MEDFORD – The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champion Tufts University baseball team will hit the road to upstate New York for the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament this week.
Tufts won its sixth NESCAC championship on Sunday with an 8-3 victory against Middlebury College to earn the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA's. Today the NCAA field was released and Tufts will be traveling to Cortland, New York for a four-team Regional Friday through Sunday (May 17-19) at Cortland State.
The Jumbos (29-9) will play Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) runner-up Penn State Harrisburg (32-13-1) in the opening round on Friday. The host Red Dragons (31-11-1), the State University of New York Athletic Conference runner-up, faces MAC Commonwealth champs Alvernia (28-14-2) on the other side of the Regional bracket Friday. Game times and ticket prices have not been announced yet.
Tufts is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last six years and six of the last 10. This is the eighth NCAA appearance for the Jumbo program overall. They also qualified in 2017, 2016, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2002 and 1995. The Jumbos have a 10-14 record in NCAA's and advanced to Regional finals in 2016 and 2010.
The four-team Regional format is new this year. Previously teams played an eight-team Regional. This weekend's winners will now advance to an NCAA Super Regional May 24-25. The Cortland Regional bracket is paired up with one hosted by Trinity College that includes Babson College, Keystone College and Salve Regina University. The Cortland Regional's Super Regional opponent would come from that group.
Three of the top 20 scoring teams in the nation will be in action at Cortland this weekend. Through May 12, Tufts' 8.5 runs per game ranks 16th in the NCAA Division III Statistics. Penn State Harrisburg's 9.9 runs per game is the third-best mark in the country and Cortland ranks 20th with 8.4 runs per game. Even Alvernia, ranked 46th, scores at a 7.8 runs-per-game clip.
On the mound, Cortland's staff earned run average of 3.51 is the lowest of the four teams and ranks 33rd nationally. Tufts has a 3.80 mark (51st), while Alvirnia (4.64) and Penn State Harrisburg (5.67) are not in the top 100.
The NCAA Division III Baseball Committee announced the 58 teams that will compete in the 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship on Monday.