St. Thomas Aquinas and Dowling Heading to NCAA Baseball Tournament

St. Thomas Aquinas and Dowling Heading to NCAA Baseball Tournament

Indianapolis, Ind. - ECC Champion, St. Thomas Aquinas, and ECC Runner-Up, Dowling, are among the 48 teams that will attempt to capture the National Championship in the upcoming NCAA Division II Baseball Championship.

St. Thomas Aquinas earned the conference's automatic berth in breathtaking fashion on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans came out of the loser's bracket by defeating Dowling twice, the second of which was in walk-off fashion in extra innings, to win their second straight ECC title. With their record now at 34-15 on the year, St. Thomas Aquinas earned the No. 4 seed in the East Region bracket.

The Spartans will take on No. 3 seed, Wilmington (33-9-1) in their first round contest. The two squads were slated to play earlier this season, but the inclement spring weather washed out their scheduled games.

Dowling had to sweat out their tournament fate after falling in the ECC Championship round, but earned an at-large bid with a 33-15 record. The Golden Lions receive the No. 5 seed and will take on No. 2 seeded, Franklin Pierce. Dowling and Franklin Pierce have already met four times this season in early March at Golden Lions Field. The Golden Lions were victorious in the first two games of the series, before the Ravens won the final two for a split.

St. Thomas Aquinas is making their second straight appearance in the tournament and are also in search of their first NCAA win after going two and out a season ago.

Dowling is making their third trip to the NCAA tournament in the past four seasons and ninth appearance since the 2002 campaign. They are also winless in their past two appearances as their last NCAA win came against No. 1 nationally ranked UC San Diego in the 2009 Division II World Series.

This also marks the first time since the same 2009 season that two ECC squads have earned berths in the tournament. Dowling was joined by former conference member, Adelphi, in the field that season.

The East Regional will be hosted by Northeast 10 Champion and top seed, Southern New Hampshire, for the third consecutive year. The sixth and final team in the bracket is Felician, winners of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference tournament.

The double-elimination East Regional will commence on Thursday, May 15. The winner of the tournament will advance to the NCAA Division II World Series at the USA National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. which runs from May 24-31.

To view the full NCAA Division II Baseball Championship release, click here.