FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
FRISCO, Texas – After defending its title from a season ago, Texas State will again be the top seed in the 2010 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament when it begins Wednesday at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Bobcats claimed their fourth regular-season championship and second outright title on the final day of the regular season with a 34-20 overall record and a 23-10 mark in conference play.
Texas State will play No. 8 seed Nicholls, which finished 26-27 overall and 15-18 in the Southland. The Colonels are making just their third overall appearance in the tournament and their first since 2000. That game will be Wednesday at 4 p.m. Stephen F. Austin and UT Arlington are the other two teams on that side of the bracket. The Lumberjacks drew the No. 4 seed and the Mavericks are the No. 5 seed for the second consecutive season. That game will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday. SFA finished 34-18 overall and 20-12 against league teams, while UT Arlington finished 27-29 and 19-14. The winners of those two games advance to play Thursday at 7 p.m., while the losers will move into the losers’ bracket and will meet Thursday at noon.
The tournament gets underway Wednesday at 9 a.m. when No. 3 seed Southeastern Louisiana will square off against No. 6 McNeese State. The Lions won more games this season than any team in the Southland, finishing with a 39-17 record overall to go with a 21-12 record in conference play. The Cowboys were 29-25 and 16-17. The other half of the bracket pits No. 2 seed Northwestern State with No. 7 seed Lamar. That game will be played Wednesday at noon. The Demons came within a half-game of Texas State in the final conference standings, finishing with a 22-10 record against conference foes to go with a 36-19 record overall. Lamar was 31-24 and 16-17 in the Southland.
The winners of Wednesday’s two early games advance to play Thursday at 4 p.m. while the losers play Thursday at 9 a.m.
The tournament is set up in similar fashion to the NCAA College World Series in that there are two brackets with the winners meeting for the championship. Unlike in Omaha, the bracket winners of the Southland tournament meet in a single game to decide the championship. The winner of the Southland tournament is the league’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament, which begins with regional play, June 4-7.
This marks the 24th year of the Southland Conference baseball tournament. It began in 1964 though no tournament was played between 1969 and 1992. Since it resumed in 1993, Sam Houston State leads all conference teams with four tournament championships, including each of the last three. Texas State, which has three tournament championships to its credit, will be trying to match their rivals. The regular-season champion has won the tournament seven times though that has happened just twice since the tournament resumed in 1993. Lamar is the last to have won both championships, doing so in 2004. Texas State was a division winner in 1997 and emerged to win the tournament title.
The schedule of the double-elimination event has four games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Two “if-necessary” games would be played Saturday before the championship game, which will be played at 6 p.m. and be televised by the Southland Conference Television Network. Every game of the tournament will be streamed for free on SLC NOW, which is available on the conference’s website, Southland.org.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will serve as the tournament host at Whataburger Field, home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros. This marks the second time since the 1998 season the tournament was not played on one of the Southland campuses.
Tickets for the event are available by calling either the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ticket office at 361-825-2255 or Corpus Christi Hooks ticket office at 361-561-4796. Tickets are also available at Whataburger Field or online at www.cchooks.com. An all-tournament ticket is available for $50 while individual session tickets are available for $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Day tickets are available for $15 for adults and $10 for youth and include admission to all four games each day. A session ticket includes admission to both games of a particular session and is available for $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Students at Southland institutions may get in free by showing a valid student ID card.
Southland Conference Baseball Tournament Seeds
1. Texas State
2. Northwestern State
3. Southeastern Louisiana
4. Stephen F. Austin
6. McNeese State
Opening Round Matchups
Wednesday, May 26
Game One: No. 6 McNeese State vs. No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana, 9 a.m.
Game Two: No. 7 Lamar vs. No. 2 Northwestern State, Noon
Game Three: No. 8 Nicholls vs. No. 1 Texas State, 4 p.m.
Game Four: No. 5 UT Arlington vs. No. 4 Stephen F. Austin, 7 p.m.