Three PBC Baseball Teams Reach NCAA Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS, IND – Three Peach Belt Conference baseball teams learned late Monday that their 2012 seasons will continue as they were among the 48 teams named to the NCAA Tournament field. Armstrong Atlantic State, Francis Marion and Lander will each compete at the Southeast Regional Tournament which will be hosted by Mt. Olive College in Mt. Olive, N.C., beginning this Thursday, May 17. The six-team double-elimination tournament will continue through Sunday with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division II World Series in Cary, N.C.
Armstrong became just the third school in the Peach Belt Conference to win both the regular season and tournament title in the same year, joining Kennesaw State (1995, 1997-1998) and Columbus State (1996), with their win over Lander in the PBC Tournament championship game on Sunday. The Pirates are making their first regional appearance since 2007 and have advanced to three NCAA DII College World Series, in 1988, 1989 and 1994.
This will be Francis Marion’s eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament, fourth in a row, and seventh in the past 10 seasons. Head coach Art Inabinet has guided the Patriots to the regional title game each of the past two seasons, including 2010 when FMU hosted the Southeast Regional for the first time in school history. Inabinet is in his 12th year as head coach at FMU with a record of 410-224-2 and in his 14th year as a four-year collegiate coach with a 494-278-2 mark.
The Lander baseball team's record-breaking season of firsts just got better. A few hours after their runner-up finish in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon in Columbus, Ga., the Bearcats learned they had earned their first-ever, at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament. Lander set a school record with 37 wins during the season and reached the championship game for the first time in school history.
Tusculum and Catawba will begin the regional at 11:00 am on Thursday with third-seeded Armstrong taking on #4 Francis Marion at 3:00. Sixth-seeded Lander will meet host and top seed Mt. Olive at 7:00 pm.
The bracket for the southeast regional can be seen here.