NCAA D2 Baseball – College World Series Kicks Off

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The NCAA Division 2 College Baseball World Series kicks off today in Cary, NC.  This year there will be a new champion as all 8 teams didn’t qualify last year.  In fact, 3 of the teams are making their first ever appearance. 

The teams are separated into 2 – 4 team brackets that will play in their own mini-double elimination tournament.  The winners of each bracket will then play a single winner take all championship game which is scheduled for Saturday May 30th. 

Here are the brackets and times for opening games –

Bracket 1 –

Mesa State (Central) vs. Belmont Abbey (Southeast) – Saturday May 23rd 1pm

Grand Valley State (Midwest) vs. Emporia State (South Central) – Saturday May 23rd 5pm

Bracket 2 –

UC San Diego (West) vs. Dowling (East) – Sunday May 24th 1pm

West Chester (Atlantic) vs. Lynn (South) – Sunday May 24th 5pm

There are a bunch of resources to help you get ready for the D2 College World Series –

First off, I’ve put together this statistical comparison to show how the teams compare in 5 important categories with each other.  The ranking column (R1 – R5) shows where they compare with the 229 Division II programs in the NCAA.

Team BA R1 Slg % R2 ERA R3 SB/G R4 Fld % R5
Belmont Abbey 0.316 91 0.507 35 4.64 60 0.42 217 0.958 82
Dowling 0.277 167 0.346 202 2.09 1 2.14 15 0.965 29
Emporia State 0.338 30 0.514 27 4.54 52 1.97 24 0.97 7
Grand Valley St 0.344 14 0.495 50 3.42 8 0.95 145 0.962 48
Lynn 0.326 61 0.5 45 4.64 59 2.02 21 0.965 26
Mesa State 0.383 1 0.593 1 6.17 143 2 22 0.96 56
UC San Diego 0.342 21 0.501 43 3.74 14 1.42 81 0.981 1
West Chester 0.356 6 0.556 12 3.67 11 1.84 31 0.966 18

What this shows is that a team like Mesa State ranks #1 in all of D2 baseball for batting average and slugging percentage has by far and away the worst team ERA of the teams competing.  On the other hand, Dowling is the exact opposite.  A light hitting team that leads the country in ERA and has the highest number of stolen bases per game of any of the teams here.  UC Sand Diego leads the country in fielding percentage.  West Chester is ranked very high in almost every category.  That said, the thing these rankings don’t do is factor in strength of competition as a team like Lynn is going to have a much tougher schedule which impacts their statistics.

The NCAA has a number of sites you should visit to get ready for the games:

  • The official website with team links, results, Live Video & Live Stats – NCAA D2 College World Series Site
  • A cool, interactive tournament bracket to follow the action – D2 Bracket
  • Pre-Tournament press conference quotes from the coaches – Coach Quotes
  • The weather forecast for Raleigh, NC.  Looks good for the weekend but storms are possible all week – Raleigh 10 Day Forecast
  • The Daktronics All-American team was announced.  Three of the first-team players will be competing in the College World Series (Gabriel Duran – Dowling, Dan Wright – Lynn & Matt Bodenchuk – Mesa St) – Daktronics All-American Team 
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