OLD OCHARD BEACH, Maine—The Southern Virginia University baseball team today advanced to the championship game of the 2011 USCAA Small College World Series after its semifinal opponent, The Apprentice School, withdrew from tournament play.
The national championship is currently scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, but is subject to change depending on weather conditions. Southern Virginia will play the winner of the 11 a.m. loser's bracket game between Briarcliffe College and Penn State-Greater Allegheny.
Since the Knights are unbeaten thus far in the double-elimination Small College World Series, they must only win one more game to secure the national championship, whereas any opponent must defeat Southern Virginia twice to claim the title.
After recording the best regular season in Southern Virginia baseball's 12-year history, and collecting the program's first two postseason wins, the Knights hope to put the crowing achievement on their storybook year when they play Wednesday for the national championship.
Despite winning over 30 small college national championships, a men's baseball national championship has eluded Southern Virginia up to this point.
The 2011 Knights, however, seemed poised to make history as they have already set numerous program records, including most wins (30), fewest losses (8), highest winning percentage (.789), highest team batting average (.342), highest team slugging percentage (.522), highest on base percentage (.424), most hits (397), most runs scored (300), most runs batted in (272), most total bases (606), highest fielding percentage (.956), most shutouts (6), fewest homeruns allowed (9), lowest opponent batting average (.251), lowest earned run average (3.51), and fewest earned runs allowed (108).
The Knights earned a dramatic win over Rochester College in the opening round of the tournament as freshman Brandon Alexander's walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning lifted the Knights to their first postseason win.
After defeating Rochester, Southern Virginia advanced to the quarterfinals where it faced Penn State-Greater Allegheny for the fifth time this season—the Knights won three of their previous four meetings with the Nittany Lions.
In the quarterfinals against Greater Allegheny, Southern Virginia pulled out is second comeback victory of the tournament as Alexander again came through in the clutch with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth that allowed two runs to score giving the Knights a 3-2 victory.
Freshman Kody Parkinson earned both wins for Southern Virginia moving to 5-0 on the season with a 1.93 ERA.
Watch live stats of the championship game here. For complete coverage of the 2011 Baseball Small College World Series, visit theuscaa.com's tournament page.