Lynn 33-21
6. Albany State (Georgia) 23-31