RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University baseball team has earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Division II Championship tournament. The D-II Baseball Committee made its selections public on Sunday night during its annual selection show streamed live on www.ncaa.com.
The entire field of 56 teams, including the eight from the East Region, can be viewed at https://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/public/files/d2base.pdf.
New for 2019, regional championships will be conducted at two sites, with the winners meeting in a best-of-three super regional round the following weekend. Felician was assigned the No. 6 seed in the East and will travel with No. 3 seed LIU Post and No. 7 seed Assumption College to compete in the East II Regional in Manchester, N.H., along with host and No. 2 seed Southern New Hampshire University.
In the first round of the double-elimination event, the Golden Falcons (30-21) will face LIU Post (36-14), the East Coast Conference champion, on Thursday at 7 p.m. at SNHU's Penmen Field. The tournament continues Friday, with the championship round set for noon on Saturday.
Ticket prices for each day of the event are $8 for adults, $5 for children under 12 and senior citizens ages 55 and up, and $1 for students with valid identification. A tournament information web page has been set up at https://snhu.prestosports.com/sports/bsb/2018-19/NCAAEastRegional.
Felician is playing its 20th year of varsity intercollegiate baseball, including its 17th as an NCAA member. It is making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance (2014, 2016, 2017), including its second of the at-large variety (2017). The Golden Falcons are seeking their first regional title.
"I feel like we showed that we can compete with the best teams in the region all year long, even in games that we lost," said Felician senior shortstop L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton), a two-time First Team All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) honoree. "So I felt we deserved to get a bid, but I wasn't sure if the committee would see it that way. Seeing our name pop up on the screen brought an energy and life to our guys that I haven't seen before."
Felician, guided by four-time defending CACC Coach of the Year Chris Langan, won the CACC South Division regular-season crown with a 24-8 league record. However, the Golden Falcons were defeated, 5-4, at home by Bloomfield College in the conference tournament's play-in round on May 4 and have not played since.
"This opportunity is the second chance our guys deserved," Struble said. "We worked very hard to earn this chance, and we've already been through the heartbreak, so we have nothing to lose. That may give us an edge to make a deep run."
There are 34 baseball-playing schools in the NCAA Division II East Region.
The Pioneers defeated Felician, 3-2, on Feb. 22 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in the teams' only meeting this season. The Golden Falcons have not played either Assumption or SNHU in 2019. In the NCAA Tournament, Felician is 1-1 vs. LIU Post, 0-3 against the Penmen, and 0-0 versus the Greyhounds. Felician and Assumption have not met at any time since splitting two 2013 contests; the Golden Falcons are 8-10 all-time against the Pioneers and 2-18 versus the Penmen.
The Division II East I Regional Championship is being hosted by top-seed Adelphi University on its Garden City, N.Y., campus. Vying with the Panthers for a spot in the super regional are No. 4 Wilmington (Del.) University, No. 5 New York Institute of Technology, and No. 8 Franklin Pierce University.
Felician University engages more than 2,400 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students through programs in Arts & Sciences, Business, Nursing, and Education. Universal Franciscan values of respect, social justice, and compassion form an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow's leaders. Felician University was ranked 3rd-best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey in 2018 by the PayScale.com College ROI Report and is ranked the No. 1 safest college campus in the state by niche.com. Felician also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level. To learn more about Felician University please visit www.felician.edu.