Cumberland University will play the 2011 NAIA Championships Opening Round in Paducah, Ky., starting Thursday at Brooks Stadium. The Bulldogs are the No. 1 seed in the five-team, double-elimination tournament and will face the winner of Bellevue University and William-Jewell, who will play the first game of the tourney on Thursday.
Southern Poly and Tennessee Wesleyan are the other teams in the five-team bracket. The Hornets and TWC will face each other in the opening round on Thursday as well.
Cumberland won the 2010 TranSouth Baseball Championships at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, posting four victories in five contests. The Bulldogs won last year's NAIA Championships Opening Round in Joliet, Ill., en route to the 2010 NAIA National Championship. CU is playing in its third straight NAIA Championships Opening Round, posting a 4-2 overall record since the format was introduced in 2009.
The other eight regional sites are Cleveland, Tenn.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Montgomery, Ala.; Kingsport, Tenn.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Lubbock, Texas; Joliet, Ill.; and Riverside, Calif. A complete tournament bracket and the entire 45-team field may be found at http://naia.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/050811aas.html.