Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—After a red-hot finish to its 2012 season, the Southern Virginia University baseball team is headed back to the USCAA Small College World Series for the third consecutive season—the longest streak of postseason appearances in the program's 13-year history.
After an up-and-down season, which included a ten-game losing streak followed by a seven-game winning streak, the Knights received the No. 5 seed at this year's SCWS, which features ten teams and will be played at Robin Roberts Stadium in Springfield, Ill., from May 7-10.
As the No. 5 seed, Southern Virginia's will open the tournament on Monday, May 7 against No. 4 Clark State at 11 a.m. View the full SCWS bracket at www.theuscaa.com.
At last year's SCWS, Southern Virginia baseball had its best postseason ever finishing runner-up. This season, the Knights seem poised for another deep postseason run after winning their final five games to qualify for nationals.
Led by a balanced yet potent offensive attack—seven different players are batting between .336 and .378—the Knights enter the SCWS with a .340 team batting average, which ranks first all-time in Southern Virginia baseball history.
Senior Andrew Snider (Lancaster, Calif.), who transferred to Southern Virginia as a sophomore in 2009, has been an integral part of the Knights' three straight postseason appearances. Snider currently leads Southern Virginia with a .378 batting average, while also compiling the most hits (48) and doubles (16) of any Knight this season.
Southern Virginia's success this season has also been spurred by the emergence of fellow sophomores Brandon Alexander (Oakley, Calif.) and Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.), who have both become formidable offensive weapons for the Knights.
Alexander is having a breakout year from a power standpoint leading the Knights in homeruns (10), slugging percentage (.745), walks (20) and RBIs (39).
Stevenson on the other hand has become an extremely reliable source of offensive production ranking second on the team in hits (47), doubles (T-11) and batting average (.373), while anchoring the Knights infield from the short stop position.
Southern Virginia will also lean on a pitching staff that is currently averaging the most strikeouts per nine innings (7.02) in program history as the Knights seek the first baseball national championship in university history.
No. 1—Spalding University
No. 2—The Apprentice School
No. 3—Rochester College
No. 4—Clark State Community College
No. 5—Southern Virginia University
No. 6—Penn State Mont Alto
No. 7—Penn State Beaver
No. 8—Selma University
No. 9—Penn College
No. 10—Robert Morris-Springfield