KANSAS CITY, Mo. – [Opening Round Schedule | Bracket Reveal Show] The NAIA has officially announced the 45-team field and pairings for the 2019 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round. The 11th annual event takes place May 13 – 16 at nine host sites. Each of the nine locations features a five-team, double-elimination tournament.
The nine opening round champions join Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at the 63rd annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, May 24 – 31. For more information on the World Series, click here.
The field consists of 32 automatic qualifiers – given to conference regular-season champions, tournament champions or tournament runners-up – and 13 at-large teams. Conferences with 10-or-more members receive two automatic qualifiers, while leagues with less than 10 get one.
At-large teams were determined by the NAIA Baseball National Selection Committee (NSC). The NSC consists of one representative from each geographic area, a representative from the National Administrative Council, the president of the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association and three at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria.
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Opening Round Notes
• Overall, there are 28 repeat qualifiers from the 2018 opening round, including seven teams that won opening round titles last season – Antelope Valley (Calif.), Faulkner (Ala.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Georgia Gwinnett, Oklahoma City, Southeastern (Fla.), St. Thomas (Fla.).
• With weather across the country as a factor, no teams in the 2019 field eclipsed the 50-win mark. Tennessee Wesleyan and Southeastern both own the most wins in the field with 48.
• LSU Shreveport (La.) and Tennessee Wesleyan are back in the opening round for an 11th time, which leads the field. These two clubs are the only NAIA teams to have participated in every event since the format was established in 2009. Bellevue (Neb.), Faulkner and Oklahoma City are the only others to have double digit appearances with 10 apiece.
• There are four newcomers to the opening round in this year’s field in Baker (Kan.), Columbia (Mo.), Jarvis Christian (Texas) and Thomas (Ga.). Prior to the start of the opening round format, Mobile reached the World Series in 2001.
• Faulkner and Oklahoma City boast the most opening round championships with six each. Sixteen teams in the 2019 field have at least one opening round championship to their credit.
• The Golden State Athletic Conference and The Sun Conference lead all leagues with four teams in the 2019 field. Seven leagues checked-in with three teams.
|Institution||Qualification Method||2019 Record||Appearances||Last Time||OR Record||Titles|
|Antelope Valley (Calif.)||Unaffiliated CalPac/Frontier/Cascade Regular Season Champion||33-17||2||2018||4-3||1|
|Baker (Kan.)||Heart of America Tournament Champion||26-25||1||N/A||0-0||0|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||North Star Tournament Champion||43-14||10||2018||15-17||1|
|British Columbia||Unaffiliated CalPac/Frontier/Cascade Tournament Runner-Up||29-20||8||2018||10-14||0|
|Campbellsville (Ky.)||Mid-South Tournament Champion||31-18||9||2018||18-15||1|
|Central Methodist (Mo.)||At-Large||34-14||3||2018||1-4||0|
|Clarke (Iowa)||Heart of America Tournament Runner-Up||28-21||4||2018||4-6||0|
|Columbia (Mo.)||American Midwest Tournament Runner-Up||29-21||1||N/A||0-0||0|
|Concordia (Neb.)||Great Plains Regular Season Champion||32-17||2||2017||1-2||0|
|Faulkner (Ala.)||Southern States Regular Season Champion||46-10||10||2018||22-7||6|
|Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||American Midwest Tournament Champion||43-14||5||2018||6-6||1|
|Georgia Gwinnett||Association of Independent Instituttions Tournament Champion||43-11||6||2018||14-7||2|
|Hope International (Calif.)||Golden State Tournament Champion||29-20||2||2017||3-0||1|
|Huntington (Ind.)||Crossroads Regular Season Champion||26-14||4||2017||3-6||0|
|Indiana Tech||Wolverine-Hoosier Regular Season Champion||37-14||9||2018||14-16||0|
|IU Southeast (Ind.)||River States Regular Season Champion||35-18||6||2018||6-10||0|
|Jamestown (N.D.)||Great Plains Tournament Champion||35-16||8||2018||10-14||0|
|Jarvis Christian (Texas)||Red River Tournament Runner-Up||35-24||1||N/A||0-0||0|
|Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||Host Berth to Avista-NAIA World Series||34-13||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|LSU Shreveport (La.)||Red River Regular Season Champion||47-11||11||2018||16-16||2|
|Madonna (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Tournament Runner-Up||35-20||7||2018||4-12||0|
|Marian (Ind.)||Crossroads League Tournament Champion||30-19||3||2018||1-4||0|
|Middle Georgia State||At-Large||39-14||4||2018||3-6||0|
|Mobile (Ala.)||Southern States Tournament Runner-Up||36-20||2||2018||0-2||0|
|Oklahoma City||Sooner Tournament Pool Champion||46-12||10||2018||24-8||6|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan||Kansas Collegiate Regular Season Champion||43-9||5||2018||11-5||2|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||Chicagoland Tournament Champion||34-14||2||2016||0-2||0|
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||River States Tournament Champion||38-19||4||2016||6-6||0|
|Saint Xavier (Ill.)||Chicagoland Regular Season Champion||34-13||3||2016||2-4||0|
|Science & Arts (Okla.)||Sooner Tournament Pool Champion||43-10||5||2018||8-4||1|
|St. Thomas (Fla.)||At-Large||42-13||8||2018||15-11||2|
|Talladega (Ala.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-Up||25-24||4||2018||1-6||0|
|Tennessee Wesleyan||Appalachian Pool A Winner||48-8||11||2018||25-15||4|
|Thomas (Ga.)||The Sun Tournament Champion||28-24||1||N/A||0-0||0|
|Union (Ky.)||Appalachian Pool B Winner||27-23||4||2011||5-6||0|
|Webber International (Fla.)||At-Large||36-20||3||2018||3-4||0|
|William Jessup (Calif.)||At-Large||37-12||2||2018||3-2||0|
|York (Neb.)||Kansas Collegiate Tournament Runner-Up||29-21||7||2018||7-10||1|