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Blue Raiders earn No. 7 seed for SBC Tournament, will face Arkansas State

MT opens play Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Bowling Green, Ky.

May 20, 2012 · Athletic Communications
NEW ORLEANS - The Middle Tennessee baseball team has earned the No. 7 seed for the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament and will face No. 2 seed Arkansas State at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Ky. The Blue Raiders and Red Wolves, along with the No. 3 seed FIU Panthers and No. 6 seed Troy Trojans, comprise Pool B for the round-robin tournament hosted by Western Kentucky University.

MT (29-27, 14-16 SBC) will be making its 11th Sun Belt Tournament appearance, having only missed the tournament last season since joining the league for the 2001 season. This marks the first time the Blue Raiders have earned the No. 7 seed.

Ironically, since the tournament changed to an eight-team format in 1999, the No. 7 seed has qualified for the championship twice, and both times they faced the Blue Raiders. WKU is the only seven-seed to win the championship, knocking off fourth-seeded MT in 2004. In 2009, top-seeded MT defeated No. 7 seed ULM for the title.

Overall, the Blue Raiders have appeared in the championship game six times and won it twice, boasting the field’s best winning percentage in tournament games (.641). Prior to the 2009 championship, MT won as the No. 6 seed over fifth-seeded WKU in 2003. The Blue Raiders have played in the title game three times as the top seed, twice as the No. 6 seed and once as the No. 4 seed.

MT enters Wednesday’s contest after closing out the regular season with a 6-1 win over WKU. The Blue Raiders went 1-2 against Arkansas State April 27-29, dropping a pair of 8-5 decisions before earning a 5-3 11-inning win in the series finale.

The Red Wolves (32-21, 19-9 SBC) will be making their third consecutive tournament appearance as the team goes for its first SBC tournament title since 1994. ASU posted its most conference wins (19) since the 1995 season and its most overall wins (32) since 2005.

The tournament will feature a round robin format that showcases eight of the ten SBC teams competing against each other in two four-team pools. Pool A is comprised of top seed Florida Atlantic, No. 4 South Alabama, No. 5 ULM and No. 8 WKU. The Owls and the Jaguars hold the best winning percentage in Pool A at 0.667 (6-3) while FIU owns the best winning percentage in Pool B at 0.778 (7-2).

Championship Family Night kicks-off the festivities for the 2012 championship on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. To visit tournament central, click here.

2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Seeds (Season Record)
1. Florida Atlantic (31-20, 19-8 SBC) – A
2. Arkansas State (32-12, 19-9 SBC) – B
3. FIU (31-23, 15-14 SBC) – B
4. South Alabama (21-33, 15-15 SBC) – A
5. Louisiana-Monroe (28-27, 15-15 SBC) – A
6. Troy (26-29, 14-16 SBC) – B
7. Middle Tennessee (29-27, 14-16 SBC) – B
8. Western Kentucky (24-31, 13-17) – A

2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, May 23
G1: (5) Louisiana-Monroe vs. (4) South Alabama, 11 a.m.
G2: (7) Middle Tennessee vs. (2) Arkansas State, 3 p.m.
G3: (8) Western Kentucky vs. (1) Florida Atlantic, 7 p.m.
(3 and 6 are off)

Thursday, May 24
G4: (6) Troy vs. (3) FIU, 11 a.m.
G5: (1) Florida Atlantic vs. (5) Louisiana-Monroe, 3 p.m.
G6: (4) South Alabama vs. (8) Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.
(2 and 7 are off)

Friday, May 25
G7: (3) FIU vs. (7) Middle Tennessee, 11 a.m.
G8: (2) Arkansas State vs. (6) Troy, 3 p.m.
G9*: (1) Florida Atlantic vs. (4) South Alabama, 7 p.m.
(5 and 8 are off)

Saturday, May 26
G10*: (6) Troy vs. (7) Middle Tennessee, 11 a.m.
G11*: (2) Arkansas State vs. (3) FIU, 3 p.m.
G12*: (5) Louisiana-Monroe vs. (8) Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.
(1 and 4 are off)

Championship Sunday, May 27
G13: Pool A Champion vs. Pool B Champion, 1 p.m.

All Times Central and Subject to Change

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