Three Baseball Teams Make ODAC History with NCAA Tournament Selections

Three Baseball Teams Make ODAC History with NCAA Tournament Selections

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- It is not often that you get to talk about a first occurrence in a charter sport for the ODAC, but we have that opportunity today in baseball. For the first time in the 42-year history of the conference, three teams have earned entry to the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.

We already knew ODAC champion Shenandoah University would enter the national field with the league's automatic qualification, but news came down late last night that the ultra-competitive league would receive not one but two at-large bids to the bracket. Randolph-Macon College and Virginia Wesleyan University will be joining SU in a quest for the national title.

The baseball field is 58 teams large in 2018. Forty schools earned entry like Shenandoah as automatic qualifiers from their respective conferences. Two teams were picked as a true independent, while R-MC and VWU account for two of the 16 at-large choices to the field. The entire tournament will be played under double-elimination format with regional action in either one of three six-team sites or five eight-team pods. All regional hosts were pre-determined.

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This marks the eighth instance overall and fifth time in the last six years that multiple ODAC teams have earned position in the national field. Shenandoah (34-10) runs its streak of national fields to five straight seasons, while Randolph-Macon (31-7-1) is in for the second time in three years. Virginia Wesleyan (28-14) returns to the bracket for the first time since 2006.

Randolph-Macon will be the top seed in the six-team regional hosted by William Peace University in Holly Springs, N.C. The Yellow Jackets open with sixth-seeded LaGrange College (28-16), winners of the USA South Athletic Conference. Second-seeded The College of New Jersey (28-9) meets fifth-seeded Alvernia University (28-13) in the second game. Both TCNJ and AU earned their positions via at-large selection. Third-seeded Denison University (32-10) and fourth-seeded Christopher Newport University (32-10) cap the first day of regional play. DU and CNU also were at-large entrants.

Shenandoah will play as the fifth seed in an eight-team regional hosted by Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. SU will play in the opening game of four on the first day against fourth-seeded Marietta College (27-16). The Pioneers, which have won sixth national championships and finished as the runner-up a half-dozen other times, earned at-large bid to the 2018 field. Game two pits a pair of North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) against each other as top-seeded College of Wooster (36-8) meets eighth-seeded Wabash College (28-15). The Little Giants beat the Scots, 17-8, for the NCAC crown this past weekend. Game three finds third-seeded La Roche College (34-8-1) against sixth-seeded Ithaca College (28-15). The Redhawks won the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) title, while the Bombers secured the Empire 8 championship. Final game of day one features second-seeded Otterbein University (30-14) against seventh-seeded Adrian (33-10). The Cardinals earned an at-large bid, while the host Bulldogs won the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) crown.

Virginia Wesleyan makes its way to York, Pa., as the fourth seed in an eight-team regional hosted by the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). The Marlins meet fifth-seeded Misericordia University (31-12) in the first game on day one. The Cougars won the MAC Freedom Conference championship. Game two features top-seeded Rowan University (33-9) against eighth-seeded Castleton College (30-10). The Profs won the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title, while the Spartans earned the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) automatic qualification. Third-seeded Arcadia University (30-14) and sixth-seeded Union College (N.Y.)(30-11) meet in game three. The Knights won the MAC Commonwealth championship, while the Dutchmen captured the Liberty League trophy. The final game of day one in York features second-seeded Babson College (32-10) against seventh-seeded Catholic University (31-13). The Beavers earn the New England Women's and Men's Athletics Conference (NEWMAC) title, while the Cardinals secure the Landmark Conference hardware.

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The regional round is set for May 17-20 at eight sites across the country. The head winners will head to Appleton, Wisc., for the last time as the Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium closes its 19-year run as the host venue for the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship final series on May 25-30.

For more information, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.