Arkansas Tech is now a serious contender for its first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament.
The Wonder Boys (33-14 overall, 13-4 Gulf South Conference) moved up four spots to No. 6 in the second NCAA Division II South Region rankings of the season. The rankings were released by the NCAA office in Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon.
The regional rankings are used to determine the participants in the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament.
Eight teams will qualify for the NCAA South Regional, which will be played at an on-campus location May 13-17. The winner of the regional will advance to the NCAA Division II College World Series May 22-29 in Cary, N.C.
Arkansas Tech has won eight consecutive games, including a three-game sweep over perennial GSC power Delta State last weekend in Cleveland, Miss. The series marked the first time that any GSC opponent had ever swept a three-game series from the Statesmen at Ferriss Field.
Southern Arkansas (38-4), which hosted the 2009 NCAA Division II South Regional, is ranked No. 1 in the South Region for a second consecutive week in 2010.
Florida Southern (37-6) is ranked second in the region. The Moccasins are followed by No. 3 Tampa (39-8), No. 4 Valdosta State (35-12), fifth-ranked West Florida (32-15), No. 6 Arkansas Tech, seventh-ranked Delta State (31-13-1), eighth-ranked Barry University (27-14), No. 9 Nova Southeastern (29-17) and 10th-ranked Florida Tech (33-13).
The Wonder Boys, who have already secured their first GSC Tournament berth since 2007, will visit Harding University for a three-game series on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, at Jerry Moore Field in Searcy.
Tech and Harding will play a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday. Radio station KCAB 980 AM will have a live play-by-play description of both games. The broadcast will be streamed over the Internet at www.athletics.atu.edu.
The nationally 20th-ranked Wonder Boys and the Bisons will conclude their series with a single 9-inning game at 1 p.m. Sunday. KCAB and www.athletics.atu.edu will have baseball updates throughout the afternoon during a live broadcast of Arkansas Tech’s softball doubleheader against Arkansas-Monticello.
Tech will make its final home appearance of the 2010 baseball season when it hosts the College of the Ozarks (Mo.) for a 2 p.m. non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday, April 27. Admission to Tech Field will be free.