May 12, 2008

Saints headed to Mount Olive for NCAA Regional

North Georgia to match up with USC Aiken in first round

DAHLONEGA, GA - After winning four straight and taking home the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship Sunday afternoon, the Saints learned they will be traveling to Mount Olive College which will be host to the NCAA South Atlantic Regional May 15-18.

The six-team double-elimination regional will take place Thursday through Sunday at Scarborough Field with the winner of the South Atlantic Regional joining the other seven regional champions at the national finals May 24-31 at Sauget, Ill.

Mount Olive and North Georgia captured the automatic bids for the tournament as the nationally 25th-ranked North Georgia (41-19) posted a perfect 4-0 record and captured a tournament championship in its first-ever appearance in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The Saints are making their NCAA II Baseball Championship debut.

The four at-large bids were split equally between Conference Carolinas and the Peach Belt Conference. Belmont Abbey (40-20) is making its second tournament appearance and first since 2001. The Crusaders were Conference Carolinas Tournament runners-up. Nationally 19th-ranked Erskine (44-11) is making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Flying Fleet finished second in the Conference Carolinas regular season standings. This year marks the first time Conference Carolinas has had more than one team in the regional.

Nationally eighth-ranked Columbus State (41-17) aims for its second consecutive South Atlantic Regional title. The Cougars, who are making their 14th tournament appearance, won the national championship in 2002 and were national runners-up last year. Tenth-ranked USC Aiken (44-15) earned a bid to the NCAA Championship for the sixth tine in school history. The Pacers are in the South Atlantic Regional for the fourth consecutive year.

Tickets are $10 per day for adults and $5 per day for students with ID. Four-day all-session passes are available for $35 for adults and $15 for students.

Below is the schedule for the 2008 NCAA II South Atlantic Regional:

Thursday, May 15, 2008*
11 a.m. Game 3: No. 3 USC Aiken vs. No. 4 North Georgia
3 p.m. Game 2: No. 2 Columbus State vs. No. 5 Belmont Abbey
7 p.m. Game 1: No. 1 Mount Olive vs. No. 6 Erskine
*Game times adjusted to allow regional host to play in 7 p.m. game

Friday, May 16, 2008
11 a.m. Game 4: Loser game 1 vs. Loser game 2
3 p.m. Game 5: Winner game 1 vs. Loser game 3
7 p.m. Game 6: Winner game 2 vs. Winner game 3

Saturday, May 17, 2008*
11 a.m. Game 7: Winner game 5 vs. Winner game 6
3 p.m. Game 8: Winner game 4 vs. Loser game 6
7 p.m. Game 9: Winner game 8 vs. Loser game 7
*Pairings will be adjusted if five teams remain after Game 6

Sunday, May 18, 2008*
1 p.m. Game 10: Winner game 7 vs. Winner game 9
5 p.m. Game 11: If necessary (same teams as Game 10)
*Pairings will be adjusted if three teams remain after Game 9