Back to the dance: DSU baseball earns 6th straight NCAA DII invite

File photo of Dixie State's Drew McLaughlin (2), Dixie State University vs. Fresno Pacific University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 2, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – For the sixth-straight season, Dixie State University has earned an NCAA Division II Baseball tournament berth as the 2017 tournament field was announced Sunday night.

The Trailblazers (37-12-1) were awarded the West Region’s No. 3 seed in the six-team regional field and will face No. 4 seed UC San Diego (36-17) this Thursday at 7 p.m. (PT), in Azusa, Calif. All West regional games will be played at Cougar Baseball Complex on the campus of the host school and No. 2-seed Azusa Pacific University.

Dixie State head coach Chris Pfatenhauer had led his team to six straight NCAA West regional appearances, file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Dixie State, along with APU and No. 5-seed California Baptist, will represent the Pacific West Conference in this year’s West Regional field, while the other three schools hail from the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). CBU (34-16) will play Azusa Pacific (40-10) Thursday at 11 a.m. (PT), while top-seed Chico State (45-9) will square off against two-time defending West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona (33-20) Thursday at 3 p.m. (PT).

The tourney will continue through Monday, May 22, with the winner advancing on to the 2017 NCAA Division II College World Series, which will be played May 27 through June 3 in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Dixie State’s current streak of six-straight regional appearances is currently the longest active streak in the West Region, while the No. 3-seed designation is the second-highest seed in program history. DSU was awarded a program-best No. 2 seed in its first regional appearance in 2012 and again in 2016, while DSU was the No. 3 seed in 2013, the No. 5 seed in 2014, and the No. 4 seed 2015.

Overall, Dixie State is 7-10 in 17 NCAA postseason games, including a 2-2 record in 2016, and a 3-2 mark in its debut season in 2012 when the program came within one win of advancing to the NCAA D-II World Series.

DSU finished the 2017 regular season with 37 wins, the second-most regular season wins in program history (38 in 2016) en route to a 37-12-1 overall record, which included a 26-9-1 mark and a runner-up finish in PacWest play behind conference champion APU (27-9).

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