D-2 CWS starts on Saturday

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
SAUGET, ILL., May 20, 2008 – The field is set and beginning on Saturday, eight teams from across the country embark on their quest for an NCAA Division II baseball national championship.

SIU Edwardsville and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, along with the village of Sauget and the Gateway Grizzlies, will co-host this year’s World Series at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois, home of the Frontier League’s Grizzlies. The event begins on Saturday, May 24, and concludes on Saturday, May 31, with the championship game.

Opening ceremonies will kick off the tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m., before Sonoma State and Shippensburg take the field for the first game at 2:30 p.m.

Sonoma State, out of Rohnert Park, Calif., enters tournament play with a 50-13 record and advanced to the championship by defeating Chico State, 11-4, in the West Regional. The Seawolves are ranked No. 2 nationally.

Shippensburg (Pa.) enters the World Series with a 38-24 record. The Red Raiders, who are ranked No. 21, defeated then-No. 24 ranked West Chester, 5-4, in the North Atlantic Regional championship game to earn a berth in the World Series.

Saturday’s nightcap features Central Missouri State and Franklin Pierce at 6:30 p.m.

Central Missouri State, out of Warrensburg, Mo., stands at 45-15 and advanced to the championship with an 11-6 victory over then-No. 12 ranked Nebraska-Omaha in the Central Region title game. The Mules are ranked No. 7 nationally.

Franklin Pierce, out of Rindge, N.H., earned its third-straight trip to the World Series with a 10-3 victory past Bryant in the Northeast Regional. The Ravens, ranked No. 15 nationally, enter the championship with a 43-13 record.

Other first round games include Ouachita Baptist and Mount Olive on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., while Tampa and Ashland will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Ouachita Baptist, out of Arkadelphia, Ark., stands at 47-14, and is ranked No. 4 nationally. The Tigers upset then-No. 1 ranked Delta State, 8-1, in the South Central Regional final to earn their first-ever trip to the championship.

Mount Olive (N.C.), ranked No. 1 nationally, enters play at 54-6. The Trojans advanced to the World Series with an 8-3 win over then-No. 12 ranked USC-Aiken in the South Atlantic Regional championship game.

Tampa (Fla.), the two-time defending national champion, enters play with a 42-9-1 record. The No. 3 ranked Spartans earned a berth to the World Series after rallying past then-No. 17 ranked Catawba College, 9-8, in the South Regional championship game. Tampa is seeking its sixth NCAA baseball title and a championship this year would make them the first NCAA II program to win three-consecutive titles.

Ashland (Ohio) stands at 39-16 and reached the championship with a 3-0 victory over Wayne State in the North Central Regional. The Eagles are ranked No. 16 nationally.

The eight teams will compete in a double-elimination format with the championship game being played on May 31 at 1 p.m. The championship game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports.

Tickets are available through the Gateway Grizzlies by calling the box office at 618-337-3000 (ext. 15).

To see a complete bracket or for more information click here.