The DII South Region Seventh Berth

The DII baseball regionals will be announced late this evening, Sunday May 13th. Looking at the South region, there is one spot up for grabs. Following is the most recent region rankings that was posted last week:


School  Record  In Region Record






Delta St.




Fla. Southern




Nova Southeastern








Mississippi Col.




North Ala.




West Florida




West Ga.



Tampa, Delta State, Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern are all unquestionably in. Mississippi College won the Gulf South conference title. The makes five bids secured for the seven team region. The winner of the SIAC, Albany State, will take a sixth beth.

Per the rankings, that leaves Montevallo, North Alabama, West Florida and West Georgia competing for the final spot.

  • North Alabama lost eight of their last night games. On that alone they absolutely should not get a postseason invite. There are other reasons as well, including a sub .500 road record and 20 overall losses, but the finish is inexcusable. They are out.
  • That leaves Montevallo, West Florida and West Georgia.
  • West Georgia is unranked in any of the three most prominent rankings and finished sixth in their conference standings. They do have a pair of wins over Georgia College, but they were in early February. They can also claim a win over Delta State, but that that was won in the bottom of the ninth with two outs at home. Nevertheless, despite those wins, an unranked team that finished sixth in their conference and then proceeded to go 1-2 in their tournament does not deserve an at large bid.
  • That leaves Montevallo and West Florida. Those two teams are a bit of a toss-up.
  • Montevallo is not ranked in the latest NCBWA or Perfect Game rankings but is 23rd in the Collegiate Baseball rankings. West Florida is not ranked in any of the three. Neither Montevallo nor West Florida have any wins against any team ranked in the current Top 25 of any of the three rankings (CORRECTION: Montevallo swept Bellarmine to start the season. The Knights are 24th in the NCBWA rankings). Their best wins would be over Mississippi College and each other. Actually, Montevallo did They split their season series 2-2. Montevallo finished ahead of UWF in the conference rankings, but it was by a single game. UWF has an edge in RPI, coming in at 28 as opposed to Monevallo’s 38.

Selecting one over the other is a real predicament. However, in reality its a decision that doesn’t need to be made at all. The team that absolutely should get the final at-large bid isn’t either of them. It is St. Leo. Unquestionably.

Unlike Montevallo and UWF, the Lions are ranked in all three major polls. St. Leo is 23rd in the NCBWA, 18th by Perfect Game and 13th by Collegiate Baseball. The Lions also have a pair of Top 25 wins, taking two on the road against Florida Southern – possibly the top team in the nation. Against teams in the Gulf South, the conference of Montevallo and West Florida, 6-2. Those teams were UAH, Lee and West Alabama. Against those same teams Montevallo went 4-3 and UWF went 5-2.

In regards to overall winning percentage, St. Leo is the clear cut favorite. They finished the season 38-11, .776%. Montevallo finished 35-17, .673% and UWF 32-19 at .627%.

The same carries over in conferences winning percentage. Leo, who plays in the Sunshine State, arguably the DII baseball conference, finished 21-9 .700% while Montevallo was 20-9, .690% and West Florida was 19-10, .655% in the Gulf South.

In regards to RPI, St. Leo was 12th at last check. As mentioned previously, West Florida was 28th and Montevallo was 38th.

Over the past month, since April 11th, St. Leo has gone 12-3 (two losses were by one run). Montevallo has gone 8-5 and UWF has gone 7-8.

If St. Leo does not receive the seventh bid, there is something foul afoot. They are unquestionably the superior team to Montevallo, North Alabama, West Florida and West Georgia. The only thing those schools could point to in regards to any of them being superior would be St. Leo’s SOS. However, the Lions strength of scheduled was torpedoed by two series, Bridgeport and Wisconsin-Parkside. Had games against those clubs not been on their slate, their SOS would be much better. If the Gulf South manages to get a third team into the region rather than a fourth Sunshine State club the only explanation would be that someone is manipulating the system – that is using their inside position to jockey for another GSC club. If that occurs, it would be monumentally unfair and a travesty.

Personally, I have zero skin in this game. I have no ties to St. Leo nor any bias against the Gulf South nor any of its members. In fact, historically if you look at the rankings I’ve spearheaded I’ve likely have had UWF positioned higher than other publications. I’ve also kept Montevello on my short list of dark horses for the past several years. I’d like to see each of those clubs be successful.

Nevertheless, I’ve watched the Lions position in the regional rankings suffer this season and haven’t been able to come up with a single reason why they’ve been overlooked. They deserve that last spot.

What I really wish were the situation is one where the South region had eight teams. Its preposterous that it doesn’t have that many when other regions do. I’d very much like to see Montevallo have the opportunity to continue to play. I feel that they are worthy of extending their season as well. Anyone who signed on to that region getting less spots than others deserves a stern talking to.

Of course what I really, really wish is that the DII regionals had 64 teams instead of only 56. There are four regions that only have seven bids and two that only allow six. If this were amended the this situation wouldn’t exist. There’d be room for St. Leo, Montevallo and a third school. It would then create the problem where a decision would be made in selecting UWF, West Georgia or North Alabama for that final spot, but in this case the team that made it in should be considered more fortunate to continue playing than the others should feel slighted considering their overall merit would be questionable.

Of course what I really, really, really would like is to see the conferences tied to regions removed all together. The South and Southeast are punished for being good at baseball. The current allocation system creates a final eight with a representative from each section of the country, but for the benefit of awarding a true champion, this system should allow the top teams an equal opportunity to earn their way to the finals. Tampa, Delta State, Nova Southeastern and Florida Southern shouldn’t have to battle it out in a region. Likewise North Greenville, Belmont Abbey, Georgia College, Columbus State, UNCP and Mount Olive don’t deserve to be forced into a seven-team bracket in the Southeast. DII softball has a 64 team, 16 regional system established. Why can’t baseball? Fix this and everything pretty much fixes itself.

My apologies to Montevallo and other teams in the South. The situation you’ve been put in is incredibly irksome and unfair and should be amended. The top teams should be determined on the diamond and not in a conference call. Until this is fixed situation such as this will continue to occur.

Here is the argument for Montevallo over St. Leo:
The selection committee will look at:
– Overall DII Record
– In region DII Record
– Road Record
– Record against teams above .500
– Record against region ranked teams

In regards to St. Leo and Montevallo, Montevallo is 19-11 against teams above .500.  St. Leo is 9-8 and four of those wins above .500 came against GSC schools.

Montevallo has more wins against above .500 teams then they’ve played games against over .500 teams. Additionally, Montevallo has more region ranked wins then games they’ve played against region ranked teams. Against region ranked teams Montevallo are 12-7 where they are 2-7

> Editor Note: What makes this situation tricky is the use of “ranked” teams. The ranked teams that St. Leo played were Tampa, Florida Southern and Nova Southern. Arguably, three of the top teams in the county, not just the region. The region ranked teams that  Montevallo played were in the top ten of the region, but their quality is much less than the schools the Lions played so it is not comparing apples to apples.

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