Mitchell to begin NCAA Div. III baseball tournament on Cape Cod
Mitchell College begins its post-season adventure on Cape Cod this week. And the Mariners couldn't be happier about their NCAA Division III baseball tournament destination.
Playing in the Harwich Regional sure beats the other two potential landing spots — Auburn, N.Y., or York, Pa.
Location alone makes it an attractive venue.
"I'm excited to be at the Cape," Mitchell coach Travis Beausoleil said Monday. "I'm so happy that we're not going down to Pennsylvania. It's a tough draw, but everything at this point is a tough draw. There's no cupcakes. Even the eighth seeds are there for a reason.
"... It's good. We're excited that the (Mitchell) family can come and support us. It will be a fun weekend."
Mitchell (30-8), the sixth seed, faces third-seeded Keystone College (32-10) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the double elimination tournament at Whitehouse Field. The Giants are ranked 21st in the nation.
Both programs have recent post-season experience.
Keystone, located in La Plume, Pa., qualified for its 11th NCAA trip by winning its 10th straight Colonial States Athletic Conference championship last weekend.
Mitchell earned the program's fifth NCAA appearance — fourth in the last five years under Beausoleil — by capturing the New England Collegiate Conference tournament title.
"I think it's going to be a good game," Beausoleil said. "We're just happy to keep playing and going for a shot to win it all."
UMass Boston (34-8) is the region's top seed, while No. 2 Oswego State, N.Y. (26-13), No. 4 Western New England (31-13), No. 5 Ramapo, N.J. (32-13), No. 7 Suffolk (25-17) and No. 8 Penn State-Berks (25-10) round out the field.
Cape Cod is familiar territory for both Beausoleil and Keystone coach Jamie Shevchik, who've crossed paths in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Beausoleil once served as an assistant for the Chatham Anglers. Shevchik led the Brewster Whitecaps to the Cape Cod title in 2017.
Whitehouse Field, summer home of the Harwich Mariners, also is a familiar post-season spot for the Mariners, who posted the program's first NCAA tournament win there, beating Eastern Connecticut State University, 4-3 in 11 innings, in 2014. Mitchell went 1-2.
The Harwich Regional will run through the weekend, with the winner advancing to the eight-team NCAA Division III World Series May 25-29 in Appleton, Wis.
Beausoleil started to work on his scouting report on Keystone immediately after the field was announced early Monday morning. He received word about his opening round opponent at 12:35 a.m., and about six minutes later emailed three common opponents with Keystone — Otterbein, Heidelberg and DeSales — for information.
The Mariners will be rested and ready to go after not playing since winning the NECC title on May 6.
"It was great," Beausoleil said of the layoff. "It was a long season. We were pretty beat up toward the end. The (championship game) dog pile didn't help some of those injuries. I believe it is actually the perfect layoff. ... They got a chance to take a couple of days to rest, relax and recuperate, and finish up their final exams. Now they're done classes and can just focus in one baseball."
NCAA DIVISION III BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
At Harwich, Mass.
Game 1: No. 4 Western New England, Mass. (31-13) vs. No. 5 Ramapo, N.J. (32-13), 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 1 UMass Boston (34-8) vs. No. 8 Penn State-Berks (25-10), 1 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Keystone, Pa. (32-10) vs. No. 6 Mitchell (30-8), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Oswego State, N.Y. (26-12) vs. No. 7 Suffolk, Mass. (25-17), 8 p.m.
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