Northwestern College has already locked up a spot in the NAIA baseball tournament but coach Brian Wede says his team is still motivated as they prepare for Thursday’s start of the Great Plains Athlertic Conference Tournament in Hastings, Nebraska.
The Red Raiders won the regular season title with a 17-3 record. The GPAC regular season champ earns an automatic bid as does the winner of the post season tournament. Wede says they are now playing for a seed and for pride as he says he can’t remember a team winning the regular season and the tournament championship in the same year.
Northwestern will open the tournament on Thursday morning against eighth seeded Dakota Wesleyan. They won both games against them this year in close games.
It is an eight-team double elimination format and Wede says an early loss can make it tough to fight back through the losers bracket. “The winner of the tournament is going to have to win 5 games and you would prefer to do that winning your first 3 because then you are automatically in the championship,” Wede says. He says it is a lot harder to come back after losing.
Morningside is seeded third in the field and will take on sixth seeded Midland of Nebraska in the opening round.