|Cortland has received a berth into the NCAA Division III playoffs for the 26th consecutive season and the 27th time overall.
Cortland athletics photo by Darl Zehr
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Final - 10 innings
at Salisbury 3, St. Joseph's (L.I.) 2Live stats | Preview | Photos | Photos | Video | Preview | Box Score
May 20: All times Eastern
Final - 11 innings
at Cortland 10, Baldwin Wallace 9Box Score | Preview | Video
Meet the teams
By John McGraw
Schools from five different regions will converge in New York’s Finger Lakes region to see which school will continue its quest to raise the Walnut and Bronze at the World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin. The Mid-Atlantic, Mideast, New York, New England and South regions will all be represented when the tournament begins on Thursday.
The region’s top three seeds have a combined 74 NCAA tournament appearances, 27 trips to the Division III World Series and three national championships.
A Regional championship at Falcon Park in 2015 propelled Cortland on to the World Series where the Red Dragons claimed their first national championship. One year after being shipped to the Mideast regional in Washington, Pennsylvania, the Red Dragons are back in familiar territory as they make their 26th straight NCAA tournament appearance. Only Florida State and Cal State Fullerton have longer active streaks in NCAA baseball. Cortland enters the regionals as a Pool C at-large selection after claiming the SUNYAC regular season title but falling in the conference championship round to Oswego State.
For the first time, a South Region team will compete in the New York regional in the form of Salisbury. The Sea Gulls make their 24th NCAA Tournament appearance after sweeping through the Capital Athletic Conference tournament with five straight victories. Overall, the Sea Gulls fly into the postseason on the strength of eight consecutive wins that are part of a larger 23-3 run. Salisbury seeks a return to the World Series for the first time since 2015. Both Cortland and Salisbury were World Series participants in 2014 and 2015.
Like Salisbury, Southern Maine is making its 24th overall NCAA tournament appearance. Notably, the Huskies mush down to New York for the second time in as many years. Head coach Ed Flaherty surpassed the 1,000 win plateau during the regular season helping his Southern Maine club finish third in the highly competitive Little East Conference. Southern Maine qualified for the regionals as an at-large selection.
Baldwin Wallace returns to the regionals for the third time in the five years and the Yellow Jackets continue to rack up bus miles. BW bussed to the Mid-Atlantic regional in 2014 and bounced the competition en route to the school’s first ever trip to Appleton. Auburn and Falcon Park beckoned in 2015 and now again in 2018. The Berea, Ohio, school finished in a tie for third place in the Ohio Athletic Conference and then roared past Marietta and Otterbein to win the OAC tournament. All three schools made the NCAA playoffs.
A surprise entrant to the Falcon Park field comes from the Mid-Atlantic in the form of Swarthmore. The Garnet upset perennial power Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference tournament to claim the school’s first Centennial playoff championship and just second NCAA postseason appearance. Swarthmore shared the Centennial regular season title with Johns Hopkins and has a school record 33 wins.
Momentum is on the side of NESCAC champion and sixth seed Amherst entering the regionals. The Mammoths won their final two regular season games to reach the conference tournament and then a two-run rally in the last of the 12th against Bates in the first round helped boost the Purple and White on to the NESCAC postseason title. Amherst returns to the regionals for the ninth time in school history and fourth time in six seasons.
Outside of Cortland, St. Joseph’s (L.I.) is the only other New York school in the New York regional. The Golden Eagles finished second in the Skyline Conference and then triumphed in the league’s postseason tournament with a victory over Merchant Marine in a winner-take-all championship game. St. Joseph’s (L.I.) is making its second NCAA tournament trip in the last three years.
Westfield State is the second of two New England teams traveling across the border on I-90. The Owls won both the Massachusetts Small College Athletic Conference’s regular season and conference tournament championships. Westfield is making its 10th NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2009. Westfield was part of the 2007 Auburn regional.
Auburn Regional schedule
All times Eastern
Thursday, May 17
Game 1: No. 4 Baldwin Wallace (31-12) vs. No. 5 Swarthmore (33-9), 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Cortland (32-10) vs. No. 8 Westfield State (24-16-1), 1:00 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Southern Maine (27-13) vs. No. 6 Amherst (24-12), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Salisbury (33-10) vs. No. 7 St. Joseph's (L.I.) (26-16), 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 18
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1:15 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Game 9: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 10: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 1:15
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 4:30
Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 7:45
Sunday, May 20
Game 13: Game 12 winner vs. Game 11 loser, 12 p.m.
Game 14: Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 3:30
Monday, May 21
Game 15: Game 14 winner vs. Game 14 loser, if necessary
It’s hard to bet against Cortland and skipper Joe Brown in Auburn. Falcon Park has been the friendly confines to the Red Dragons whom have won eight of 11 overall regionals at the facility.
Most likely to disappoint
Southern Maine was swept out of the Little East tournament with back-to-back losses to Rhode Island College and UMASS Boston. The Huskies head into the regionals with a 1-5 record in their last six games. Unless USM can return to their April form in which they cobbled together a 16-2 mark, it could be an early exit for the Huskies.
Baldwin Wallace entered this past week seeded third in the OAC tournament and ranked eighth in the Mideast region behind both OAC regular season champion Otterbein and Marietta. The Yellow Jackets began the week with a sweep of regionally ranked Adrian on the road and then they rang up 56 runs in three games to run away with the OAC tournament championship. While the old saying goes that defense wins championships, the Yellow Jackets have an offense that has the potential to help it slug its way to Appleton.
Players to Watch
C Justin Teague, Cortland (.336, 3 HR, 38 RBI, 40 H, 5 DBL, 25 R)
1B Cole Beeker, Swartmore (.349, 6 HR, 59 RBI, .520 SLG, 12 DBL, 61 H, 40 R)
1B Paul Britt, St. Joseph’s (LI) (.406, 7 HR, 35 RBI, .742 SLG, 10 DBL, 6 TRP, 52 H)
2B Max Steinhorn, Amherst (.372, 19 RBI, 55 H, 34 R, 14 SB)
SS Andrew Olszak, Southern Maine (.292, 34 RBI, 47 H, 11 DBL, 32 R)
3B Spencer Badia, Baldwin Wallace (.356, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 47 H, 27 R)
OF Devin Warren, Southern Maine (.401, 7 HR, 34 RBI, .545 SLG, 14 DBL, 67 H, 40 R)
OF Justin Meekins, Salisbury (.369, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 20 SB, 62 H, 56 R, 28 BB, .461 OBP)
OF Alex Marcum, Baldwin Wallace (.364, 12 HR, 60 RBI, .653 SLG, 11 DBL, 64 H, 45 R)
OF Anthony Crowley, Westfield State (.359, 12 HR, 55 RBI, .752 SLG, 13 DBL, 26 BB, 52 H)
UTL Jake Dexter, Southern Maine (.387, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 65 H, 11 DBL, 31 R)
SP Mike Harrington, Cortland (8-0, 1.46 ERA, 68.0 IP, 55 K, 2 CG SO, .179 OBA)
SP Christian Dufresne, Cortland (4-2, 1.72 ERA, 62.2 IP, 65 K)
SP Connor Reeves, Salisbury (13-3, 1.22 ERA, 2 SV, 5 CG, 110.2 IP, 103 K
SP Austin Heenan, Salisbury (10-3, 2.33 ERA, 2 CG, 92.2 IP, 110 K)
SP John Gegetskas, Westfield State (8-1, 2.00 ERA, 2 SV, 5 CG, 67.2 IP, 82 K)
RP Jack Corkery, Swarthmore (2-1, 2.31 ERA, 7 SV, 19.0 IP, 21 K)
RP Mike Dow, Amherst (7 SV, 1.37 ERA, 19.2 IP, 15 K, 16 APP)
UTL Jake Dexter, Southern Maine (4-3, 1.67 ERA, 11 SV, 32.1 IP, 40 K)