INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Florida Southern has been named the number-one seed and host team for the NCAA Division II South Regional Baseball Tournament on May 17-21 at Henley Field. This is the first time since 2006 that Florida Southern has hosted the regional tournament and the 21st time overall. The Moccasins have won 13 of the 20 previous regionals held in Lakeland.
Three games will be played each day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with two games on Sunday, and the championship game(s) on Monday. As the number one seed, the Moccasins will receive a first-round bye and will play their first game on Friday at 3 p.m. against the winner of the #4/#5 from Thursday.
Game times are 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday (note new game times); 11 a.m, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. On Friday, and Saturday while Sunday's games are slated for 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for Monday at noon, with a second game (if necessary) at 3:30 p.m.
The rest of the South Region bracket includes #2 Tampa (39-9), winner of the Sunshine State Conference's automatic berth; #3 Delta State (40-9), defending regional champs; #4 Nova Southeastern (34-14); #5 Montevallo (35-17); #6 Mississippi College (33-15), winner of the Gulf South Conference's automatic bid; and #7 Albany State (28-16), the automatic qualifier from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
On Thursday, #3 Delta State takes on #6 Mississippi College at 11 a.m., #2 Tampa will face #7 Albany State at 3 p.m., and #4 Nova Southeastern will battle #5 Montevallo at 7 p.m.
Florida Southern has played Tampa 42 previous times in regional play with the Spartans holding a slim 22-20 lead. Overall, the Moccasins enjoy a 108-100 advantage in the all-time series, including two wins in this past weekend's series at Tampa. The Moccasins have faced Delta State six times in the NCAA postseason, including a 1-1 record in regional play, and are 9-10 all-time versus the Statesmen. Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern have not met in postseason action, but the Moccasins are 43-32 vs. the Sharks in regular season play.
The Moccasins have not faced Mississippi College previously and have won all six earlier meetings with Albany State with all coming in the regular season action.
Tampa is making its 33rd postseason appearance with seven NCAA national championships and a 115-59 record in tournament play. The seven NCAA titles and 115 postseason victories are second only to Florida Southern among all NCAA Division II schools.
Delta State, last year's regional champion, won a national title in 2004 and is making its 31st appearance with a 94-64 record in NCAA postseason action. Nova Southeastern, the winner of the 2016 national championship, is making a sixth appearance in the NCAA postseason with a 16-9 record.
Montevallo is appearing in its third postseason tournament with a 9-4 record. Mississippi College is making its first NCAA postseason appearance. Albany State is making it fifth regional appearance and its first since 2015. The Golden Rams are looking for their first postseason victory.
The NCAA Division II Baseball Committee selected 56 teams to compete at eight regional sites, including 23 automatic qualifiers. All regionals will be double-elimination tournaments and the winners of the regionals will advance to the championship finals, May 26-June 2 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, NC.
FLORIDA SOUTHERN POSTSEASON FAST FACTS
- This is Florida Southern's 42nd NCAA postseason appearance - the most by any NCAA Division II school.
- The Moccasins have a 147-78 record and a .653 winning percentage in the postseason.
- Florida Southern has won 20 NCAA South Regional Championships - the last coming in 2005 under Coach Pete Meyer, who is now FSC's Director of Athletics.
- The Moccasins have won an NCAA Division II record nine national championships and has finished as national runners-up four times.
- Last season, Florida Southern competed in the NCAA South Regional at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. The Moccasins defeated Valdosta State, 6-3, in their opening game and then lost 9-7 to host Delta State and 7-6 to West Alabama.
- The Moccasins are 39-9-1 this season. The 39 victories are the most for any team under Coach Lance Niekro and are the most wins since the 2009 and 2010 teams each won 41 games.
- Florida Southern finished in third place in the Sunshine State at 22-8, setting an FSC record for conference victories.
- The Moccasins were 21-5 at Henley Field in 2018 and 18-4-1 in away games.
- Florida Southern has an SSC-best .318 team batting average and also leads the conference with 70 home runs, 409 runs, 8.9 runs per game, 536 hits, 15 triples, and a .408 on-base percentage, The Moccasins also lead the conference with a .976 fielding percentage.
- The Moccasins have hit 70 home runs this season, which is the fifth most hit in Florida Southern history. Last season, FSC set the school record with 81 homers, giving the Mocs 151 round trippers over the last two seasons.
- The Florida Southern pitching staff has a 4.52 earned run average.
- Moccasin pitchers have combined for 441 strikeouts this season - tied for 10th most in program history.
- J.T. Hintzen is second in the nation with an SSC-high 12 wins (12-0).
- Logan Browning is third in the NCAA Division II with a conference-leading .455 batting average.
- Hayden Marze is third in the SSC with 19 home runs while leading the league with 61 runs batted in and has been hit by a pitch an SSC-high 17 times.
- Omar Villaman has a SSC-best six triples.