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May/08

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2008 NCAA D-III Baseball Championship release

2008 NCAA DIVISION III BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

INDIANAPOLIS—The NCAA Division III Baseball Committee has announced the 54 teams that will compete in the 2008 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. Six teams will compete at five first-round sites; eight teams will compete at three first-round sites. All first rounds will use a double-elimination format. Thirty-four conference champions qualified automatically. Winners of the eight first-round tournaments will qualify for the double-elimination championship at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin, May 23-27.

DATES/SITES/SEEDINGS:

May 14-18
Hosted by Eastern College Athletic Conference, Harwich, Massachusetts
1. Trinity (Connecticut) (37-0)
2. Wheaton (Massachusetts) (32-8)
3. Keene State (33-9)
4. Southern Maine (32-12)
5. Western New England (31-11)
6. St. Joseph’s (Maine) (28-16)
7. Worcester State (23-16)
8. Castleton State (20-10)

Hosted by USA South and Old Dominion, Danville, Virginia
1. Salisbury (38-2)
2. Johns Hopkins (34-5)
3. Piedmont (33-12)
4. Lynchburg (30-11)
5. Christopher Newport (28-12)
6. Randolph-Macon (25-15)

Hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana
1. Heidelberg (37-8)
2. Wooster (34-9)
3. Calvin (32-8)
4. Rose-Hulman (31-13)
5. Adrian (30-10)
6. Transylvania (31-12)

Hosted by Kean University, Newark, New Jersey
1. Kean (35-9)
2. Rowan (30-12)
3. The College of New Jersey (28-10)
4. Penn State-Behrend (34-10)
5. Messiah (27-16)
6. DeSales (24-18-1)
7. Keystone (30-10)
8. Gwynedd-Mercy (21-18)

Hosted by Ithaca College, Auburn, New York
1. Cortland State (38-3)
2. Ithaca (28-11)
3. Rensselaer (30-10)
4. Montclair State (26-18)
5. Eastern Connecticut State (29-13)
6. Farmingdale (23-13)
7. Ohio Wesleyan (28-17)
8. Grove City (18-16)

Hosted by Augustana College (Illinois), Moline, Illinois
1. Illinois Wesleyan (33-9)
2. Wisconsin-Stevens Point (28-14)
3. Augustana (Illinois) (32-11)
4. Wartburg (26-13)
5. Linfield (30-10)
6. Webster (28-13)

Hosted by McMurry University, Abilene, Texas
1. Chapman (35-3)
2. George Fox (28-12)
3. McMurry (29-17)
4. Cal State East Bay (26-14)
5. Trinity (Texas) (32-13)
6. La Verne (25-14-1)

Hosted by University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
1. St. Thomas (Minnesota) (31-7)
2. Wisconsin-Whitewater (35-8)
3. Carthage (35-8)
4. Wisconsin-Oshkosh (29-9)
5. St. Scholastica (32-4)
6. Knox (15-23)

First round matchups for the championship site will be as follows:

McMurry regional winner vs. Kean regional winner
Rose-Hulman regional winner vs. USA South/Old Dominion regional winner
Wisconsin-Oshkosh regional winner vs. Augustana (Illinois) regional winner
Ithaca regional winner vs. Eastern College Athletic Conference regional winner

CONFERENCES RECEIVING AUTOMATIC QUALIFICATION BERTHS:

Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference – Penn State-Behrend
American Southwest Conference – McMurry
Centennial Conference – Johns Hopkins
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin – Illinois Wesleyan
Commonwealth Coast Conference – Western New England
Commonwealth Conference – Messiah
Freedom Conference – DeSales
Great Northeast Athletic Conference – St. Joseph’s (Maine)
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference – Transylvania
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Wartburg
Liberty League – Rensselaer
Little East Conference – Keene State
Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference – Worcester State
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association – Calvin
Midwest Conference – Knox
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – St. Thomas (Minnesota)
New England Small College Athletic Conference – Trinity (Connecticut)
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletics Conference – Wheaton (Massachusetts)
New Jersey Athletic Conference – Kean
North Atlantic Conference – Castleton State
North Coast Athletic Conference – Ohio Wesleyan
North Eastern Athletic Conference – Keystone
Northwest Conference – Linfield
Ohio Athletic Conference – Heidelberg
Old Dominion Athletic Conference – Randolph-Macon
Pennsylvania Athletic Conference – Gwynedd-Mercy
President’s Athletic Conference – Grove City
Skyline Conference – Farmingdale
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – La Verne
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference – Trinity (Texas)
St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Webster
State University of New York Athletic Conference – Cortland State
USA South Athletic Conference – Christopher Newport
Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Wisconsin-Stevens Point

In the 2007 Division III championship game, Kean defeated Emory 5-4 in 10 innings.
The 2008 NCAA Spring Seasonal Show will air on CBS at 2 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, June 22, and will include highlights from the championship.

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53 comments

  • oshdude · May 12, 2008 at 2:53 am

    I’ll pose a few questions.
    If Rose wasn’t hosting, does it get a bid?
    Does Emory have the biggest complaint? CTX?
    Was Adrian the last team in? ECSU? Southern Maine?
    Toughest/weakest regionals?
    Any teams outside the top three seeds that will win?

  • dixon · May 12, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Where did our selection committee go wrong?

    Pool A (34-34)
    Okay I admit not difficult and if anyone really thought both Knox and Grove City were going to the playoffs before the season started I want to see the deal they made down on the crossroads.

    Pool B (5 of 6 right)

    There was support for Cal State East Bay as well as Emory as the final Pool B bid. The choice between Emory and CS-East Bay was essentially a coin flip. One more loss or win and what little difference there was between these two teams disappears and one is favored over the other.

    Pool C: (12 of 14 right)

    We missed on Rose-Hulman and Southern Maine, picking Rochester and Suffolk instead. Both Rose-Hulman and Southern Maine played themselves into the playoffs. Both played teams with better records in the respective championship game. Southern Maine lost two to a highly rated Keene State team and Rose-Hulman just did not have what was needed on a long day of baseball where they fought through elimination to force an “if needed” game. Rochester never made it to the Championship game and Suffolk suffered a late season DH loss to St. Joes. This was the difference in our prediction.

  • ecfaninri · May 12, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Southern Maine got in an deserved to get in… 32 wins forced Keene to win 2 on Saturday. Suffolk needed to win their 2 and didn’t.

  • rhitfan · May 12, 2008 at 6:14 am

    being a rose fan, of course i will defend their position
    beside a strong tournament run and slumping in a 3rd 9 inning game in one day (what team wouldn’t?), they had a key sweep of Adrian early in the year.
    The team that actually beat Rose out of winning the conference tourny is two seeds below them
    I also don’t doubt that the fact that there will be no travel costs for Rose, was a factor of some sort.

  • iwubrion · May 12, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Interesting… They shipped Carthage a little north and brought Stevens Point south. We never hear about Linfield. What is their story?

  • PlayByPlay · May 12, 2008 at 8:54 am

    You would think that Emory gets the edge based on the fact that i’m sure they pretty much faced every team’s #1 starter during the season… And, if it was that close between Emory & East Bay, wouldn’t it be reasonable to give the other team a Pool C?

  • Pat Coleman · May 12, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Travel isn’t supposed to be a factor in selection. If the committee thought RHIT wasn’t good enough to be in, it could have sent any number of two teams there and put Suffolk or Rochester or Emory in the field instead.

  • BRONKO7 · May 12, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Can someone explain why UW-Stevens Point leaves the Midwest to basiclly flip flop with Carthage? This doesn’t make any sense. They get to go to the central region which, with no disrespect is a lot less difficult then the midwest. And best of all they’re swapped for another central team. So it’s not as if there is 7 deserving teams and one has to be moved. So now you get to give 2 conferences a chance to put multiple teams in the Series. I don’t think it is a coinsidense that the WIAC president is on the 8 person selection commitee and that the UWSP coach is on the midwest advisory commitee. I don’t get it.

  • Pat Coleman · May 12, 2008 at 9:34 am

    If you notice, in many places through this bracket multiple teams from the same conference were split into separate regionals when travel made it possible.

    This is becoming par for the course in many Division III sports. Remember, the regional wall was broken down back in 2000, but it has taken this long for many of the sports to really get around to doing it.

    It costs the NCAA basically nothing to avoid the situation of three WIAC teams in one regional and three CCIW teams in the other. Good move.

  • Ralph Turner · May 12, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Against teams in the third regional rankings, CSU-EB was 0-4 versus Chapman, and was 2-1 vs GFU. CSU-EB also is 2-1 versus SCIAC Pool A LaVerne and 2-1 versus NWC Pool A Linfield. Since we don’t know the final West Region Rankings, CSU-EB may be 2-5 versus ranked teams or as good as 6-7.

    They had the 2-0 result vs WashUSTL where Emory only split the series 1-1. The St Louis trip may have “sealed the deal” for CSU-EB.

  • dobigthangs · May 12, 2008 at 10:43 am

    How is it that the 35-11 DePauw University Tigers, who have been ranked in the top 25 in the coaches poll all season long, failed to recieve an at large bid? Because of their region? Because of their latitude and longitude? If the whole point of having a national tournament is to find out which team in the country is the best team, why aren’t we giving bids to the BEST TEAMS? It shouldn’t matter what “region” you are in. There is a HUGE flaw in the system.

  • iwubrion · May 12, 2008 at 11:04 am

    to have 3 teams from the same conference is insane. It’s called a NCAA Regional, not for example a CCIW Regional. In IWU’s case they have already played Carthage 5 times. Carthage is a Wisconsin team, it makes sense to move them to the Midwest. Good move.

  • infuball51 · May 12, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I just have one question. How does Rochester not make the field of 54!?!?!? Is it because they kinda stumbled towards the end of the year. Despite that, they still had a better regional record than Southern Maine (in the latest regional poll at least). They are a really strong team, yet they did not make the field. I am just perplexed, any idea what could have been the ultimate reason they did not get in?

  • dixon · May 12, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    From last thursday’s regional rankings:

    Southern Maine 29-10 24-10
    Rochester 27-11 26-11

    Southern Maine went 2-2, Rochester went 1-2

    That makes the regional record:
    Southern Maine 26-12 (0.684)
    Rochester 27-13 (0.675)

    If Rochester goes as deep in the tournament as Southern Maine, they end up 29-13 (.690) and if everything else is equal, they are the 13th of 14th seed not Southern Maine.

    If they don’t play the tournament, their region win % is >.700 and they are in. Everywhere I look, having a end of the season tournament reduces the chance you will have multiple teams in since those two in region losses really hurt. Think both Linfield and George Fox are in the playoffs with a double elimination tournament. Nope. With a NWC tourney, Concordia-Texas is probably in and one NWC team is out.

  • Ralph Turner · May 12, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Jim, for that matter, #1 seed Rochester plays itself out of the “Regular Season” Pool A bid, (if there is no tourney in the Liberty League)!

    http://www.libertyleaguesports.org/standings/baseball

  • ispy · May 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Question? How can Rockford College(Il) be passed over. Yes they are in a new conference which doesnt get an automatic bid until next year, but they won the conference for the second year of its existence and the tournament for the second year, they beat Concordia of Chicago who was ranked, 3 games to 2 and crushed Carthage 19-3. Why is Rockford not going to Augustana?

  • Pat Coleman · May 12, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Bigthangs: At-large bids DO go to the best teams and are not bound by geography, like in all Division III team sports.

    Ispy: 25-12 isn’t a stellar regional record and has to be accompanied by a great strength of schedule to get in. I suspect Concordia wasn’t ranked when the season ended yesterday and those would then not be considered games against regionally ranked teams.

  • rjburke · May 12, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Jim, maybe true. Does the NJAC (4 teams after double elimination tournament)prove the rule?

  • dixon · May 12, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    The teams that were out first were seed 5,6 and New Jersey has losses to give. The team that needed a good showing was Montclair and they were in the championship game.

    All the four NJAC teams did well against top competition which were factors in their selection.

  • austinksc13 · May 12, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    The ECAC pool looks to have the strongest class of teams. I may be wrong but the Northeast does not get the same hype as many of the other regions on the website. I think whichever team comes out of that pool should be the favorite in Appleton.

  • Spence · May 13, 2008 at 3:30 am

    With the new 8 team regionals, I’m confronted with a conundrum.

    Do you throw your ace the first game so that you can recycle on championship day, or (if you’re facing a weak first-round opponent) hold him and throw him against a tougher team in the winner’s bracket, knowing that will keep him from being able to come back as strong later?

    I’m thinking of a team like Trinity CT, Rowan, Cortland State, Rensselaer or Kean that have true aces.

    In the 6 team regions I think only St. Thomas is in a position to even consider this, as for whatever reason it seems most of the chaff is in the 8 team regionals (unsure if it was purposeful or not, though it would kind of make sense if it was).

    And what a regional that is in Wisconsin Rapids…no idea how you take what would have been the 2 seed in what is usually the weakest regional anyway and make them a 3 in what was already looking like one of the toughest regionals.

  • Bostonian · May 13, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Spece,
    Trinity has 2 aces. Bayer is on the same level as Kiely. He was been their closer and midweek starter, but if you look at his appearances, it is obvious he’s top notch. He pretty much dominated Eastern CT this year. I have seen him in person, and he’s just as much of a pro prospect as Kiely.

    I think Trinity will throw Regan against Castleton St. and set Kiely and Bayer up for the 2nd and 3rd rounds, with Barnard to throw in the finals. They will be very, very tough to beat at the regional level.

  • Spence · May 13, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Anyone have direct links to the live stats/broadcasts? I get nuttin but Javascript errors off d3baseball.

    Rose-Hulman has IMO the best regional site by far. Everyone should just copy what they have.

  • Spence · May 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Oh one more thing…

    The weather could play a role in the end of the day in Rock Island and Wisconsin Rapids, probably more so in Rock Island. Weather could be a problem tomorrow in Abilene and Terre Haute, though I think TH is going to luck out.

  • dixon · May 13, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    > Anyone have direct links to the live stats/broadcasts?

    We will have links to audio and live stats as I suspect the regional pages will also have links. There are links off the scoreboard.

    I checked a few links and everything is good to go for tomorrow’s playoff games. The hard part is getting up early enough to catch the first pitch at 5:30 am. The good news is that the sun will also be up.

  • Pat Coleman · May 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    “Anyone have direct links to the live stats/broadcasts? I get nuttin but Javascript errors off d3baseball.”

    What browser is that, what kind of errors? I can get Presto to work on their setup, possibly.

  • Pat Coleman · May 13, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I’m seeing that error on IE6. I’ll report it to Presto’s tech people. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • dobigthangs · May 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Mr. Coleman: According to the latest coaches poll, this years at-large bids did NOT go to the best teams. The 15th ranked team in the nation (according to the coaches poll) did not recieve an at large bid while others with no rankings did recieve bids.

  • Spence · May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I use Firefox, but have the capability to switching to an IE tab, and neither works.

    Perhaps a more critical error is that I thought today was Wednesday. Scratch the weather report. 🙂

  • Pat Coleman · May 13, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    It works in FF 2.0 for Windows for me — not quite according to the requirements but they do work. When I hover the link appears but at the top of the page, next to the first game with the link icon at the top. I reported both the IE6 and FF2.0 errors to Presto support but don’t know how quickly something will turn around. We’ll see what things look like tomorrow morning on this front and react if need be.

    Bigthangs: The coaches poll and our poll are, in fact, irrelevant to the selection process and always have been. We had DePauw at No. 25 before this past week, so that may have been some indication that DePauw wasn’t in a safe position.

  • eaglesfan · May 13, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Okay, I’ve waited a couple of days and I am still fuming over Emory’s raw deal. If they legitimately lost the Pool B bid to Cal State East Bay (not convinced of that myself), then why were they not considered for a Pool C bid over, for example, Montclair State? Having 34 of the 54 bids determined solely by conference winners leaves a lot to be desired in ensuring that the top 54 teams from D3 are represented. Also, if some regions are going to have 8 teams, why not just make it 64 teams in all so that each region can have 8 teams?

  • Pat Coleman · May 13, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    It isn’t the goal at all, getting the Top 54 teams in. Getting the top 20 at-large teams, or the top 14 at-large once Pool B is selected, yes, that’s the goal. But like any NCAA Tournament, the goal is that everyone has access to the tournament, which is why the Bucknells and the Mount St. Mary’s and the Sienas of the world get into the D-I basketball tournament.

    There isn’t money for 64, considering that would mean they’d also have to expand men’s basketball to about 68, women’s basketball to 72, etc., for fairness.

  • Pat Coleman · May 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I don’t have all the numbers but I suspect that there must be someone in Pool C whom Emory had beaten on the numbers.

  • Ralph Turner · May 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    “Emory is 25-11-1/23-9-1. (In-region percentage is .671) Records versus In-region ranked teams: Adrian 0-1, Methodist 1-0-1, and Piedmont 1-2. Emory’s in-region record is 2-3-1.” ?Source — D3basball.com’s prediction of the bids.

    Those are not stellar for the 14th pick.

    Head-to-head vs. Adrian in the game played in Atlanta? Adrian
    Adrian vs. common opponents with Emory: Piedmont 1-0; Oglethorpe 1-0 = 2-0
    Emory vs same opponents: Piedmont 1-2; Oglethorpe 3-1 = 4-3

    Adrian — In-region .735 (25-9)

  • Spence · May 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    eaglesfan, I know how you feel.

    The automatic bids for conference championships is an abomination that waters down the entire field and makes the regionals less interesting and less competitive, while leaving home teams that are clearly better than others who “earned” their way into it by winning some rubbish conference.

    Look at what Cortland is doing to poor Grove City while not even throwing one of their top arms. St. Scholastica had a 10-0 ace and a 32-4 team, but that 10-0 ace apparently wasn’t good enough to hold a lead in the late innings and CSS wasn’t good enough to have anyone to bring in out of the bullpen to hold it for him. St. Thomas vs. Knox is another obvious example, and that’s just from half the games today and I’m not including Penn State-Behrend who didn’t play an elite opponent and still got blitzed (as a higher seed no less).

    I feel for the teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in a good conference, had a good season, but were excluded because of some of these teams that “earned” (that’s not my term, that’s the term that people who defend this system use) their way in.

    Good teams in good conferences get excluded to because the bottom of their conference is too good, and is able to peel a few extra wins here or there off the top guns or because their conference only plays 2 game series rather than 4, meaning if you lose to a team’s best pitcher, the best you get is a split, not three out of 4.

    That said, Adrian’s not an example of that. Adrian went out and played solid competition; won some, lost some. The conference angle obviously doesn’t affect Emory either. But clearly Emory, and a lot of other schools, are better than teams that are in the tournament. I was against that from the start, coaches that wanted to see the best teams play for the championship were against it, but presidents and coaches from less competitive leagues that wanted handouts were for it, and mob rule being what it is, we have what we have.

  • dukes · May 14, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Spence, I can agree with you that some teams that are sitting at home are probably better that some teams that are in the tournament. Is that a flaw in the system: perhaps. However, there are advantages to the system also, although it is far from perfect.

    While having automatic bids may allow a team like Knox or Grove City the chance to get in, does that mean it is bad? If many of those conferences didnt have that automatic bid…what would the conference tournament mean? In my opinion, the BEST teams in the country get in, as they either win their conference tournament (like they should) or they win enough other games to be considered the BEST in the country. The teams that are at home, are good teams, and most likely at some point in the season if they had won a few games rather than lost them, they would be up there with the best also. Especially the pool B teams, their only chance is to play their way in so every game counts so you should get the best.

    In your assessments of the games today, I will agree with the Cortland vs Grove City and the St. Thomas vs. Knox. But what about the Webster over Illinois Wesleyen (the top seed)? Webster earned their way it, and showed they deserve to play there. And your assessment of the CSS vs. Whitewater? Are you kidding me to lump St. Scholastica in the same category as teams that “didnt earn” a spot, as they have won more games year in and year out that any NCAA D3 team. Should CSS have won, probably, but to lose 7-4 to Whitewater, the top WIAC team in one of the toughest conferences and regions in the country and ranked #11 in D3 polls, is not a bad loss. And like in any regional, but especially the Midwest, pitcher usage becomes key as you must win at least 4 games to make the WS.

  • Spence · May 14, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Perhaps you misunderstand.

    I don’t think any conferences should get automatic berths, and if that meant there was no conference tournament, fine. I’d rather see more regular season games added back to the schedule and maybe see some good non-conference matchups in the week/weeks after finals.

    I think Pool B has an advantage because they don’t have conference games to worry about. They can (and do) stack their ace against other people’s leftovers in midweek games.

    IWU pretty consistently disappoints expectations, whatever they are. Webster has one good pitcher who got it done today. They played a decent non-conference schedule though they lost a lot of them. They’re actually a lot like Scholastica, which we’ll get to.

    Scholastica hasn’t proven anything since they moved to D-III other than they can win games with an ace, especially if the other guy’s ace isn’t pitching. As far as the “year in year out they won more games than any D3 team” all I have to say is go to Texas (those are in-region games). Play 8 games in 7 days. Then go home and play more than 4 decent non-conference games, and play a full season schedule (40 games). See if you’re still putting up .900 winning percentages. Or just win a regional. Until then, it’s fluff.

    And like in any regional, but especially the Midwest, pitcher usage becomes key as you must win at least 4 games to make the WS.

    Scholastica needs more than that now. Webster has a slightly better chance because of the region they’re in, but I don’t see 4 pitchers on either roster that can win a regional.

    All the automatic bids do is thin the field of teams that are actually capable of winning the national championship.

  • dixon · May 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Automatic bids are a boon to the playoffs. I am not quite sure why a team that cannot win their conference should be considered a favorite to win the Championship. The whole idea about D-III athletics is inclusion which the granting of automatic bids gives us. If having Texas Tyler sit at home so we get Grove City, thats fine. It certainly beat having the same teams year in and year out.

  • eaglesfan · May 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you, Spence, for your assessment of the automatic bid system. Well said – I totally agree.

    dukes – What would a conference tournament mean without getting a tournament bid? Ask the teams from conferences that don’t get that automatic bid. And yes, I think it is a bad thing to let weaker teams in when it means eliminating more qualified teams. A championship tournament should be a competition between the best overall teams.

  • dukes · May 14, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    I agree with you, that it would be nice if some teams would be able to play more outside competition. If you didnt have ANY automatic bids, as you suggest, it would make for crappy baseball at the end of the year because then why would a .500 team, who knew they werent going to make the playoffs, even care? If all your are playing for is fun, pride and next season, you will not be very motivated. The automatic bids at least give those teams who slip up during the season a chance during the playoffs. Take UW-Point for example, where they lose a few games they shouldnt have and probably wouldnt get an at large bid but win the WIAC and get in, and have a good chance of making it to Appleton.

    Just like many of the teams in the Midwest, you dont get to pick your conference games and you are obligated to play them. That with a southern trip leaves few chances to play more non-conference competition. I would like to see more non-conference games for perennial powers during the regular season too, but game limits and travel limit that.

    As far as “Scholastica hasn’t proven anything since they moved to D-III other than they can win games with an ace, especially if the other guy’s ace isn’t pitching.” Seldom have they not seen an ace in the regionals, as looking back at it they faced Reinhardt in 2005 for National champ UWW, and Zimmerman in 2006, and 2007 for WS participant UW-Point. Obviously they are well respected in the region, or teams would just throw off in those games.

  • Spence · May 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Jim, I think the difference between UT-Tyler and Grove City being in is vast.

    Dukes, I’m willing to give up a few good regular season games for a better postseason and a more legitimate championship, if that’s the tradeoff. I’m not convinced it is, but taking your assumption, I still would rather see the postseason be better.

    There are teams in the South that play after their conference tournament is done (i.e. they know their fate, for the most part) and I haven’t seen any decrease in competitiveness in those games.

    (Dukes said)
    The automatic bids at least give those teams who slip up during the season a chance during the playoffs.

    I have no idea how you justify this opinion, then believe that teams that slip up in their conference tournament or lost a few games as part of a solid scheduling effort but had an excellent season shouldn’t be given a chance in the playoffs and should be subordinated behind an inferior team. I don’t understand that, and I suspect I never will.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for Grove City and former Marietta baseball employee Rob Skaricich, who in addition to helping out the baseball team also contributed greatly to the success of MC football in the 90s. But facts are facts.

  • Spence · May 14, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    dukes

    I guess the upshot, if you didn’t already know this (I don’t know how much of my posts you’ve read before), but I think a lot of the recent change in D-III baseball has been bad if you want to see the best teams playing as much baseball as they can. Fewer games, rewarding mediocrity with every conference champion being in the regionals, seemingly random switching around of “regionals” that they say aren’t purely by region anymore, but still seem to be awfully similar except for some random time when they decide to switch teams for no real reason, often imbalancing regions (like the Carthage switch this year).

  • dukes · May 14, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Spence, I understand the confusion and let me try and clarify. I think the benefit of the automatic bid, is that if you slip up during the regular season, or lost some games you should have won, it still gives you a chance to make the playoffs (ex-say a young team struggles early on, but by the end of the year they can compete for a national championship–I think they deserve that chance). But, the at large bids are given to those who slip up in their conference tournament and those who had an excellent season with tough scheduling (hence, they look at strength of schedule and OWP–an example might be a Whitewater of this year). I think they BOTH should “earn” a chance to play in the playoffs. I, too, wish that UT-Tyler would be in the tournament, as I believe they had earned a bid as well. Truth is, at the end of every year, some teams will be at home that are probably better than some teams in the tournament. It is also impossible to compare across all the regions and compare apples to apples when trying to give out those at large bids, so I assume the selection committee does the best they can.

  • Ralph Turner · May 14, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    As the Pool System has evolved for allocating post-season bids in a manner that gives equitable access to every team, the only reasons that most Pool B teams are still Pool B seem to be geographic isolation or administrative requirements.

    What we will see in Pool B in the next 5 years are these developments.

    Salisbury and York PA (2007 Pool B) and the rest of the Capital AC are moving to Pool A, now that they have 7 full members. (I don’t have my notes on when this happens. ?? 2010 ?? )

    Ithaca is stuck in upstate New York and there are no other teams adding baseball. The E8 saw Hartwick drop baseball. The E-8 accepted Stevens as a new (5th) member to keep the conference from falling below the official number of 4 full members. There do not seem to be enough teams to make a full 7-team conference.

    Piedmont (and the GSAC schools) are rumored to be considering merging/being acquired by the USA South, a Pool A conference.

    CSS (St Scholastica) and the Upper Midwest AC are moving towards full membership (Pool A) by 2011 or 2012.

    The Landmark Conference is finishing its first year as a new member. They will move from Pool B to Pool A in 2010, and take that Pool B bid with them.

    CSU-East Bay is geographically isolated. They have announced their moving to D-II in the 2009-10 season. There goes another Pool B power.

    The Northern Athletics Conference takes all 12 members into Pool A next year. That is a Pool A bid and part of an allocation to Pool C for us from Pool B.

    That leaves Emory (in the five-member UAA) and Chapman. Chicago doesn’t compete in the UAA and NYU and Carnegie-Mellon don’t have baseball.

    That summarizes Pool B. I will look at the Pool B shifts in the off-season.

  • dukes · May 14, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Ralph,
    Thanks for the insight on the pool B selection, and the direction they are going. Looks like it will continue to be a moving target for the tournament in years to come.

  • Spence · May 14, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I don’t see more bad conferences or groups of teams getting themselves together for the purpose of getting the handout Pool A bids as a good thing.

    Dukes, it isn’t the selection committee’s fault in any way. They play the bad hand they’re dealt.

    Spence, I understand the confusion and let me try and clarify. I think the benefit of the automatic bid, is that if you slip up during the regular season, or lost some games you should have won, it still gives you a chance to make the playoffs (ex-say a young team struggles early on, but by the end of the year they can compete for a national championship–I think they deserve that chance).

    That’s completely the opposite of what you said before, not that I think there are very many cases of that. If a team is capable of winning a national title by the end of the year, then if there aren’t these ridiculous automatic bids you can…OMG…put them in the tournament! So what you’re saying is if Marietta had beaten Heidelberg they would have been a good enough team to compete for a national championship, but a controversial one-run loss on the other team’s home field is enough to convince you they’re not? (I’m not saying Marietta should have been in, but that seems to best illustrate the logic you’re using).

    But, the at large bids are given to those who slip up in their conference tournament and those who had an excellent season with tough scheduling (hence, they look at strength of schedule and OWP–an example might be a Whitewater of this year).

    SS: Some are, some aren’t. Some get pushed out for ridiculous Pool A teams. Does anyone think Methodist, NC Wesleyan, DePauw, Rhodes, Otterbein, Millsaps, St. Olaf, Tyler, Concordia (probably more I’m not thinking of) aren’t better than teams that are nothing more than filler in this tournament?


    I think they BOTH should “earn” a chance to play in the playoffs. I, too, wish that UT-Tyler would be in the tournament, as I believe they had earned a bid as well. Truth is, at the end of every year, some teams will be at home that are probably better than some teams in the tournament.

    SS: This wouldn’t be true if there were no automatic berths, except insofar as human imperfection would dictate that even an honest attempt to place the 54 best teams would be errant at some point. But 53 or 52 or even 50 of 54 would be a lot better than what we have now, where I would say a solid 15 teams in this field have zero chance of winning the tournament and another 10 have very little.

  • dukes · May 14, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Spence, I do understand your point that good teams are not in the tournament. I agree it is the selection committees faults (I simply said, they do the best they can). I wish that they would expand to a 64 team tournament…reason being that then there are more at large bids to make sure the top teams do get in. Also, it would eliminate the 6 team playoff format, which I think sucks anyway. And yes, you will still have some crappy teams in, but if you earn the #1 seed, you deserve to have a cake walk in the first round. If you would add 12 more at large bids, than all the good teams you mentioned would be in the field. I also wish they would add games to the game limit, which would allow more non conference opponents.

    Now it is set up similar to the NCAA D1 basketball tourney, because we all know some of those teams have no chance to win either, but they won their conference and earned a bid. To say that there should be NO automatic bids at all, then you are placing the all the responsibility of selecting who is “best” from across the country. And how do you compare the West vs. South vs. East vs. Midwest?? It seems there would be a lot more argument then for who deserves to go to the playoffs than there is now. And yes, you may get more of the top teams in, but you may also miss teams that way also.

  • Spence · May 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    No argument that a 64 team field would help. I actually prefer the 6 team field to 8; I think 8 is just too long. You get into some really bad pitching in the loser’s bracket of a regional anyway, even a 4 team regional. 8 teams…well I’m hoping this goes better than I anticipate.

    If we had a 64 team field, I would not anticipate having the D-I regional/super regional format, which means we probably would have all 8 team regionals, which I wouldn’t be in favor of. I think if we had no automatic berths, 48 would be just fine and everyone could have a 6 team regional.

    I just have a feeling that teams that shouldn’t be there in the first place plus 8 team regionals is going to equal pinball-like scores in the loser’s bracket.

    One thing I would say in my favor is if the committee screws up, they’re screwing up as to who is the 48th or 54th best, rather than screwing up in not inviting teams ranked in the top 25.

  • Pat Coleman · May 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I agree, though then again, three-week NCAA championships are the norm in a lot of sports so it wouldn’t be 100% impossible that we get a super regional setup.

    Though it is unlikely.

  • rhitfan · May 18, 2008 at 11:12 am

    In what was probably the craziest game of the whole tournament (hopefully nothing tops it in the World Series), not just for it going to the 13th inning and ending in a walk-off grandslam, but also all the other things that don’t necessarily get reported….

    I know somewhere it said the Rose-Hulman was most likely to disappoint, but I know despite going 1-2, every fan is proud of the team because every game was fought till the end.

    Here is a recap on what actually happened in the 13th inning, ejections and all:

    http://www.tribstar.com/sports/local_story_137234648.html
    http://www.tribstar.com/sports/local_story_137233906.html?keyword=topstory
    http://www.tribstar.com/sports_columns/local_story_138233655.html

    All three very interesting reads…..

  • Spence · May 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Stay classy, Wooster.

    I take it that it is now abundant clear why I hate these guys so much and why Schaly never played Pettorini except when forced? This crap is nothing new, although this probably is a new low, even for them.

    How the hell do you throw a rule book and not get tossed, whether you’re right or wrong?

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