The NAIA released the pairings and seedings for the 2009 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round, scheduled for May 12-15 at nine sites across the country. 

Each site will feature a five-team double elimination tournament.  The winners of those nine Opening Round tournaments, in addition to host school Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), will meet at the final site for the 53rd Annual Avista-NAIA World Series from May 22-29 in Lewiston, Idaho.

William Jewell and Lindenwood will battle for one of those nine spots.  They begin their run in the 2009 NAIA Baseball championship opening round.  William Jewell is at Lubbock Christian in Texas where they will play Houston Victoria at 10am this morning.  The winner will play again today at 6pm.  Lindenwood is hosting a first round matchup.  They’re playing Kansas Wesleyan at 2:30 today. 

Here are links to follow to William Jewell and Lindenwood throughout the first round of the tournament. 

William Jewell College received an automatic bid to Lubbock as the runner-up of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The Liberty, Missouri based program went 28-12 in the HAAC and possess a 43-17 overall mark. The Cardinals had a heartbreaking loss in the HAAC Championship, losing to Lindenwood 9-8 on a walk-off home run. WJC ranks 11 th in the NAIA in stolen bases per game (2.5). Jon Ubbenga leads the Cardinals with a .418 batting average and is fourth in the NAIA in doubles per game (0.5). On the mound, Joe Malin has a 3.75 ERA and is ninth in the NAIA with a low of just 1.2 walks allowed per nine innings pitched.

Lindenwood (43-10) will enter the tournament tied for the most wins in school history with 43 and the squad has won 23 out of their last 24 games. The Lions, who won both the HAAC regular season and tournament championships, are led by a pitching staff which is 17th in the nation with a 4.15 ERA. The offense has caught fire as well late in the season, scoring nine or more runs in its last nine games.