May 30, 2016
Western Michigan is headed to Louisville to start the NCAA baseball tournament.
The Broncos are the only in-state program to make the tournament, as both Michigan and Michigan State were left out of the field of 64 teams announced Monday.
Western Michigan (22-32) was the surprise winner of the Mid-American Conference tournament, earning a bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1989. The No. 4 seed Broncos begin double elimination regional play against No. 1 seed Louisville at 6 p.m. Friday.
The other two teams in the Louisville region are No. 2 seed Ohio State and No. 3 seed Wright State. There are 16 regions in the tournament.
Late-season slumps proved costly for the Michigan and Michigan State baseball teams as both were left out of the NCAA field.
Michigan (36-21) lost nine of its last 11 games while Michigan State (36-20) dropped seven of its final 10. The Wolverines had an RPI of 38 while the Spartans were 77th.
Michigan and Michigan State were both eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament over the weekend by Ohio State, which defeated Iowa on Sunday for the conference title to earn an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. Both of the Wolverines’ losses in the double-elimination tournament were against the Buckeyes – 8-3 in Wednesday’s opening round and 11-4 on Saturday. Ohio State also handed Michigan State its two Big Ten Tournament defeats in the semifinals – 3-2 in 10 innings on Saturday and 7-3 on Sunday.
Michigan won the Big Ten Tournament title last year to earn an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The Wolverines were eliminated by Louisville in a regional championship.
Michigan State has reached the NCAA Tournament only five times in program history with the last trip coming in 2012.