Pirates Earn No. 3 Seed For C-USA Championship
May 21, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - On the heels of recording its first Conference USA series sweep of the season, East Carolina (37-18, 14-10) earned the No. 3 seed at the 2011 Conference USA Baseball Championships presented Trustmark, which begins Wednesday, May 25 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
The Pirates, who are 15-15 all-time in C-USA post-season action, will open the championships against sixth seed Houston (25-30) on Wednesday at 5 p.m. (EDT), before playing No. 7 Tulane (30-24) on Thursday at 5 p.m. (EDT) and No. 2 Southern Miss (38-15) Friday at 8:30 p.m. (EDT).
Rice (38-18) claimed the top seed after winning a share of the 2011 C-USA regular season title. The Owls secured a share of their fifth C-USA regular-season crown in six years with a win at Southern Miss on Friday. For Rice, it marks the 16th consecutive season that the Owls have won a conference championship, dating back to 1995, the final year of the Southwest Conference.
Southern Miss posted a 7-3 win over Rice on Saturday that earned the Golden Eagles a share of their first regular season C-USA Championship since 2003. The Golden Eagles will be the No. 2 seed at the championship, due to losing the head-to-head tie-breaker with Rice. This marks the first time in C-USA's 16-year history that two teams have shared the regular season title.
The 2011 Conference USA Championship presented by Trustmark will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play. Those eight will be split into two four-team pools (or pods), with the winner of each pod playing in a single championship game. Teams are assigned pods based on seed, which are determined by the order of finish in regular-season conference play.
Each team is guaranteed to play three games. Teams in each pod will play all three other teams in its pod. The team with the best composite record in each pod advances to the championship game. Two-way ties in a pod will be broken by head-to-head play. In the case of a three-way tie, the highest seed will advance.
Game times are 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with the championship game slated for 8 p.m. on Saturday night. All four of Thursday's games will be regionally-televised by CSS. The championship game will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.
For the potential for increased ticket sales as well as competitive balance, the sponsoring agency, Spectrum Events, worked cooperatively with the Conference on sequence of games on days 1, 2 and 3 of the Championship.
Pod number one features No.1 seed Rice, No. 4 seed UCF, No. 5 seed Memphis and No. 8 seed UAB. Pod number two includes No. 2 seed Southern Miss, No. 3 seed East Carolina, No. 6 seed Houston and No. 7 seed Tulane.
Makeup of the Pods and Schedule of Play
Pod 1 (Seeds 1, 4, 5, and 8)
Pod 2 (Seeds 2, 3, 6, and 7)
Wednesday, May 25
Thursday, May 26 (all games televised by CSS)
Friday, May 27
Saturday, May 28 (televised by CBS Sports Network)
All Times Eastern
Each game of the championship on Wednesday and Friday will be streamed live on ConferenceUSA.com. All four games on Thursday will be televised live by CCS. The championship game of the tournament on Saturday, May 28 will be televised live by CBS Sports Network, beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT). The tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
Tickets for the championship are available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 601-932-8788.