By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament selections and Regional pairings have been released, and Willamette University will open the tournament by taking on Chapman University (Calif.) in the first round of the Spokane, Washington Regional at Avista Stadium on Thursday, May 17. Game time is set for 11 a.m. (PDT).
Chapman, 34-11 on the season, is seeded #1 in the Spokane Regional. Willamette, 28-17 overall, is seeded #6. Other first round games in the Spokane Regional are #2 University of Redlands (Calif.) against #5 University of Texas-Dallas at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday and #3 Concordia University Texas versus #4 Texas Lutheran University at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Redlands is 33-11 overall, UT-Dallas owns a 30-15 record, Concordia Texas is 29-16, and Texas Lutheran is 34-9.
If the Bearcats defeat the Panthers in the first round, Willamette will take on the loser of the game between Concordia Texas and Texas Lutheran on Friday, May 18 at 2:30 p.m. (PDT). If the Bearcats lose to Chapman, Willamette will play the loser of the game between Redlands and UT-Dallas on Friday, May 18 at 11 a.m. No team will play more than a total of two games during the first two days of the double-elimination tournament. Action is scheduled to continue through Sunday, May 20.
Overall, a total of 58 teams were selected to fill eight regional brackets, with each bracket featuring six or eight teams. The eight Regional champions will advance to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship set for May 25-29 in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Forty of the NCAA Baseball Tournament berths went to automatic qualifiers who won conference titles. Willamette won the Northwest Conference Tournament Championship to claim the NWC's automatic bid. Chapman also qualified with an automatic bid by winning the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament Championship.