Support Local News.

Please support our work by subscribing today.

Mitchell to face Rowan in NCAA Division III baseball tourney opener

Earning an NCAA Division III baseball tournament bid for the seventh time in program history and second straight year, Mitchell College will begin its postseason journey in Pennsylvania on Friday.

Not that the destination really matters to the Mariners.

They'd be happy to play on the Moon during May Madness.

Fourth-seeded Mitchell (30-11) will open against top-seeded Rowan (30-8), which is ranked eighth in the country, at 10 a.m. Friday in the double-elimination regional at McGill Field in Annville, Pa.

Third-seeded Lebanon Valley (30-14), host of the four-team pod, will play No. 2 Washington & Jefferson (35-8) at 1:30 p.m., and a champion of the three-day regional event will crowned on Sunday.

The NCAA was announced on Monday. The Mariners, the New England Collegiate Conference tournament champions, were one of 41 teams to receive an automatic berth.

"I'm excited," coach Travis Beausoleil said. "We're playing good baseball. We won facing elimination (in the NECC tournament) three times. I think we're confident. We've faced adversity."

It will be the first meeting between Mitchell and Rowan, which earned an at-large berth after losing in the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament. The Profs reached the College World Series in 2021.

A challenging schedule helped prepare the Mariners for what's ahead. They faced five teams in the field, going 5-1 against Swarthmore, Baldwin Wallace, Husson, Middlebury and Immaculata.

"They have played competitive teams all year," Beausoleil said of his team. "They've beaten many of them and competed with all of them. I think they're ready for it. And they understand they can win."

Without any New England programs serving as regional hosts, Mitchell was expected to travel out of state. Eastern Connecticut State University (39-3), the top-ranked team in the nation, is playing in Rochester, N.Y., against Swarthmore (22-17) on Friday at 11 a.m. Senior Matt Malcom (East Lyme) and freshman Griffin Pontbriant (NFA) have contributed to Eastern's success.

The Mariners had to wait until near the end of the Selection Show to find out their opponent and destination.

"When they did announce it, they were pumped to see their names up there (in the bracket), and rightfully so," Beausoleil said. "They deserve it. They've worked hard and competed all season."

It will be Beausoleil's sixth NCAA trip in 11 years in charge at Mitchell.

The Mariners are 4-12 all-time in the NCAA tournament. They've won a game in each of their last three appearances (2021, 2018, 2016).

"I think we can go out and beat any team in the country as long as we're playing our type of baseball," Beausoleil said.

g.keefe@theday.com

 

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments

TRENDING

PODCASTS