Local roundup: Tigers open New York-Penn playoffs tonight

Norwich - The Connecticut Tigers play the Tri-City ValleyCats in opening round of the New York-Penn League baseball playoffs tonight at Dodd Stadium.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and first pitch in the best-of-three series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Ticket prices are the same as the regular season - $10 for premium box seats, $9 for reserved box seats, $8 for grandstand seats - and can be purchased at the box office, over the phone (860) 887-7962 or online at cttigers.com.

The Tigers earned a wild-card spot in the four-team playoff - their first postseason bid since moving to Norwich in 2010 - by defeating the Lowell Spinners 9-8 on the final night of the regular season on Monday. Connecticut finished the regular season 42-34.

Tri-City, the Single-A short-season affiliate of the Houston Astros, finished with the best overall record in the NYPL (48-28) and will attempt to defend its 2013 league championship. The ValleyCats will start right-hander Joe Musgorve (7-1, 2.81 ERA) tonight while the Tigers had yet to announce a starter as of Tuesday night.

The series shifts to Bruno Stadium in Troy (N.Y.) on Thursday for Game 2 (7 p.m.) and a deciding game, if necessary, also be played at Bruno Stadium on Friday night at 7.

The other first-round playoff series features the State College Spikes (Cardinals) against the Hudson Valley Renegades (Rays).

College volleyball

• Mitchell College athletic director Maureen White announced the hiring of Kathy Frankowski as its new women's volleyball coach. It is the first head coaching job for Frankowski, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Division II Southern Connecticut after assistant at Southern New Hampshire and Plymouth State, her alma mater.

"We are happy and excited to add Kathy to our coaching staff," White said. "She has a strong work ethic and a desire for success that will resonate with our student-athletes. We expect to see the program grow by leaps and bounds under Kathy's leadership."

Frankowski is a 2006 graduate of Farmington High School and went on to play volleyball for four seasons at Plymouth State, helping the Panthers to the 2008 ECAC championship and a program-best 32-6 record in 2009.

"I am thrilled and ecstatic to continue to build the women's volleyball program into a top contender in the New England Collegiate Conference, as well as the New England region," Frankowski said. "Mitchell College already feels like home and I cannot wait to get the ball rolling."

The Mariners open their 2014 season tonight at home against Albertus Magnus.

College honors

• Two Mitchell men's soccer players were honored by the NECC. Senior defender Jordan Derosier was named NECC Player of the Week while freshman defender Jose Roman III of New London was named NECC Rookie of the Week.

The duo helped the Mariners to a 2-0 victory in their season opener at Anna Maria. Derosier scored the game-winning goal while Roman played all 90 minutes in his collegiate debut and helped Mitchell earn the shutout.

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