05/13/07 — Mount Olive awaits destination

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Mount Olive awaits destination

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 13, 2007 2:03 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- To charter a bus or spruce up the place for company -- that's the question the Mount Olive College baseball team expects to have answered tonight.

Nationally 10th-ranked Mount Olive, which has already clinched a post-season bid, will find out if it gets to host the South Atlantic Regional as pairings and sites for the 2007 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship are scheduled to be announced tonight. The six-team double-elimination regional takes place this Thursday through Sunday.

Mount Olive has been ranked No. 1 in the South Atlantic Region ranking in each of the last three weeks and would likely host the regional if the Trojans hold onto the No. 1 seed.

The winner of the South Atlantic Regional joins the other seven regional winners at the national finals May 25 through June 1 in Montgomery, Ala.

Mount Olive (46-11) has been idle since April 28 when the Trojans concluded regular season play with a doubleheader sweep over Chowan at Scarborough Field. The Trojans secured an automatic berth in the regional for the second year in a row by winning the 2007 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Tournament.

Outcomes from this weekend's Peach Belt Conference Tournament may have helped the Trojans' cause. Georgia College and State, ranked No. 2 in the region, was the first to be eliminated, posting an 0-2 record at the tournament. Regionally third-ranked Columbus State lost its opener, then eliminated Georgia College and State.

Regionally fourth-ranked Francis Marion was the next to be eliminated, while No. 5 Armstrong Atlantic State entered Saturday's play as the lone unbeaten team. The tournament, which underwent a two hour-plus rain delay Saturday, concludes this afternoon.

Virginia State earned the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association's first-ever automatic bid to the baseball regional by winning the CIAA Tournament. VSU is unranked in the region and will likely receive the No. 6 seed. The No. 1 seed faces the No. 6 seed in the first round of the regionals. Thus, if Mount Olive does receive the No. 1 seed, a Trojans vs. Trojans match-up could take place in the first round.

The Peach Belt Conference Tournament champion also earns an automatic berth and the three at-large bids are expected to go to Peach Belt schools.

Mount Olive Director of Athletics Jeff Eisen submitted a pair of bids to the NCAA, one to host at Scarborough Field on the MOC campus, and one to host at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, in case Scarborough Field does not meet requirements for NCAA Championships. While not a requirement, typically, the top seed gets to be the host school for NCAA II regionals.

The ncaasports.com website states that tournament selections will be announced at 8 p.m. However, according to a memorandum sent by the NCAA, the national selection conference call isn't scheduled to begin until 8 p.m. Which means a lot of people wearing green and white might be staying up late giving the "refresh" button a workout on their computers.

Selections will be posted on the Mount Olive College athletics website as soon as they're announced. Go to www.moc.edu and click Athletics.

-- MOC Sports Information