AUGUSTA, GA – Following the final game of the 2011 regular season on Monday, the Peach Belt Conference released the eight-team double-elimination bracket from the league office in Augusta. The top four teams in each division advance to tournament play, which begins this Sunday, May 8, at historic Golden Park in Columbus, Ga.
North Georgia has captured the No. 3 seed in the west division and will take on the No. 2 seed in the east division Armstrong Atlantic State University in the opening round. The Saints and Pirates will play on Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the final contest of four opening-day games at Golden Park.
The opening game of the tournament will take place on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and will feature No. 2 seed from the west Georgia College taking on the No. 3 seed from the east UNC Pembroke. At 12:30 p.m., the PBC Regular Season Champion and No. 1 seed from the east Francis Marion will take on Augusta State who captured the No. 4 seed in the west division.
The evening games will get started at 4:00 p.m. with the No. 1 seed from the west and tournament host Columbus State taking on Lander who rounded out the teams in the east division with the No. 4 seed. The Saints and Pirates will battle under the lights in the final game on Sunday, with the winner advancing in the bottom half of the bracket to Monday's second round game at 7:30 p.m.
North Georgia enters the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the league, having won 10 of their last 12 games dating back to an 8-0 victory over Anderson University on April 13. The Saints have been eligible for the PBC Tournament for the last three years since moving into the Division II ranks, and have made an appearance all three years, including claiming the Championship in 2008, and earning runner-up honors in 2009.
Head coach Tom Cantrell's squad is 6-2 all-time in the PBC Tournament, going a perfect 4-0 in 2008, 2-1 in 2009, and 0-1 in 2010. The Saints' lone game against Armstrong Atlantic in PBC Tournament history came in the opening round of the 2009 tournament where North Georgia survived 12-11 over the Pirates.
The 2011 PBC Tournament will be played using the same bracket as the Division II World Series with two four-team brackets competing with a crossover on the third day. This format leads to a single championship game on Thursday, May 12, at 1:00 p.m.
The winner of the PBC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional. PBC teams have won the regional and advanced to the World Series in eight of the past 10 years including Georgia College in 2010.