The team plays May 20 in Butler, Pa.
With a 6-1 win over Ohio State in the New Penn Regional Finals, California University’s baseball club team secured the No. 1 seed in the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) Division II World Series tournament.
With the New Penn title and the top seed in the World Series tournament, California is now the No. 1 ranked team in the country. The team will carry a 22-1 overall record (15-0 in New Penn) into the postseason tournament.
“I saw the group we brought together at the very beginning in August, and right then I knew we had something special,” said California Head Coach Nick Arnoni. “Not only are the guys that we have talented on the field, they’re also extremely good people off the field and are putting good talent together with their good character. That is what makes a great team in my opinion.”
The Vulcans, who most recently appeared in the Division II World Series in 2018, will battle the No. 8 Fordham Rams at 7 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Historic Pullman Park in Butler, Pa.
In 2020, Fordham celebrated its 10-year anniversary as a member of the NCBA. The Rams most recently won the New England South Division in 2018.
The winning squad will play the winner of High Point University (Dixie Region champs) and Penn State University (Chesapeake Region champs) Saturday, May 21, at 7 p.m.
The Vulcan bats have come alive this season, accumulating a team batting average of .340 and a run differential of +142. Gavin Wingard leads the country with 5 home runs.
From the mound, California recorded a team ERA of 1.98 for 2021-2022. Brody Simmons has controlled opposing offenses and recorded a 10-0 record on the season.
As a team, Vulcan baserunners have stolen 107 bases in 117 attempts.
In addition to securing one of the best records in the country, California also captured the 2021 Charleston Fall Invitational and secured New Penn South and New Penn Region titles.
“These guys are selfless and mature beyond their age – hardworking, passionate, coachable and resilient – and it is my honor to be able to coach them,” Arnoni added. “Everything they have accomplished they have earned. Nothing was given. And they now have their sole focus on winning a national championship.”
Jamison Roth, director of Recreational Services at California, credits the team for rebounding after a cancelled COVID-19 season to put together a storybook season.
“The success of this team is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the players and coaches,” he said. “We are proud of our student athletes and look forward to what is to come.”
All 2022 Division II NCBA World Series games are scheduled for Michelle Krill Field at Historic Pullman Park, 100 Pullman Park Place in Butler.
To follow the Vulcans and the NCBA tournament, check out live updates from NCBA Division II.