INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Florida Southern returns to NCAA baseball postseason action and will be the number four seed in the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament, May 18-22, at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. The Moccasins will be joined by #1 seed and host team, Delta State (41-11), #2 Tampa (37-12), #3 Nova Southeastern (33-16), #5 Valdosta State (33-20), #6 West Alabama (34-19), and #7 Miles (31-21).
The Moccasins will take on #5 Valdosta State at 8 p.m. ET on May 18 with the winner facing Delta State. In other opening-round games, #2 Tampa takes on #7 Miles at 4 p.m. ET, and #3 Nova Southeastern plays #6 West Alabama at 12 p.m. ET. The tournament is double-elimination.
Florida Southern split a pair of games earlier this season with Delta State, losing 4-1 on Feb. 10 before posting a 13-0 shutout on Feb. 11, and dropped two of three to Tampa on April 21-22. Both series were at Henley Field in Lakeland. Nova Southeastern swept a three-game series from Florida Southern on April 28-29 in Ft. Lauderdale. The Moccasins did not meet the other three regional participants this season.
Delta State (winner of the Gulf South Conference), Tampa (winner of the Sunshine State Conference), and Miles (winner of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), all earned their league's automatic berth in the tournament while Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern, of the SSC, got at-large bids, as did Valdosta State and West Alabama, of the GSC.
Florida Southern ended the regular season with a 34-15 record and placed fourth in the Sunshine State Conference with a 12-12 record. The Moccasins hit .315 as a team this season and tied the school single season record with 76 home runs, 10 of which came in today's doubleheader at Saint Leo.
Omar Villaman and Logan Browning lead the Moccasins with .384 and .380 batting averages, respectively. Mitch Reeves, who had three homers in game one of today's twinbill at Saint Leo, leads the squad with 17 homers, second most in a single season at Florida Southern. Reeves is also tops with 52 runs batted in.
On the hill, Jake Walsh leads with a 12-1 record, a 2.37 ERA, and 103 strikeouts in 95.0 innings pitched. Logan Browning sports a 7-2 record with a 3.96 ERA while Cameron Hanes had recorded 10 saves on the season.
This is Florida Southern's 41st trip to the NCAA postseason and its first since 2014. The 40 appearances is the most in the NCAA Division II. Overall, the Moccasins have a 146-76 record in the NCAA postseason with the 146 wins, 33 more than the University of Tampa, the only other school in the NCAA Division II with 100 or more wins in postseason play.
In their last postseason appearance in 2014, the Moccasins advanced to the tournament championship game before falling to Tampa, 3-0, on the Spartans' home field. FSC opened the 2014 regional with an 8-4 win over Delta State before dropping an 11-1 decision to Alabama-Huntsville in game two. Florida Southern came back to post a 4-2 victory over Lynn and then eliminated UAH, 7-2, to advance to the title game.
The Moccasins last won the regional championship in 2005 at Henley Field before going on to win the national championship under then head coach Pete Meyer, now Florida Southern's director of athletics. The title was the the Moccasins' ninth championship - most in the NCAA Division II.
Winners of the eight NCAA Regional Tournaments advance to the NCAA National Championship Tournament, May 27 to June 3 at The Ballpark in Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, Texas.