NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (32-24, 17-13) will play against the top seeded Stetson Hatters (40-16, 23-7) in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament on Wednesday. The first contest of the league playoffs is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. CT at Lipscomb University's Ken Dugan Field.
The Bruins grabbed the final spot in the field in the most impressive fashion last weekend. Belmont became the first A-Sun team to defeat Stetson in a series this season. By winning the final two games of the series, the Bruins moved inside the RPI top 90. They own a 7-6 record against the RPI top 50 joining Stetson as only two A-Sun schools with winning records against top-50 schools. Junior Matt Hamann (Northbrook, Ill.) established himself as one of the league's aces, finishing the regular-season with an 8-1 record and a 2.28 ERA.
Stetson leads the field of six as the regular-season champion. The Hatters returned to the 40-win mark for the first time since 2007 in impressive fashion. They opened with a three-game sweep against Georgia then won its first nine A-Sun series to lock up the title. They reached national acclaim in mid-March entering national polls at that time. They reached as high as No. 14 during the season and come to Nashville eyeing a record seventh championship victory.
The A-Sun Tournament features a field of six schools all ranked inside the RPI top 90, according to WarrenNolan.com. The Atlantic Sun, ranked as the eighth-best conference in country by the same website, joins the ACC, Big 12 and the SEC as the only four conferences in the country that feature all respective tournament participants ranked inside the top 90.
Play begins on Wednesday with the top-seeded Hatters facing the sixth-seeded Bruins at 11:00 a.m. CT. No. 2 Jacksonville takes on No. 5 ETSU in a match-up of two RPI top-50 schools at 3:00 p.m. CT. In the nightcap No. 3 Kennesaw State tangles with the defending champions No. 4 Mercer at 7:00 p.m. CT.
All contests for the A-Sun Championship will air free of charge on ASun.TV. You can also catch all of the Bruin action by listening to Rich Tiner's play-by-play on the Bruins Sports Network. Live Stats will be available through host Lipscomb's athletics website.