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Georgetown College baseball returns to the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Rounds following a 35-17 season and finishing No. 21 in the most recent coaches' poll. The Tigers travel to Montgomery, Ala. as the third-seeded team in that bracket.
Joining GC is host No. 1 Faulkner University (47-10), No. 16 Texas Wesleyan (40-16), Indiana Tech (31-16) and Mount Vernon Nazarene (32-15).
The Tigers, the eighth at-large seed for the tournament, will play 3 pm CST, 4 pm EST, Thursday against TXWU. The Rams finished as runner-up in the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament to punch their ticket to the opening rounds.
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TXWU is making its third appearance in the opening rounds since the NAIA started this format in 2009. It is 6-4 overall in postseason, but has never advanced to the final site in Idaho.
Georgetown went 0-2 a season ago in its first ever appearance in the opening rounds.
Tech and Mount Vernon will kick the day off on Thursday with a four verse five seed game, the winner earns a date with Faulkner. The winner of that game plays the winner of Georgetown and the Rams in the championship of the winner's bracket Friday. Other bracket dates and times are unclear at the time of this article.
"This past year it was great to make our first appearance, but this year we've been there and now we want to show what we can do," said GC coach Micah Baumfeld. "It is a tough bracket, but when you narrow the field down to 45 schools what isn't tough. We will have to through top-seeded and number one Faulkner. No different than being in a bracket this past year with eventually champion Tennessee Wesleyan.
"We have to focus on what Georgetown does and play really clean baseball."
GC and TXWU are eerily similar in every category but pitching. With three less games played, as a team the Tigers are batting .303, slugging .403 with 20 homeruns and a .956 fielding percentage. The Rams are batting .313, with a .426 slugging percentage with 23 homeruns and a .961 fielding percentage. However, GC's pitching staff has an earn run average of 3.31 to Wesleyan's 5.71.
Faulkner, Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament Co-Champion, is making its fourth appearance in the opening round format. The Eagles are 3-5 overall with one title to advance to the final national tournament site. Tech is making its fifth appearance with an overall record of 6-8, but has never advanced. It is Mount Vernon's fourth time with a 3-6 record and also has never advanced.
Eight other hosts sites with five teams at each were also announced Monday afternoon.
Mid-South Conference regular season champion No. 13 Cumberland University is heading to Joliet, Ill. and No. 22 Lindsey Wilson College, winner of the tournament, is heading to Daytona, Fla.