Release courtesy of the MIAC
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The challenging spring of 2013 has resulted in numerous changes in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) throughout the spring sports season. The league announced one more Tuesday, with a change to the format of the 2013 MIAC Baseball Playoffs, which will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Field in Minnetonka.
Because all 11 teams will not complete their full 20-game conference schedule, the Playoffs will change from a four-team, double-elimination tournament to a six-team, single-elimination tournament. The top two seeds will receive a bye into the semifinals, with seeds three through six squaring off in two quarterfinal games Friday. The two semifinals will be held Saturday with the championship game to conclude the tournament on Sunday.
Friday’s quarterfinal games between No. 4 and No. 5 will open the tournament at 3 p.m. at Veterans Field, with the No. 3 vs. No. 6 matchup to follow at 7 p.m. Saturday, the No. 1 seed will take on the No. 4 vs. No. 5 winner at 2 p.m. with the No. 2 seed to face the No. 3 vs. No. 6 winner at 6 p.m. The two semifinal winners will meet for the conference championship Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be nine innings.
At the time of this release, it appeared nearly all MIAC regular-season games will be completed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. However, Saint John’s and St. Olaf are unable to complete their postponed MIAC doubleheader, which triggered the change in format, and more teams could also come up short of the full 20 games if any inclement weather alters this week’s schedule. SJU is unable to compete Wednesday and Thursday due to spring semester final exams. The proposal to alter the tournament if all games were not played was put forth and approved by the coaches, and also approved by the MIAC Athletic Director’s council.
Prior to the start of Tuesday’s full slate of MIAC doubleheaders, only the University of St. Thomas had punched its ticket to the 2013 MIAC Baseball Playoffs. The Tommies (29-5, 17-1 MIAC) have already clinched the MIAC regular-season championship and the top seed in the Playoffs, so they will be one of two teams to receive a first-round bye, and they will take on the No. 4/5 winner Saturday at 2 p.m.
Currently, Gustavus is alone in second place with a 9-7 conference record, and there are six teams – Augsburg, Concordia, Hamline, Saint John’s, Saint Mary’s and Bethel – all with .500 records. The top six seeds will be determined by conference winning percentage and any previously-established tiebreaking criteria that applies.
This is just the latest major change during the difficult spring of 2013. In mid-April, the MIAC completely re-worked the conference baseball schedule in an attempt to get as many games played as possible, and as the standings reflect, the revised plan came very close to meeting its target. Many MIAC softball teams were affected by the weather even more, which resulted in an all-comers, 12-team tournament last weekend at Caswell Park in North Mankato. The MIAC Outdoor Decathlon and Heptathlon were also affected, as the multi-event championships were moved from Carleton to Saint John’s May 2-3.
The MIAC Baseball Playoffs – under their new, one-time only format – will take place at Veterans Field for the third year in a row. Hamline University will serve as the host for this year’s event, and will provide live online stats for all games. The MIAC and Webcast America will provide live online video and audio for all five games, with MIAC Media’s Mike Gallagher and Bethel University’s Dick Carlson providing the play-by-play and color commentary.
The MIAC has a tournament home page which contains complete details for the 2013 MIAC Baseball Playoffs including schedules, results, stats, recaps, photos and more. Fans can also connect throughout the 2013 MIAC Baseball Playoffs on Facebook and on Twitter (@MIAConline) using the hashtags #MIACBSB and #MIACPlayoffs.