Eagles Set For Unaffiliated Tournament
WILMORE, Ky. – An improbable journey continues to Kinston, N.C. and Grainger Stadium as the Asbury baseball team will play in the Unaffiliated Tournament with the winner advancing to the NAIA Opening Round. Asbury will take on top seed in the tournament Point Park on Tuesday at 10 am.
The unaffiliated grouping pairs the KIAC along with the America Mideast Conference and the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Neither conference has the minimum six schools sponsoring baseball to receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament. Each conference is sending two teams to the tournament; Asbury secured their spot in the tournament by winning the KIAC Tournament for the first time in school history on Saturday, 2-1 over Indiana Southeast. The Eagles began the season 0-17 before turning things around in conference play.
Asbury posted a 9-7 KIAC mark and wrapped up the regular season at 11-36. In the tournament the Eagles won three straight games for the first time all season and will enter the Unaffiliated Tournament as the #6 seed and will face top seed and NAIA #10 ranked Point Park from Pittsburgh, Pa. Point Park is joining the KIAC this summer.
Point Park enters the tournament as one of only 13 NAIA programs with 40 wins this year at 44-7. The Pioneers were a perfect 7-0 in the three team AMC. They rank 7th in the NAIA in team ERA at 2.94. They enter the tournament on a 12-game winning streak.
IUS will also attend the tournament representing the KIAC as the #3 seed and the KIAC Regular Season Champions. The Grenadiers finished the regular season at 23-25 overall and 11-5 in the KIAC, in a first-place tie with Brescia but gained the top seed and the automatic bid to this tournament by beating Brescia in the season series.
Point Park’s AMC partner Fisher College from Boston will enter the tournament as the #5 seed at 21-27 overall. The Falcons also started the season with a long losing streak, dropping their first 14 before finally breaking through in the win column. The posted a 3-4 mark in AMC play, dropping all three against Point Park and sweeping four from Houghton (N.Y.).
Talladega (Ala.) College and Edward Waters (Fla.) are the two representatives from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Talladega will be the #2 seed and play Fisher on Tuesday at 2 pm while Edward Waters will be the #4 seed and play IUS on Tuesday at 6 pm.
Talladega enters with a 28-19 mark overall and a 9-2 record in the GCAC. They took four of six from Edward Waters during the season. Edward Waters enters with a 22-19-1 record.
The teams were seeded based on the weekly ratings that rank all 11 teams from the three conferences. Teams from the same conference were not allowed to meet in the first round of play. Each team will play a single game on Tuesday before two potential elimination games on Wednesday. It will take at least four wins to win the championship.