The Mount Vernon Nazarene College baseball team received one of the four at-large berths into the 10-team double elimination National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament that will get underway in Celina, Ohio, on Wednesday.
Despite finishing as the runner-up to Malone College in the NCCAA East Region Tournament, the Cougars (34-15) are seeded second in the tournament and will face the winner of the game between seventh-seeded Faulkner (Ala.) University and Oakland City (Ind.) University at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
"It is nice to be able to participate in this tournament after not being in it last year," said MVNC head coach Keith Veale, who enters the tournament needing just one more win to reach 400 victories in 12 seasons at the school. "This year's field of teams looks to be extremely competitive, and once play gets underway the seeding does not matter."
MVNC is no stranger to the NCCAA National Tournament having participated in 10 out of the 14 years of the event. The Cougars have won five previous NCCAA national titles (1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999) and finished third once, fourth twice, and sixth once.
In other first round action, eighth-seeded Malone College will face ninth-seeded Greenville (Ill.) College, fourth-seeded Gardner-Webb (N.C.) University will meet fifth-seeded East Texas Baptist University, and third-seeded Spring Arbor (Mich.) College will square off with sixth-seeded Bethel (Ind.) College. Top-seeded Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University, the defending NCCAA national champs, will take on the Malone-Greenville winner to round out the first round action.
The double elimination tournament will continue Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with games being played at both Westview Park and Eastview Park.