BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott's two-time defending CCC champion and NCAA New England Regional Finalist baseball team has released their 2015 regular season schedule. The Gulls, led by eighth-year head coach Bryan Haley, have scheduled several nationally ranked programs and regional powerhouses as the team sets their sights on another lengthy postseason run towards a NCAA World Series bid.
The 2015 schedule is highlighted by a pair of non-conference showdowns with 2014 NCAA World Series teams in Cortland State (March 15th doubleheader, RussMatt Florida Invitational) and Southern Maine (home on March 25th, away on April 15th). Cortland State swept through the competition in both the SUNYAC and NCAA New York Regional to reach the NCAA World Series last spring. The Red Dragons (36-10), who finished the season ranked #5 in the country, won their first game 4-3 over Salisbury before falling to the eventual national champions Wisconsin-Whitewater and national runner-up Emory.
Endicott staved off elimination in the NCAA New England Regional Finals against Southern Maine in 2014, but the Huskies were able to advance into the NCAA World Series where they reached the losers bracket finals. Southern Maine (37-15) fell to national runner-up Emory 15-3 to end their postseason run as the fourth-ranked team in the nation.
During Endicott's annual spring break trip to the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, the Blue and Green will also take on SAA Championship winners and NCAA South Regional qualifiers Birmingham Southern (35-12) and Amherst (30-11) who competed in the NCAA New York Regional bracket. Both Birmingham Southern (#20) and Amherst (#30) finished their 2014 campaigns nationally-ranked. The Gulls take on the Panthers on March 17th and the Lord Jeffs on March 20th for a doubleheader. Bowdoin (March 16th doubleheader) and UMass Dartmouth (March 19th) are also on the spring break docket before Endicott returns north.
Endicott's challenging non-conference schedule continues up north starting with back-to-back games against 2014 MASCAC champions and NCAA New England Regional participant Worcester State (25-17) on March 24th and the first game of a home-and-away doubleheader with Southern Maine on March 25th.
The CCC schedule begins on Wednesday, March 27th with a home double dip with Eastern Nazarene (13-17, 4-12) followed by a pair of road games with conference opponent Salve Regina (26-15, 11-5) on Sunday, March 29th.
Endicott's final game in the month of March is at 2014 Little East champions and NCAA New England qualifiers Eastern Connecticut State (32-9) on the 31st. Two days later on April 2nd, the Gulls travel to Wheaton (Mass., 27-16-1) for a non-conference doubleheader with a Lyons squad that reached the NCAA Regionals in 2013.
Back-to-back CCC doubleheaders with Wentworth (15-18, 7-9) and Nichols (6-28, 5-11) precede single road games against Suffolk (26-14-1) and Salem State (29-16) who were regular season champions of their respective leagues in 2014. The Salem State game is the second game in a home-and-away doubleheader that started with Endicott's 2015 opener on Saturday, March 7th.
On the weekend of April 11th-12th, the Blue and Green take on a pair of conference rivals in North Shore foe Gordon (19-17, 7-9) and Western New England (19-20-1, 11-5), Endicott's opponent in three of the last four CCC Championship games.
A matchup with St. Joseph's (Maine, 30-15) on April 14th, winners of the GNAC title and automatic bid into the NCAA New England Regional in 2014, begins another short stretch of non-conference games near the end of the regular season. Endicott's second game with Southern Maine (April 15th), a road doubleheader with Bates (20-21), home games against Wheaton (Mass.) on April 21st and Framingham State (20-19) on April 22nd, the Gulls' final game before the CCC Tournament at UMass Boston (17-24) on April 27th, and a home game against the NEWMAC champions and NCAA New England qualifier MIT (27-15) on May 5th make up the remainder of the non-conference slate.
The 2015 double elimination CCC Tournament begins on Thursday, April 30th with the conference's champion and automatic bid being handed out on Sunday, May 3rd. Regional play for the 2015 NCAA Tournament takes place between May 13th-17th leading into the NCAA World Series from May 22nd-26th in Appleton, Wisconsin.