NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College baseball program saw its name appear on Sunday evening’s NCAA Division II Baseball Selection Show for the first time in 19 years when the program learned it earned the sixth seed in the 2018 NCAA East Regional. Merrimack advanced to the NCAA Tournament as the automatic qualifier from the Northeast-10 Conference via Saturday’s victory in the NE10 Championship, a tournament that saw Merrimack knock off both division winners in the NE10 before beating No. 8 New Haven twice to win the conference title.
Video: Selection Show Replay
The Navy and Gold will embark on just their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in school history, with the last occurrence coming in the 1999 season. Merrimack also qualified for the regional in 1990 and 1996, and will make its return this week following a 19-year absence. The Warriors were one of just 23 programs nationwide to earn automatic qualifiers as conference championships
The University of New Haven was announced as the East Region’s top overall seed, and will serve as the host school. The 12-game (13 if necessary) regional will not be played on New Haven’s campus, however; Pace University’s Finnerty Field will serve as the site of tournament play, with action beginning on Thursday morning.
Merrimack received the East Region’s sixth seed via the NCAA Division II Selection Committee, and will meet third-seeded Le Moyne in the opening game Thursday at 11 a.m. The Navy and Gold are guaranteed at least two games in the double-elimination tournament, and will play one game on Friday at either 11 a.m. or 7 p.m., depending on Thursday’s result.
Saint Thomas Aquinas – the champions from the East Coast Conference – received the region’s second seed. Southern New Hampshire earned the No. 4 seed and Franklin Pierce the No. 5, with both programs receiving at-large bids. Seventh-seeded Wilmington rounds out the regional, arriving at Pace with the automatic qualifier from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
The first three days (May 17-19) of the East Regional will feature three games each day, with one elimination game on Friday and a pair of elimination games played on Saturday. Sunday, May 20, will see two elimination contests played, preceding the regional final on Monday, May 21.
Tickets will be available 90 minutes before first pitch of the first game on each day. Adults will be charged $8 while children (12 and under) and seniors (55 and over) will be charged $5. Children two and under will be admitted free of charge. Ticket price includes admission to one full day of competition. For more information on this week’s regional, including directions, a campus map and local accommodations, please visit New Haven’s East Region Championship Central.
Merrimack capped off a storybook 2018 season with the program’s first NE10 crown since 1996 on Saturday afternoon. The Navy and Gold posted a 31-19 record through the conference tournament, setting the program record for wins in a season. Fourth-year head coach Nick Barese won his 100th career game in Saturday’s championship-clincher, and will be just the third coach at Merrimack to lead the program to the regional.