HAYS, KS -- The 54-11 Tiger baseball team will play Southeast Oklahoma State on Saturday for the NCAA Division II national championship, and win or lose, Fort Hays State University invites fans to a welcome-home celebration on Sunday.
The Tiger baseball team has already established a season record for wins, and this is FHSU's first appearance in the championship game of the NCAA Division II version of the College World Series.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, invites all fans and friends of the university to gather at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the air-conditioned Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center to welcome the team home. The team will fly from Birmingham, AL, to Wichita on Sunday morning, and then return to Hays by bus. The bus should arrive on campus just before 3:30 p.m.
The welcome-home event will include music, remarks by Coach Bob Fornelli and players, and, hopefully, the presentation of a national championship banner.
This has been a great spring for athletics at Fort Hays State University. The men's track team has already been recognized as national champion in dual meets. The men's track team won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship. The women's track team placed second in the conference. Both Fornelli and Track Coach Jim Krob were named RMAC Coach of the Year in their respective sports. And, of course, the baseball team won the NCAA West Regional to advance to the Division II World Series in Montgomery, AL.
In addition, FHSU has achieved prominence on the national scene over the past decade and a half with three national basketball championships by the men's team and one by the women's team.
Regardless of the outcome of Saturday's game, this has been a baseball season to remember.
Fans can show their appreciation to this team of great athletes and good sports by welcoming them home at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus.