UVU: Wolverines left out of NCAA tournament field

Deseret News

Published: Monday, May 28 2012 8:05 p.m. MDT

UVU's #6 Kai Hatch swings on a pitch as UVU and Utah play Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem. Utah won 11-10 ending the Wolverines' 32 game winning streak.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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OREM — In hopes of receiving its first-ever NCAA Regional bid, the Utah Valley University baseball team gathered for an NCAA Selection Show-watching party on Monday morning at Centre Stage in the Sorensen Student Center on the UVU campus.

But, despite leading all Division I baseball teams in the nation with 47 wins this season, the Wolverines' coveted invitation for the 64-team tournament never came.

Kyle Kallander, chairman of the Division I baseball committee, said UVU was among 12 schools considered for the last couple of tourney spots, but that the Wolverines were passed over due to their low RPI.

Utah Valley clinched its third straight Great West Conference tournament title on Saturday in a 10-6 win over Houston Baptist. The Great West does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and UVU was hoping to receive one of the field's 34 at-large bids.

The 27th-ranked Wolverines went 47-12 on the year, winning 40 of their last 41 games, and led all Division I teams in wins (47), scoring margin (plus-4.0), batting average (.350), slugging percentage (.523), on-base percentage (.436), runs scored (522), runs per game (9.0), hits (711) and total bases (1062).

A bid would have been the first such appearance in an NCAA tournament by a Utah Valley team, in any sport, since the school became eligible for postseason play in 2008. The Wolverines have, however, had individuals reach NCAA regional and national tournaments in wrestling, cross country, men's golf and track and field.

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