Jan. 29, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT baseball announced the team's preliminary schedule for 2007 and the Engineers' spring calendar features 35 games against 22 opponents from 10 different conferences. Also highlighting the slate are three games against opponents that are ranked in the 2007 Preseason Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III Poll as well as four games against teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
The Engineers get things going on Thursday, March 22, when they face Wentworth Institute of Technology in the season's home opener at Briggs Field. Two days later, MIT begins its NEWMAC portion of the schedule with a doubleheader against Babson College in Babson Park. Last year, the two conference rivals split their season series with each team stealing a road win against the other.
Following the conference doubleheader against Babson, MIT will travel to Phoenix to take part in the Greater Phoenix Invitational. While in Arizona, the Engineers will play six games in four days at sites located in Mesa and Chandler. MIT opens its annual spring trip with a twinbill against Oberlin on March 26. The next day, MIT will play 2006 NCAA Tournament participant Middlebury, which is coming off a 26-11 campaign and first-ever appearance in the "big dance". Next up for the Engineers in their whirlwind, barnstorming tour is nationally-ranked No. 11 Southern Maine, whom the Engineers defeated in 2006 by a score of 12-10. Last year the Huskies earned an at-large NCAA tournament bid and advanced to the NCAA New England Regional Championship game where it eventually lost to NEWMAC powerhouse Wheaton. MIT concludes its spring trip with a doubleheader against NESCAC-member Colby College.
Upon returning home, MIT will continue to play games at a rapid pace. After enjoying a much needed rest/travel day on the 30th, MIT travels to Elms College on the 31st of March and to Fitchburg State on the 1st of April. Following these two doubleheaders, the Engineers will have completed a stretch where they will have played 13 games in 11 days.
On the 3rd of April, MIT plays an important regional non-conference game against Brandeis. Last year, these two teams locked up in a classic pitching duel with Brandeis eventually coming out on top 3-2 in 10 innings. After playing Coast Guard in a single, nine-inning game on the 5th, MIT hosts nationally-ranked No. 2 Wheaton in a rematch of the 2006 NEWMAC Championship game. MIT will be looking to exact revenge on the Lyons, who defeated the Engineers 7-1 to earn the NEWMAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Following their win against MIT, Wheaton impressively swept through the New England Regional to advance to the Division III World Series in Appleton, Wis. Once there, Wheaton's run did not end as they advanced all the way to the World Series Championship Game, losing to Marietta in the finals. In the 2006 Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III Final Poll, Wheaton was rewarded with a No. 2 national ranking.
Beginning with the doubleheader against Wheaton, MIT begins an important stretch of conference play against Clark, WPI, Coast Guard, and Springfield. Also mixed in over these two weeks are non-conference tilts against Wesleyan University, Eastern Nazarene, and Saint Michael's. On the 23rd of April, MIT hosts Bates in the Engineers' final game before the NEWMAC Tournament. Assuming a first round win or bye, the Engineers will be looking to earn its first ever trip to the NCAA tournament on the weekend of the 28-29th of April.
The last week of the regular season will see the Engineers play non-conference games against some quality regional opponents. After playing single nine-inning games against Worcester State and UMass-Boston, MIT will travel to Williamstown, Mass., to take on regional power and rival Williams College who received votes in the 2007 ABCA Preseason Poll. Last season, Williams concluded the season with a 28-8 ledger with one of those eight loses coming against the Engineers who won a thriller at Briggs Field in early May by a score of 8-7. The win by MIT snapped what had been an impressive 13-game winning streak by the Ephs. The next day, Suffolk comes to MIT for a nine-inning single game looking to break a two-game losing streak against the Engineers. The regular season comes to a close with a home game against MASCAC opponent Fitchburg State.
For the last two seasons, the conclusion of the regular season has been an exciting time for the Engineers as they have qualified for the ECAC Tournament both years. This season, MIT will look to make its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which is scheduled to begin on May 16 and will continue through the 20th. The Division III World Series, to be played at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis., is slated to begin on the 25th with a champion to be determined on the 29th.