Faulkner to host NAIA Opening Round for 4th straight year

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (faulknereagles.com) – Faulkner University’s Harrison Field has been chosen as an Opening Round site for the 2016 NAIA Baseball National Championship, the association announced Friday afternoon.
Patrick McCarthy’s third-ranked Eagles will host the five-team, double-elimination tournament that will take place May 17-20. The winner joins eight other Opening Round champions and Lewis-Clark State in the 2016 Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, set for May 27-June 3.
“So many people have played a part in Faulkner being chosen again as an Opening Round site,” McCarthy said. “Our athletic administrators, especially athletic director Hal Wynn, have offered us so much support. And we’d like to thank the Faulkner administration for believing in our program. So much goes into getting a bid and the time spent preparing has helped promote Faulkner athletics in a great way.
“And, of course, our players have worked so hard to earn the right to host games in the post-season. I’m really proud of this team, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
For the first time since the NAIA went to the Opening Round format in 2007, one city will have two sites. In addition to Faulkner, No. 8 Auburn Montgomery will also host a five-team event. The sites are normally named after the host city, but since there are two in Montgomery, Faulkner’s will be called the Faulkner Bracket and AUM’s the Montgomery Bracket.
Other Opening Round hosts and their respective site cities are Georgia Gwinnett (Lawrenceville Bracket), Appalachian Athletic Conference (Kingsport Bracket), South Carolina-Beaufort (Savannah Bracket), Davenport (Grand Rapids Bracket), Jamestown (Jamestown Bracket), Tabor (Hutchinson Bracket), and Westmont (Santa Barbara Bracket).
The 45 Opening Round qualifiers and each bracket seeding will be announced Friday, May 13. Faulkner has been to the Avista-NAIA World Series four of the past five years, having won the national championship in 2013. Last year’s team finished third.
The Eagles (38-11 overall, 18-3 SSAC) currently hold a two-game lead over AUM in the Southern States Athletic Conference standings with six league games remaining. Faulkner hosts Mobile this weekend before closing out the regular season next weekend at AUM.
The SSAC Tournament is scheduled for May 4-7 at Montgomery’s Paterson Field.