Morningside will face Mayville State in the Hutchison Bracket of the 2016 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round
Morningside will travel to Hutchison, Kan., to compete in the Hutchison Bracket of the 2016 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round to be held May 17-20.
Morningside is the No. 4 seed in the five-team double-elimination tournament and will face No. 5 seed Mayville State University in an 11 a.m. first round contest on Tuesday, May 17. The winner will face No. 1 seed University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma in a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday. Science & Arts is ranked 11th in the final regular season NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. Thirteenth-ranked Tabor College is the No. 2 seed and tournament host and No. 23 Wayland Baptist University is the No. 3 seed.
Morningside, making its first national tournament appearance since it played in the 1960 NAIA World Series, punched its national tournament ticket with a 6-5 victory against regular season champion Midland University in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Tournament Championship Game. The last time the Mustangs advanced past the conference tournament level of the post-season came in 2008 when they competed in the NAIA Region III Tournament.
The Mustangs finished third in the GPAC regular season standing with a 13-7 league record and have a 43-14 overall mark to set a school record for victories in a season. Morningside will take a five-game winning streak into its game against Mayville State, which has a 31-28 record and qualified as the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Tournament runner-up. Mayville State finished sixth in the league’s regular season standings with a 12-11 record. The Comets, who have a 6-2 record over their last eight games, will make their fifth appearance in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
The winner of the Hutchison Bracket will advance to the 2016 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series to be held May 27 to June 3 in Lewiston, Idaho.