HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The NCAA Division II Baseball Committee has announced the field for the 2021 NCAA Division II Baseball Championships, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville has garnered a berth to the South Regional.
UAH will start off the South Region tournament on Thursday at 3 p.m. as the No. 5 seed against second-seeded Lee, which will be held on the campus of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida from May 27-30. This year's regional hosts were determined prior to regional rankings being released.
"We got to March and we were shut down for two weeks," said head coach, Hunter Royer. "Our backs were against the wall. It was looking like we might not have a chance to make the conference tournament. They turned it on. Played teams in front of us and won. Had a deep run in the conference tournament. We've had injuries, we've had COVID. They have really looked diversity in the face and have done an exceptional job. I'm very proud of them for what they've been able to accomplish."
West Florida is also the No. 1 seed in the region, followed by Lee at No. 2, Tampa at No. 3, UAH at No. 4, Delta State at No. 5 and Shorter at No. 6.
This is the seventh time in program history the UAH baseball program has reached the NCAA tournament and the third time the team will compete in the South Regional.
"You got a chance to compete and go to a World Series," Royer said. "Any time you get to this point…you're four wins away from a World Series. Kind of uncharted territory. We're excited. Guys are really excited and ready to go."
The program last competed in the NCAA South Regional in the 2014 season, as the squad earned an automatic berth after winning the GSC Championships that year. Overall in seven trips to the NCAA tournament, UAH holds a 10-12 record including a 4-4 mark in national postseason games under head coach Hunter Royer.
The Chargers enter the NCAA tournament with a 22-18 overall record – including a 16-14 mark in GSC games – after reaching the conference tournament semifinals earlier in May. During the regular season, UAH accrued seven GSC series wins to help the squad to its regional berth.
Members of the Gulf South Conference, Sunshine State Conference, and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference that are competing this spring comprise the South Region.
"The biggest thing, we're going to go down there. It's six teams, but it's five GSC teams and one Sunshine team. We've seen them all. We know what they all do. We know we're capable of beating them all. We're just going to have to play really good baseball. Sound, fundamental baseball."