FOREST — Ferrum College’s baseball team has qualified for the 2019 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament as the No. 5 seed.
The Panthers (22-16) travel to Virginia Beach to play No. 4 seed Virginia Wesleyan University in a best-of-three games series.
The winner advances to the double-elimination championship portion of the conference tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 10, 11 and 12 at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
Ferrum, Virginia Wesleyan and reigning ODAC champion Shenandoah University finished in a three-way tie for third place in the regular-season standings, each with a 13-9 conference mark.
Shenandoah was 3-1 against Virginia Wesleyan and Ferrum, thus the Hornets were awarded the No. 3 seed.
Virginia Wesleyan was 2-2 to earn the fourth seed and Ferrum was 1-3 despite playing both the Hornets and the Marlins at W.B. Adams Field.
"We finished tied for third, but because of tiebreakers, we ended up with the No. 5 five seed,'' Ferrum skipper Ryan Brittle said.
"Certainly, we would have liked to have hosted this weekend, but we have played well on the road and we look forward to competing against Virginia Wesleyan this weekend,'' Brittle said.
Virginia Wesleyan and Ferrum split their league regular-season doubleheader.
Ferrum is making its baseball tournament debut in its inaugural ODAC campaign after competing in the rival USA South Athletic Conference for 30 years.
In other first-round match-ups, No. 1 seed Randolph-Macon College entertains No. 8 seed Eastern Mennonite University; No. 2 seed Roanoke College hosts No. 7 seed University of Lynchburg; and No. 3 seed Shenandoah plays at home against No. 6 seed Hampden-Sydney College.
Randolph-Macon, Shenandoah and Virginia Wesleyan are a season removed from qualifying for the NCAA Division III tournament. The Yellow Jackets captured a region championship and advanced to the Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Roanoke is two years removed from winning the ODAC and South Region titles and placing fourth in the College World Series. Maroons skipper Matt McGuire is a former Ferrum assistant coach.
Former Franklin County prep standout Ryan Brewer is a senior righthander for the Royals, who are returning to postseason play for the first time since the 2015 campaign.
Eastern Mennonite finished 10-12 in conference play.
Brewer is 4-3 with one save and a 5.98 earned-run-average (ERA) this season. He has appeared in 14 games, five of which are starts, and has pitched 43 2/3 innings.
Brewer’s career mark is 9-8 with eight saves. He’s made 60 appearances, 18 of which are starts, and has pitched 159 innings. His career ERA is 5.55.
Failing to qualify for the eight-team tournament were Washington and Lee University, Bridgewater College, Guilford (North Carolina) College and Emory & Henry College.
This is the first year of the ODAC’s two-tiered tournament format. The four teams that advance to Salem will be reseeded, conference officials said in a prepared statement released Monday.