POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River will carry the No. 1 seed into the upcoming NJCAA D-II World Series. The 10-team field was announced Tuesday morning.
The Wildcats (40-12 overall) will play the winner of the 8/9 game between Pasco-Hernando State College (31-23) and Lackawanna (32-15) at 1 p.m. Sunday. The 8/9 game is set for 10 a.m. Saturday.
"I think it's a tremendous honor to be the No. 1 seed," Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. "That's a direct reflection of the credit Region XXIII is given and rightfully so. We play in the toughest region in the country."
#NJCAABaseball DII World Series bracket release! ⚾️— NJCAA Baseball (@NJCAABaseball) May 21, 2019
Top four seeds in Enid:
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In order to qualify for the program's first World Series berth since 2002, Pearl River — which was ranked No. 6 last week — had to knock off No. 4 Jones College, No. 9 Northwest and No. 2 Itawamba before defeating No. 1 LSU-Eunice 11-2 in the Region XXIII Championship Game.
The Wildcats have fluctuated in the top eight spots of the NJCAA rankings all season. Combined with winning the MACJC Championship a year ago, Avalon believes the No. 1 seed won't create additional pressure for his players.
"I think our league and our schedule has prepared us for this," he said. "For the past 52 games we have felt there has been a target on us and we've had to learn to play with that expectation so I think hopefully that will pay off for us at this point."
As the No. 1 seed, Pearl River essentially gets a bye on Day 1 of the double-elimination tournament.
"It's a positive that we will get to watch teams play Saturday and get a feel for the atmosphere before we play on Sunday," Avalon said. "Hopefully it will be a good acclimation period for our guys being their first time at the World Series."
Lackawanna, located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, qualified for the World Series by winning both the Region XIX and Northeast District championships. The Falcons hit .331 as a team this year with a .425 on-base percentage and 58 homers. They also boast a 4.89 staff ERA.
Pasco-Hernando State College, located in New Port Richey, Florida, qualified for the 10-team field by winning the Southeast District. The Bobcats are hitting .268 as a team with a .379 on-base percentage and 18 home runs. PHSC also has a 4.02 staff ERA.
PRCC enters the World Series with a .316 batting average, .431 on-base percentage and 87 home runs. The Wildcat pitching staff also boasts a 3.65 staff ERA.
Tournament passes are available for $50. Individual tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
HOW TO TUNE IN
All games will be streamed live at NJCAATV.com for a fee.