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ST. LOUIS – Missouri Baptist will head to Hutchinson, Kan. as the No. 2-seed in the 2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, set to get underway on Monday, May 15.
Missouri Baptist advanced to the Opening Round after another stellar regular season. Though the squad started slow, they stormed through American Midwest Conference play where they earned another regular season title.
The Spartans advanced to the AMC Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, but faltered early with a 5-3, 10 inning loss to the hosts, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.). From that point, they went on to four dominant wins and eliminated Harris-Stowe (Mo.), Freed-Hardeman, Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) and William Woods (Mo.) to win their way back into the championship game.
The Spartans received solid pitching, but some early errors in the Championship round, along with timely hitting from the Lyon (Ark.) Scots sealed the fate of the Spartans in a 5-2 loss.
Joining Missouri Baptist in Hutchinson will be No. No. 1-seed Clarke (Iowa), No. 3-seed and host Tabor (Kan.), No. 4-seed Jamestown (N.D.) and No. 5-seed Concordia (Neb.).
Last season, Missouri Baptist played the Jamestown Jimmies in North Dakota in the Opening Round. Additionally, the Spartans have played Clarke (Iowa) earlier this season at the Clay Pfeiffer Memorial Tournament. Clarke went 4-0 in the tournament and 2-0 against the Spartans with 7-5 and 6-1 wins.
The Spartans are trying to advance to the Avista-NAIA World Series for the first time since 2013. They have an overall record of 14-13 in the Opening Round and has appeared seven times.