Update: I missed one of the at-larges. I had Texas Wesleyan in as a sure thing, but I was mistaken. Instead Cumberland took their spot. The Rams were strong throughout the first 3/4 of the season but had a bad last month. An extremely disappointing result for a team that battled adversity and some infamous national attention this spring when their now departed head coach virally announced that he wouldn’t recruit players from Colorado because he thought they’d fail the drug tests.
Here is my rationale for the last six in:
- Taylor – Despite being in the Perfect Game rankings the overwhelming bulk of the season, the Trojans were always at the end so they weren’t a sure bet. They play in the Crossroads League which should only get two bids, and Taylor went 1-2 in the tournament which two other teams to take the invites. Nevertheless, Taylor had already been named a host for the first round so they are going to get to play despite their finish.
- Keiser – Fell out dramatically at the end but started the season 24-6 and was on the cusp of the top ten. ‘Hawks have wins over tournament teams Point, St. Thomas, Bellevue, Weber International. Florida Memorial was better head-to-head, but Keiser looks better overall.
- UNOH – A quietly good team that played an aggressive non-conference schedule. Finished just behind Indiana Tech in the WHAC standings. Their 38 wins should put them in.
- Reinhardt – Wins over Madonna, Tennessee Wesleyan, Middle Georgia State and Bryan prove they are capable of winning against top tier teams. Have also slugged it out with Faulkner and Georgia Gwinnett.
- Jamestown – The Jimmies seem to annually get unwarranted love from the NAIA pollsters despite playing a hum-drum schedule. Since Bellevue is the only NSAA team represented, it gives them an excuse to back them in over Mayville State who they bested in the season series. Wins over Tabor and Benedictine University at Mesa don’t hurt their chances.
- Westmont – The Warriors are best of the remaining teams out of the west in regards to RPI and pedigree. They took a series from a red hot William Jessup along with another early win over the Warriors. Aside from the conference tournament were they went 1-2, they finished strong.
My rationale for the last six out:
- Tabor – The Bluejays are typically a shoo-in for the extended postseason, but weren’t particularly impressive this spring compared to season’s past. Wins over Bellevue, LSU-Shreveport and Oklahoma Wesleyan are nice, but they went 5-5 to close the season and IMHO are the first team out.
- Cumberland – The Phoenix looked like a lock a month ago, but struggled the last few weeks which included a stretch were they lost six in a row. Aside from winning a game over Cumberlands (but lost the series), the best wins by the three-time champs were early in the season in February and early March.
- Missouri Baptist – A slow start of the season in which they lost 10 of their first 15 games likely has sunk the Spartans. They came on strong over the second half of the season, very strong even, but Freed Hardeman and Lyon already make up solid representatives for the American Midwest Conference.
- Mayville State – The Comets have a high winning percentage, but that’s the virtue of playing in the North Star Athletic Conference. The NSAA is a two-team conference. Bellevue won the conference and Jamestown has the stronger head-to-head vs MSU.
- Florida Memorial – FMU has the RPI to get in by virtue of its top ten SOS, but their 26-21 overall records is not one which warrants extended post season play. They have wins over Taylor, WIU, Keiser and SEU, but too many loses.
- Columbia College – The Cougars has a strong season with series wins over tournament bound Lyon and Freed Hardeman, but I can’t image the AMC getting four teams into the national tournament. If a third school from the conference was going to make it in, MoBapt would get the nod.
|Host||Lock At Large||RPI Rank||SOS Rank||Perfect Game
|Perfect Game Highest
|Perfect Game Presn
|Science and Arts||SAC||*||10||134||5||4||12|
|Antelope Valley||Cal Pac||*||35||159||9||9||24|
|Middle Georgia State||SSAC||*||4||21||10||10|
|British Columbia||Cal Pac||*||48||119|