The Iowa Conference baseball tournament opens in Cedar Rapids on Thursday and it may be all or nothing for the six teams in the field. Wartburg won the regular season race but even with a 31-9 record coach Joel Holst feels his team may not get in the NCAA division three regionals without winning the tournament.
“Nothing is ever for sure about an NCAA tournament related to conferences and an at-large bid, so we’re approaching it that our next goal is winning an Iowa Conference Championship,” Holst says.
Wartburg and second seeded Coe have first round byes but Holst says every team in the field is a threat to win it. Holst says in baseball a team can get hot in a three-day tournament and win the whole thing.
Coe finished second in the regular season race and coach Steve Cook also does not feel his team can count on at at-large berth.
“I would say we definitely have to win in order to ensure that we will go on,” Cook says. He says they have to play it like a winner take all situation.
Coe will be looking for its third straight conference tournament title. He says they’ve gone 6-0 in the last two tournaments and getting the first round bye has been an advantage.
Third seeded Buena Vista will take on sixth seeded Loras and fourth seeded Central plays fifth seeded Simpson in Thursday’s opening round.