The Wartburg baseball team will try to avoid elimination from the NCAA Tournament today (Thursday, May 19, 2016).

The 19th-ranked and second-seeded Knights play Westminster (Mo.) in the Central Regional at noon in Sauget, Ill., near St. Louis. The winner advances to play either Rose-Hulman (Ind.) or Washington (Mo.) on Friday afternoon. The loser is eliminated from the tournament.

Wartburg (33-12 overall) ended up on the consolation side of the bracket when the Knights lost to Rose-Hulman, 7-2, in the tournament's opening-round on Wednesday. The fifth-seeded Fightin' Engineers (30-11) secured the win with a four-run eighth inning.

The game was scoreless until the third, when Rose-Hulman scored on an RBI ground out for a 1-0 lead. The Knights evened the score in their fourth, when Ryan Kemp (Keokuk) scored on a single by Milton Croes (Noord, Aruba).

The Fightin' Engineers regained the lead at 2-1 in the seventh on single to shallow right field. They increased the lead to 6-1 with the four-run eighth inning, then added another run in the ninth.

Down to their last at-bat, the Knights got a lead-off single by Jake Thumann (DeWitt) in the bottom of the ninth. Thumann advanced to third on a double by Kemp, then scored on Croes' sacrifice fly.

Thurmann was the only Wartburg player with multiple, going 2-for-4 with one run scored. Parker Bolt (Reinbeck) tossed seven strong innings and allowed just two runs, but took the loss for the Knights pitching against Rose-Hulman's ace Alec McNally (7-0).

The double elimination tournament continues through Saturday. The schedule of games is posted below.

NCAA Division III Central Regional Tournament Bracket:

Wednesday May 18
Game 1 — Wisconsin-Whitewater 11, Westminster (Mo.) 4
Game 2 — Rose-Hulman 7, Wartburg 2
Game 3 — Washington (Mo.) 8, Augustana (Ill.) 0

Thursday May 19
Game 4 — Westminster (Mo.) vs. Wartburg, Noon
Game 5 — Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Augustana (Ill.), 3:30 p.m.
Game 6 — Rose-Hulman vs. Washington U., 7 p.m.

If four teams remain after Game 6, the following procedure will be observed:

Friday May 20
Game 7 — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, Noon
Game 8 — Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 6, 3:30 p.m.
Game 9 — Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 7 p.m.

Saturday May 21
Game 10 — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9, Noon
Game 11 — If necessary, same teams as in Game 10, 3:30 p.m.

If five teams remain after Game 6, the following procedure will be observed:

Friday May 20
Game 7 —
Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6, Noon
Game 8 — Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 3:30 p.m.
Game 9 — Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7, 7 p.m.

2 Teams Left After Game 9:

Saturday May 21
Game 10 — Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, Noon
Game 11 — If necessary, same teams as in Game 10, 3:30 p.m.

3 Teams Left After Game 9:

Saturday May 21
Game 10 — Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 9, Noon
Game 11 — Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 3:30 p.m.