WTAMU sixth in initial NCAA South Central Region baseball rankings

The Lone Star Conference-leading West Texas A&M baseball team learned Wednesday that it is sixth in the initial 2018 NCAA Division II Baseball South Central Region rankings, the NCAA announced late in the afternoon.

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith leads the initial poll, followed by Colorado School of Mines and Texas A&M-Kingsville is third.  Angelo State and Colorado Mesa are tied for fourth, while WT is sixth, followed by St. Edward's and St. Mary's.  Click here for the complete rankings.

The 2018 NCAA South Central Regional is scheduled for May 17-20 at the No. 1-seed in the final rankings released May 13 on NCAA.com when the complete NCAA Division II Baseball Championship field is announced.  If the regional were to begin today, WT would have the final spot in the regional and UAFS most likely would host the regional.  There are two weeks left in the regular season as there will be two more weekly NCAA region ranking polls, prior to the official announcement on May 13.

WT has qualified for the NCAA South Central Regional each of the past four years and earned the automatic berth each of the last two by virtue of winning the LSC Tournament Championship.  The Buffs currently are ranked sixth nationally in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 25 (NCBWA) and tenth in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 25.  WT also leads the NCBWA South Central Region Top Ten for the third-straight week.

The Buffs are 32-9 overall and 14-2 in Lone Star Conference play and own a four-game lead on Tarleton State in the loss column as TSU is 14-6 in conference play and 29-15 overall.  WT hosts No. 3-ranked in the NCAA region ranking and No. 18, according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Texas A&M-Kingsville this weekend at Wilder Park for Senior Weekend.

The key LSC series gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening with a single game, followed by a doubleheader Saturday at 4 p.m. and a single game at 1 p.m. for Senior Day on Sunday.   TAMUK is 31-10 overall and 10-6 in LSC play, also four games behind WT, while the Javelinas won three of four games against WT in non-conference play in Kingsville earlier this year.

WT went 2-1 against Arkansas-Fort Smith this season, while going 1-3 against TAMUK so far and 2-2 against Angelo State in non-conference play.  WT ends the regular season May 4-6 at Angelo State in what could be a huge series with LSC title and regional implications on the line.

The 2018 NCAA Division II College World Series returns to Cary, N.C., at the USA Baseball National Training Complex beginning May 26 and running through June 2.

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