Who: Dallas Baptist University:
Where: Dallas, Texas
Conference: Missouri Valley (baseball) and Lone Star Conference (DII - all other sports)
Originally established as the “Decatur Baptist College” in 1898 as a two year school, the predecessor transitioned to Dallas Baptist in 1970 and began offering four year bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Sciences, Faith, Education, and Business. Currently they offer 73 undergraduate majors, 32 masters programs, and two doctoral programs.
In sports, fourteen of the fifteen varsity sports programs compete at the Division II level in the Lone Star Conference, while the baseball program competes at the Division I level with the Missouri Valley Conference.
Without a doubt the shining beacon of the Patriots’ athletic program, the baseball program became a Division I program in 2004. They competed as an independent program for nine seasons before joining the Western Athletic Conference for a year. In 2014 they joined the Missouri Valley Conference and have run roughshod through the conference since finishing no lower than second every season.
Though they have only competed at the Division I level since 2004, 2021 is their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance; making 9 of the last 10 tournaments overall. 2021 is also their second Super Regional appearance as they won the Ft. Worth regional in 2011 before falling in two games to the University of California in Santa Clara.
The 2021 edition of the Patriots have been impressive. Though just a 3 seed in last week’s Ft. Worth regional, they put together a 40-16 overall record and 18-6 in the regular season. Their most impressive weekend came against Power 5 opponents in Frisco, Texas at the beginning of March where they swept two games from Missouri and beat Oklahoma, while falling to Arizona.
In Forth Worth last week they faced formidable opponents in Oregon State and the host TCU Horned Frogs dropping only their late Sunday game against the Beavers 5-4. They had to use a miraculous comeback in the championship game against Oregon State on Monday by scoring all 8 of their runs after the 6th inning including a go ahead grand slam in the 7th to give them a 6-5 lead they wouldn’t give up.
The Virginia and Dallas Baptist Super Regional kicks off at noon on Saturday in Columbia and will be the 3rd all time meeting between the two programs with the series tied 1-1 after the two played in the Ft. Worth Regional in 2017.