Emporia State hopes for better showing in this year’s regionals

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EMPORIA (ESU ATHLETICS) – Game times and ticket prices have been set for Emporia State in this weekend’s NCAA Division II Baseball Central Regional Tournament in St. Cloud, Minn. It is the third straight year and 11th time in 13 seasons under Bob Fornelli that the Hornets have advanced to regional play.

Emporia State is the sixth seed and will take on third seeded Minnesota-Duluth in the last game of the day at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 at Joe Faber Field in the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex. The Hornets took two of three games from the Bulldogs on March 8-9, 2008 in the only previous meetings between the two teams.

Emporia State finished the season 37-17 overall and 27-12 in the MIAA. They were the runners-up in the MIAA regular season. In the latest NCAA statistics the Hornets are ranked fourth in fielding percentage, fifth in total runs scored, sixth in hits, eighth in scoring per game, and ninth in doubles.

The Bulldogs are 39-14 overall and went 29-7 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. They were the NSIC regular season champions. They rank second in the nation in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, and home runs, are fifth in scoring per game, sixth in total runs scored and tenth in hits.

This is Emporia State’s 12th trip all-time to the NCAA Tournament, the third straight year, and the 11th tourney berth in the last 13 years. They are 20-22 in their previous 11 NCAA Tournament appearances and 19-20 under Bob Fornelli. The Hornets have made two trips to the NCAA Division II National Championship Finals and were the 2009 National Runners-up. They won the NAIA National Championship in 1978, finished second in 1987 and were third in 1976.

The team will be leaving for St. Cloud on Tuesday, May 17 at 9:00 a.m. from the Trusler Sports Complex.

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