CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For the first time since the 1974 season, the MIT Engineers baseball team has earned itself a berth in the NCAA National Division III baseball tournament. The NCAA revealed the field of 55 teams on Monday and the Engineers earned themselves an at-large berth in the New England Region. The New England tournament will be held at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Massachusetts and will be hosted by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
The Engineers have matched a program high with 25 wins this season in posting a 25-13 record. They were 10-4 at home and 7-1 in games played at neutral sites. MIT finished 12-6 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and were eliminated by Wheaton in the conference championship game.
Tech will now look to do what the 1974 team could not do – win an NCAA regional game. The '74 Engineers were bounced in two straight games, after a 6-1 loss to University of New Haven and a 5-4 defeat to Ithaca College.
Facing MIT, who is seeded fourth in the region, is an opening day contest with Rhode Island College, the fifth seed. They will have to get up early for it, as the game, the first of four on the day, is slated to start at 9:30 AM.
MIT was scheduled to play Rhode Island College earlier in the season, but the game was rained out. Instead, the Engineers added a game against Wheaton, beating the Lyons 11-4, one of their 9 wins against ranked opponents, good for third in the country, and propelling them to their at-large bid.
The Anchormen of RIC were 21-18 overall and 6-8 in the Little East Conference, but went on a tear to end the season. They have won six straight, including four wins, two over top seeded Eastern Connecticut State, to capture the Little East Conference tournament title and earn an Automatic Qualifier into the NCAA tournament. This is their second trip to NCAA regionals, with their first coming in 2006.
Here are the eight teams competing in the double-elimination New England Regional:
2. Western New England
3. Wheaton (Mass.)
5. Rhode Island College
6. St. Joseph's (Maine)
8. Bridgewater State
Wednesday's games will feature 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5. The higher seed will be the home team for the opening day games.
The tournament site will be offering live stats and webcasting of every game from the tournament. For those links, make sure to check back to the baseball schedule page and to ecacsports.com.