Boxers snubbed by NCAA selection committee
NWC co-champion Pacific is left off the list of at-large invites to the NCAA Division III baseball tournament
Pacific's incredible storybook championship season will not have another chapter.
As expected, Northwest Conference co-champion Pacific was passed up for one of 16 at-large selections to the NCAA Division III baseball tournament. The 56-team tournament field was announced on Monday.
Pacific was considered a long shot for gaining one of the Pool C at-large berths in the national tournament. The Boxers' chances for selection were hindered by a small number of non-conference games played against other Division III teams, which is a major criteria for the committee. Pacific played most of its non-conference games against Division II and NAIA teams.
Only Whitworth, which earned the league's automatic bid to the tournament, will represent the Northwest Conference when the NCAA tournament begins this week. The Pirates will play in the McMinnville regional at Linfield's Roy Helser Field, beginning with a contest tonight against SCIAC champion La Verne (Calif.).
Pacific Lutheran, which finished third in the NWC, was also passed up for the NCAA tournament field, as was Linfield, which had leapfrogged Pacific to No. 5 in last week's West Region rankings. Mock selections done Sunday night by D3Baseball.com had projected Linfield to be the last team selected to the field.
The rest of the McMinnville regional field includes American Southwest Conference champion Concordia, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Coe, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion St. John's and Trinity.
While being left out of the field was the expected outcome for the Boxers, it is still a disappointing end to a season that saw Pacific win its first NWC title since 1979.
After losing six of their first seven games of the season in a road trip to Hawaii Hilo and Hawaii Pacific, the Boxers went on to finish with a 22-15 overall record and tied Whitworth for first place in the NWC with a 19-5 mark, setting a school record for conference wins in a season.