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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | May 7, 2019

DII baseball showcase: How to watch, what to know about the Point Loma-Azusa Pacific PacWest showdown

Watch Jeffrey Chandler leap over the wall to make the DII baseball catch of the year

The 2019 DII baseball season is coming to an end, and for a team like Point Loma, every game matters. The Sea Lions will face off against 2019 PacWest champion Azusa Pacific in a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 8. Game 1 begins at 3:05 p.m. ET and you can watch Game 2 at approximately 6:05 p.m. ET as part of the DII showcase.

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Azusa Pacific recently clinched the Pacific West Conference regular season title. This gives the Cougars an automatic bid to the NCAA DII tournament, as the PacWest does not have a conference tournament, making them one of two conferences that send their regular-season champions to the DII postseason. You can track all of the 2019 automatic qualifiers to the DII baseball championship below.

We're tracking the 23 automatic qualifiers for the 2019 DII baseball championship

Tale of the tape: Breaking down each team by the numbers

Stats Point Loma Azusa Pacific
Record 28-17 34-11
OFFENSE    
Batting average .284 .315
Runs scored 248 366
Home runs 43 75
RBI 233 377
OPS .795 .942
PITCHING    
ERA 3.86 3.73
Strikeouts 374 305
WHIP 1.43 1.33

As they say numbers don't lie, and that makes Azusa Pacific's offense one of the best in DII baseball this season. The Cougars are 25th in batting average, fifth in home runs, and 16th in scoring with 8.1 runs per game. 

Players to watch

Azusa Pacific's Osvaldo Tovalin had a big freshman campaign in 2018, but his sophomore follow-up is one of the biggest breakouts in DII baseball. The third baseman is hitting .412 with 13 doubles, 13 home runs, 52 runs scored, 49 RBI, and a 1.173 OPS. He's looking like the PacWest player of the year, and could very well find himself in contention on the national level. Cole Kleszcz is another big bat. The junior transfer from UC Santa Barbara has certainly delivered, hitting .379 with a team-high 19 home runs. 

Junior lefty Zack Noll has been a nice addition to the Sea Lions. The Oregon transfer is 8-2 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. He's struck out 83 in 70.1 innings pitched while walking 22. Offensively, Micah Pries is swinging a big bat. He's hitting .331 with 17 home runs and 42 RBI while posting a 1.102 OPS.

2019 DII BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Bracket, schedule, streaming info and FAQs

What's at stake

For Azusa Pacific, despite already clinching the PacWest, there is still plenty to play for. The Cougars and UC San Diego have battled for the top spot in the West Region. Azusa Pacific currently holds it, but the Tritons are right there, winners of the CCAA. Point Loma headed into this week of play third in the West Region. While a conference title and automatic bid have escaped the Sea Lions, they are still playing to stay atop the West Region rankings and earn that at-large bid in a very tightly-contested region.

The home of the Sea Lions

Point Loma is in San Diego, home to Carroll B. Land Stadium. It's one of the most scenic stadiums in DII baseball, and if you wanted one more reason to watch, here's your backdrop for the evening:

Point Loma Athletics Point Loma baseball.

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