INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The 56-team field for the 2014 NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament was released early Monday morning and Endicott (30-14), the automatic-qualifier from the CCC, has been seeded fourth in the New England bracket which begins play on Wednesday, May 14th at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Massachusetts.
Joining Endicott in the NCAA Division III New England Regional are top-seed Eastern Connecticut State (32-7, Little East Champions), #2 Southern Maine (31-12, at-large), #3 Tufts (33-7, at-large), #5 MIT (24-13, NEWMAC Champions), #6 St. Joseph's of Maine (28-13, GNAC Champions), #7 Worcester State (25-15, MASCAC Champions), and #8 Mitchell (23-12-1, NECC Champions). The winner of the New England Regional will join seven other regional champions at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin for the double-elimination national championship which runs from March 23rd-27th.
Endicott's first opponent in the double-elimination regional tournament will be NEWMAC champions MIT (24-13) on Wednesday, May 14th at 9:30 a.m. This will be the second time in eight days that the Gulls and Engineers will be facing each other as met on May 6th, only one day after Endicott won the CCC Championship, with MIT coming out on top 4-3 at Briggs Field in Cambridge. In seven all-time games against MIT, Endicott holds a 5-2 record over the Engineers including a 2-1 mark with seventh-year head coach Bryan Haley at the helm.
This will be Endicott's second straight and sixth overall appearance in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament. The Gulls are 4-10 all-time at the regional but most recently, the Blue and Green came one win away from a trip to Appleton by beating St. Joseph's (Maine), Wheaton (Mass.), and sending Southern Maine to the losers bracket before the Huskies stormed back with beat Endicott twice. Southern Maine ended their season as the national runner-up, falling in the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship to Linfield.
Endicott's road to the 2014 NCAA Division III New England Regional includes a 5-2 record at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational to start off the season, a 17-11 mark against non-conference opponents including marquee wins over then-ranked #5 Southern Maine (16-7), Wheaton (9-7), Worcester State (2-0), and Suffolk (8-6), and a 13-3 standing in-conference play en route to the #1 seed in the CCC Tournament. The Gulls swept through the conference tournament by defeating Wentworth, Salve Regina, Western New England, and the Golden Bears once again in the championship game to secure the program's sixth CCC title.
The CCC's top team was highly-decorated for their accomplishments this season with senior centerfielder Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) being named CCC Player of the Year, sophomore righty JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) earned CCC Pitcher of the Year honors, and freshman outfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) collecting the CCC Rookie of the Year award. In total, 10 players received All-CCC status, one shy of tying the program's record of 11 from Endicott's historic 2013 season.
The conference also named Haley CCC Coach of the Year as he led Endicott to its third 30-plus win season in four seasons and raised his career coaching record to 193-120 (.617). Besides winning back-to-back CCC Championships in 2013 and 2014 and nearly advancing to the national championship tournament in Appleton, Haley helped the Gulls captured two straight ECAC Division III New England trophies in 2011 and 2012 as he quickly rejuvenated the program from turning in sub-.500 seasons from 2007-09 to establishing one of the region's best teams with five straight winning seasons and contenders for a NCAA Regional championship.