Conference USA Baseball Tournament

The Conference USA Baseball Tournament is the conference championship tournament in baseball for Conference USA (C-USA). The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The tournament format, which has changed several times, currently consists of an eight-team double-elimination tournament format, in which the winners of two four-team brackets play in a single-game final. Rice, which has won the tournament seven times, is the most successful team in the tournament's history.[1]

Conference USA Baseball Tournament
Conference Baseball Championship
Conference USA logo.svg
SportBaseball
ConferenceConference USA
Number of teams8
FormatDouble Elimination
Current stadiumMGM Park
Current locationBiloxi, Mississippi
Played1996–present
Last contest2019
Current championSouthern Miss (5)
Most championshipsRice (7)
Official websiteConferenceUSA.CSTV.com Baseball
Host stadiums
MGM Park (2017–19)
Pete Taylor Park (1996, 2005, 2009, 2014–16)
Reckling Park (2006, 2013)
Trustmark Park (2011–12)
Cougar Field (2004, 2010)
Turchin Stadium (1997, 2003, 2008)
Clark-LeClair Stadium (2007)
Grainger Stadium (2002)
Zephyr Field (1998, 2001)
Florida Power Park (2000)
USA Stadium (1999)
Host locations
Biloxi, MS (2017–19)
Hattiesburg, MS (1996, 2005, 2009, 2014–16)
Pearl, MS (2011–12)
Houston, TX (2004, 2006, 2010, 2013)
New Orleans, LA (1997–98, 2001, 2003, 2008)
Greenville, NC (2007)
Kinston, NC (2002)
St. Petersburg, FL (2000)
Millington, TN (1999)

HistoryEdit

The tournament was first held in 1996, the first season after Conference USA was formed from the merger of the Metro Conference and the Great Midwest Conference.[2]

1996–1999Edit

From 1996 to 1999, the tournament format consisted of an eight-team double-elimination tournament preceded by a single-game play-in round. The play-in round determined which of the lowest seeds (by regular season conference record) would qualify for the eight-team bracket. In 1996, when the league had nine baseball-sponsoring schools, the play-in round included the 8th and 9th seeds. When Houston joined from the Southwest Conference prior to the 1997 season, the play-in round featured the 7th–10th seeds. The eight-team double-elimination tournament consisted of two four-team double-elimination brackets, the winners of which met in a single-game final.[1]

2000–2009Edit

In the 2000 tournament, the play-in round was eliminated, and the top eight seeds qualified for the eight-team double-elimination tournament automatically. The eight-team bracket followed the same format as it had from 1996 to 1999.[1]

2010Edit

In 2010, the tournament format was changed from double-elimination to round robin. The top six regular season finishers qualified for the tournament field, which consisted of two three-team "pods." Pod 1 included the 1st, 4th, and 5th seeds, and Pod 2 included the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th seeds. Each team played three preliminary games, two against its podmates and one against a team from the opposite group. The cross-group games matched up the seeds as follows: 1st vs. 6th, 2nd vs. 5th, and 3rd vs. 4th. The winner of each round robin pod advanced to a single-game final.[1]

2011–2013Edit

In 2011, the round robin format was expanded to the top eight regular season finishers. The tournament field consisted of two four-team pods. Pod 1 included the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th seeds, and Pod 2 included the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th seeds. Each team played three preliminary games, one against each member of its pod. The winner of each pod advanced to a single game.[1]

2014–PresentEdit

Beginning in 2014, the format returned to the eight team double-elimination format used from 1996 through 2009.[3]

ChampionsEdit

Year School Site MVP
1996 Tulane Pete Taylor ParkHattiesburg, MS Jason Fitzgerald (Tulane)
1997 Houston Turchin StadiumNew Orleans, LA Scottie Scott (Houston)
1998 Tulane Zephyr Field • New Orleans, LA Brian Hughes (Tulane)
1999 Tulane USA StadiumMillington, TN Mickey McKee (Tulane)
2000 Houston Florida Power ParkSt. Petersburg, FL Jarrod Bitter (Houston)
2001 Tulane Zephyr Field • New Orleans, LA Barth Melius (Tulane)
2002 East Carolina Grainger StadiumKinston, NC Darryl Lawhorn (East Carolina)
2003 Southern Miss Turchin Stadium • New Orleans, LA Clint King (Southern Miss)
2004 TCU Cougar FieldHouston, TX Austin Adams (TCU)
2005[a] TCU
Tulane
Pete Taylor Park • Hattiesburg, MS Nathan Southard (Tulane)
2006 Rice Reckling Park • Houston, TX Joe Savery (Rice)
2007 Rice Clark-LeClair StadiumGreenville, NC Aaron Luna (Rice)
2008 Houston Turchin Stadium • New Orleans, LA Bryan Pounds (Houston)
2009 Rice Pete Taylor Park • Hattiesburg, MS Anthony Rendon (Rice)
2010 Southern Miss Cougar Field • Houston, TX Scott Copeland (Southern Miss)
2011 Rice Trustmark ParkPearl, MS Tyler Duffey (Rice)
2012 UAB Trustmark Park • Pearl, MS Michael Busby (UAB)
2013 Rice Reckling Park • Houston, TX[b] Christian Stringer (Rice)
2014 Rice Pete Taylor Park • Hattiesburg, MS Michael Aquino (Rice)
2015 FIU Pete Taylor Park • Hattiesburg, MS Josh Anderson (FIU)
2016 Southern Miss Pete Taylor Park • Hattiesburg, MS Daniel Keating (Southern Miss)
2017 Rice MGM Park • Biloxi, MS Glen Otto (Rice)
2018 Southern Miss MGM Park • Biloxi, MS Mason Strickland (Southern Miss)
2019 Southern Miss MGM Park • Biloxi, MS
2020 Cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic
  1. ^ TCU and Tulane were declared co-champions by Conference USA in 2005 due to a cancelled championship game during bad weather.
  2. ^ Trustmark Park opted out of its contract to host the tournament in 2013. Conference USA announced that it would be held at Reckling Park instead.[4][5]

By schoolEdit

Current schoolsEdit

Updated as of 05/23/2019.

School Appearances W-L Pct Tourney Titles Title Years
Rice 14 39–16 .709 7 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017
Southern Miss 24 57–38 .600 5 2003, 2010, 2016, 2018, 2019
FIU 5 5–8 .385 1 2015
UAB 17 19–31 .380 1 2012
Charlotte 10 16–18 .471
Marshall 6 8–12 .400
Florida Atlantic 5 13–10 .565
UTSA 5 8–11 .421
Old Dominion 5 4–10 .286
Louisiana Tech 4 4–8 .333
Middle Tennessee 2 3–4 .429
Western Kentucky 1 1–2 .333

Former schoolsEdit

Former members that have won the tournament as of July 1, 2014.

School Tourney Titles Title Years
East Carolina 1 2002
Houston 3 1997, 2000, 2008
TCU 2 2004, 2005
Tulane 5 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "2012 Conference USA Baseball Media Guide" (PDF). pp. 74–75. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-21. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  2. ^ O'Connell, Jim (12 November 1995). "25 Tips on the 1996-1996 Season". The Mount Airy News. p. 5B. Retrieved 23 June 2012. Conference USA will be the only new league, a merger of the Great Midwest and Metro conferences, ... .
  3. ^ "Southern Miss to host 2014 C-USA Baseball Championship". Conference USA. October 10, 2014. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  4. ^ Joseph Duarte (November 15, 2012). "Rice to host 2013 C-USA baseball tourney". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  5. ^ TJ Werre (November 20, 2012). "C-USA Baseball Tournament Leaves Pearl". wjtv.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2012.

External linksEdit