KANSAS CITY — The following are the 2018 NAIA Baseball National Championship opening round field, which was announced by the national office this week.
The NAIA officially announced a 45-team field and pairings for the opening games that are set to take place between May 14–17 at nine host sites.
Each of the nine host sites will feature five-teams with a double-elimination tournament format with the nine opening round winners joining Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at the 62nd annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, May 25 – June 1.
Three teams are set to make its first-ever appearance at the NAIA Baseball national championship, while LSU Shreveport and Tennessee Wesleyan will be making the tournament for a 10th-straight season.
LSU Shreveport (La.) and Tennessee Wesleyan are the only two NAIA teams to have participated in every event since the format was established in 2009.
The three teams making the opening round for the first time in this year’s field are Mobile (Ala.), Reinhardt (Ga.) and William Jessup (Calif.).
NOTE** Prior to the start of the opening round format, Mobile reached the World Series in 2001.
Among the notable returners from last season are Faulkner (Ala.), Oklahoma Wesleyan, Keiser (Fla.), Oklahoma City, Science & Arts (Okla.) and William Carey (Miss.) – who all won opening round titles last term.
2018 Baseball National Championship Opening Round Qualifiers
|Antelope Valley (Calif.)||NAIA West Group California Pacific Conference Regular-Season Champion||41-11-1||2nd||1-2|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||North Star Athletic Association Tournament Champion||37-21||9th||14-15||1|
|British Columbia||NAIA West Group Tournament Runner-up||28-24||7th||9-12|
|Campbellsville (Ky.)||Mid-South Conference Tournament Champion||36-15||8th||14-13||1|
|Central Methodist (Mo.)||Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||40-14||4th||1-6|
|Clarke (Iowa)||Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||35-21-1||3rd||2-4|
|Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||American Midwest Conference Tournament Champion||40-14||4th||3-6|
|Georgia Gwinnett||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Runner-Up||45-10||5th||11-7||1|
|Indiana Tech||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||42-19||8th||12-14|
|Indiana Wesleyan||Crossroads League Regular-Season Champion||37-18||2nd||1-2|
|IU Southeast (Ind.)||River States Conference Regular-Season Champion||40-12||5th||5-8|
|Judson (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||35-18||6th||3-10|
|Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||World Series Host||38-11||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|LSU Alexandria (La.)||Red River Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||32-25||4th||2-6|
|LSU Shreveport (La.)||Red River Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||39-20||10th||15-14||2|
|Lyon (Ark.)||American Midwest Conference Regular-Season Champion||36-15||4th||4-6|
|Madonna (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||36-16||6th||4-10|
|Marian (Ind.)||Crossroads League Tournament Champion||24-25||2nd||1-2|
|Middle Georgia State||Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||45-16||3rd||3-4|
|Midland (Neb.)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||32-20||5th||3-8|
|Northwestern (Iowa)||Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||30-18||4th||4-6|
|Oklahoma City||Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||47-7||9th||21-7||5|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion||51-6||4th||9-3||2|
|Point (Ga.)||Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||34-23||3rd||5-3||1|
|Point Park (Pa.)||River States Conference Tournament Champion||45-7||4th||3-4||1|
|Science & Arts (Okla.)||Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||45-6||4th||7-2||1|
|St. Thomas (Fla.)||At-Large||53-7||7th||12-11||1|
|Talladega (Ala.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||27-22||3rd||0-4|
|Tennessee Wesleyan||Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||37-19||10th||23-13||3|
|Trinity Christian (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||34-21||2nd||0-2|
|University of Northwestern Ohio||At-Large||38-18||3rd||4-4|
|Webber International (Fla.)||The Sun Conference Tournament Champion||35-22||2nd||1-2|
|William Carey (Miss.)||At-Large||33-23||6th||12-9||1|
|William Jessup (Calif.)||Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament Champion||38-15||1st||0-0|
|York (Neb.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-Up||26-26||6th||6-8||1|