MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Fourth-ranked Faulkner will be the top seed in the five-team field of the Montgomery Bracket in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round the home office announced this afternoon. Bracket play will be take place from May 15-18 at Faulkner's Harrison Field. The winner of the double-elimination event will claim one of the nine remaining spots in the Avista-NAIA World Series hosted by Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho, beginning May 26.
St. Thomas (Fla.) earned an at-large bid out of The Sun Conference in its sixth Opening Round appearance and will be the second seed. The Bobcats enter the event at 35-17 and in the receiving votes pool of the NAIA Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
The Eagles faced St. Thomas in the Southeastern Challenge early in the season and clipped the then No. 12 Bobcats 4-3. Faulkner is 1-2 against St. Thomas in total competitions.
Huntington University (Ind.) will be the bracket's third seed after earning the Crossroads League regular-season title. The Foresters hold a 33-11 overall record and will take on St. Thomas in Game 2 slated for 3:30 p.m. on Monday.
Huntington is preparing for its third Opening Round event and sits one spot ahead of St. Thomas in the receiving votes category. A matchup between the Eagles and Foresters would be a first.
The fourth seed went to the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) after going 42-15 on the year and clinching the Mid-South Conference Tournament title. The Patriots are also receiving national votes and are making their first-ever Opening Round appearance.
The Eagles are 5-0 lifetime against Cumberlands.
The final bracket slot was awarded to Truett McConnell (Ga.). The 31-26 Bears also secured their first-ever Opening Round berth as the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up.
Truett McConnell will go head to head with Cumberlands in the event's opening game scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday. The former Southern States Athletic Conference school last competed against Faulkner in 2010. The Eagles are 6-0 against the Bears.
Faulkner will await the winner of the Cumberlands-Truett McConnell showdown in Game 3 scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The Eagles are making their eighth Opening Round appearance and are second only to Tennessee Wesleyan and LSU Shreveport (La.) which have nine.
Faulkner boasts the most Opening Round titles of any current team with five and will be seeking its fifth straight championship this week.
Click HERE for access to the tournament page.