SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Augustana baseball team claimed the Central Region championship over Minnesota State last weekend, clinching their spot in the NCAA Division II Championship.

Augustana opened the Central Regional with a narrow 5-4 loss to Minnesota State. However, the Vikings bounced back with two wins Saturday, advancing to the World Series.

“We went and talked in the huddle immediately after the game. And we knew that we didn’t like the way we played the first eight innings of that game. But we really wanted to take that last inning and use it as momentum. We know that we have what it takes to win two games against that team. I wouldn’t have been able to throw a complete game if it weren’t for that offensive output that we had on Saturday, they came in and did exactly what they needed to do,” Augustana Pitcher Seth Miller said.

The trip to North Carolina won’t be the first time this year as the team competed in Cary during the preseason.

“We went down to Cary and played in a preseason tournament there and saw the facilities. I told them after our last game there, that the reason we’re here is for the right mindset in the future, meaning that this is what it looks like, this is your goal. This is where you put all the work in to try to get back to this place,” Augustana head coach Tim Huber said.

Since 2019, it has been nothing short of an aspiration to make it to the World Series, and seeing it come to fruition is almost surreal.

“For it to happen this year, it’s just been kind of a dream come true. Our hitters just kind of put up with runs, kind of the key to success we’ve had all year. Seth goes and pitches well, he’ll compete for us and hitters just got to give him our run support and we’ll be alright,” Augustana infielder Tate Meiners said.

Seth Miller is the ace for the Vikings, as he carries an 11-1 record. Miller knows he’ll be relied upon over the course of the championship.

“They’re a great team so I know that they’re probably going to be able to put some barrels on the ball and it’s going to need to be a lot of short term memory loss for me out there on the mound. I got to go out for the next batter and keep the same mindset of I’m just going to go execute my pitch and hope that I can go beat that guy,” Miller said.

The Vikings currently hold a 5-1 record in NCAA postseason play.