NAIA Announces Teams Set to Join TU in Upland Bracket
KANSAS CITY – The 45-team field for the NAIA National Championship Opening Round was announced on Thursday afternoon, with a trio of teams in the Top-25 Poll headed to compete in the Upland Bracket at Winterholter Field on May 14 through 17.
With Taylor having already secured a bid by hosting one of the nine five-team brackets, all eyes were on who would be joining the Trojans in the first-ever Opening Round hosted by TU. Headed to the Upland bracket are No. 7 Oklahoma Wesleyan, No. 24 Freed-Hardeman, RV Cumberland and Northwestern.
Taylor (43-14) earned the fourth seed in the Upland Bracket and will open the event at noon on Monday against fifth-seeded Northwestern (30-18). Second-seeded Freed-Hardeman (40-14) will square off with third-seeded Cumberland (34-19) at 3:30 pm, with top-seeded Oklahoma Wesleyan (51-6) awaiting the winner of the TU and Northwestern game for a 7:30 pm start under the lights at Winterholter.
Tuesday’s schedule will also feature games at noon, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm, with Wednesday offering games at 3:00 pm and a possible championship game at 7:00 pm. The if-needed championship game is slated for a noon start on Thursday, with the Upland Bracket Champion advancing to compete in the NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho from May 25 through June 1.
The Trojans will be making their sixth appearance in the NAIA National Tournament since the Opening-Round format was started 10 years ago, while making their seventh appearance on the national stage in program history. TU last competed in the Opening Round two years ago in 2016.
Every game in the Upland Bracket will be streamed free and in HD for fans at athletics.taylor.edu/gameday.