Tampa Could Repeat As Division II Champs

Site:Cary, N.C. (University of Mount Olive)
Participants: Chico State, Colorado Mesa, Lander, Minnesota State-Mankato, St. Thomas Aquinas, Seton Hill, Southern Indiana, Tampa
Here are the first round matchups that will take place this weekend:
Saturday, May 24:
• 1 p.m. Tampa vs. Southern Indiana
• 5 p.m. Lander vs. Chico State
Sunday, May 25:
• 1 p.m. Seton Hill vs. Minnesota State-Mankato
• 5 p.m. Colorado Mesa vs. St. Thomas Aquinas

The NCAA Division II World Series begins Saturday and the defending champs, the Tampa Spartans, look keen to repeat. After breezing through the South Regional in Tampa, Fla., the Spartans will come into the World Series with a record of 51-2. In addition to the 2013 champions, the 2014 World Series will feature three teams making their first appearance—Lander (S.C.), St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) and Seton Hill (Pa.).

Chico State (Calif.) 43-13 (29-10 conference)

Chico State beat UC San Diego 3-1 to advance out of the West Regional in Grand Junction, Colo. The victory gives the Wildcats their ninth finals appearance in the past 18 seasons. Last year, Chico State missed the finals after losing two games to Grand Canyon on the final day.

Team Hitting: .292/.371/.363 with 13 home runs, 225 Ks and 153 BBs

Team Pitching: 2.57 ERA, .241 BAA, nine home runs allowed, 289 Ks and 124 BBs

Notable Alumni: Dale Thayer, Clay Dalrymple

Colorado Mesa (Colo.) 44-11 (31-7 conference)

With their 7-6 victory against Texas A&M Kingsville in the South Central Regional, the Mavericks are headed to the championships for the first time in five years.  Senior Austin Kaiser leads Colorado Mesa's strong offense, leading the country with a .435 batting average, 105 hits and 169 total bases.

Team Hitting:  .361/.427/.531 with 49 home runs, 216 Ks and 174 BBs

Team Pitching: 2.88 ERA, .266 BAA, 25 home runs allowed, 325 Ks and 143 BBs

Notable Alumni: Sergio Romo

Lander (S.C.) 51-7 (24-6 conference)

Lander managed to survive the Southeast Regional in Greenwood, S.C., to advance to their first world series. It was no easy task for the Bearcats however, as they dropped a game to Columbus State 19-5 and needed 10 innings to get a win against USC Aiken.

Team Hitting: .316/.432/.515 with 78 home runs, 391 Ks and 336 BBs

Team Pitching: 3.86 ERA, .243 BAA, 27 home runs allowed, 477 Ks and 244 BBs

Notable Alumni: Alan Abreu, Drew Elliott, Darrin Tew

Minnesota State-Mankato (Minn.) 45-9 (28-4 conference)

Minnesota State-Mankato comes out of the East Regional in New Hampshire after a 6-3 win against Emporia State. This marks the third consecutive regional title for Minnesota and its eighth appearance in the championships.

Team Hitting: .322/.412/.462 with 34 home runs, 260 Ks and 178 BBs

Team Pitching: 3.08 ERA, .237 BAA, 14 home runs allowed, 434 Ks and 107 BBs

Notable Alumni: Gary Mielke, Bob Will, Jerry Terrell

St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) 38-16 (16-8 conference)

St. Thomas Aquinas comes to the party for the first time after advancing out of the East Regional. The Spartans swept Dowling College in Manchester, N.H., with 4-2 and 3-0 victories on the same day. Matt Kostolos led St. Thomas with a complete game shutout in game two on two days of rest.

Team Hitting: .300/.374/.394 with 13 home runs, 294 Ks and 176 BBs

Team Pitching: 3.33 ERA, .240 BAA, five home runs allowed, 333 Ks and 164 BBs

Notable Alumni: Tyler Greene

Seton Hill (Pa.) 40-15 (22-6 conference)

Seton Hill joins St. Thomas and Lander as rookie teams in the finals after a 3-0 shutout of Millersville in the Atlantic Regional. The Griffins allowed just four runs in four games while in West Lawn, Pa.

Team Hitting: .307/.392/.407 with 23 home runs, 219 Ks and 153 BBs

Team Pitching: 3.58 ERA, .369 BAA, nine home runs allowed, 265 Ks and 118 BBs

Notable Alumni: Rick Austin, Alex Haines

Southern Indiana (Ind.) 45-12 (29-5 conference)

Southern Indiana won the Midwest Regional for the third time after beating Drury University 4-2. This marks the third time since 2007 that the Screaming Eagles advanced to the championships.

Team Hitting: .286/.362/369 with nine home runs, 344 Ks and 184 BBs

Team Pitching: 2.52 ERA, .250 BAA, eight home runs allowed, 303 Ks and 130 BBs

Notable Alumni: Kevin Brown

Tampa (Fla.) 51-2 (22-1 conference)

No. 1 seed Tampa came out of the South Regional on the back of Trey Oest's shutout of Florida Southern. The 3-0 victory moved the Spartans to 51-2 on the season and brings them back to Cary, N.C., where they will try and defend their 2013 championship.

Team Hitting: .334/.410/.496 with 48 home runs, 251 Ks and 194 BBs

Team Pitching: 3.11 ERA, .254 BAA, 17 home runs allowed, 338 Ks and 105 BBs

Notable Alumni: Lou Piniella