The NCAA Division III Baseball committee has announced the 56 teams that will compete in the 2014 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. Saint Joseph's College (28-13, 11-3 GNAC) has been selected as the #6 seed and will play third-seeded Tufts University in the first round of the double-elimination tournament at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Massachusetts at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14.
The regional tournament begins on Wednesday with #4 Endicott College (30-14, 13-3 CCC) facing #5 MIT (24-13, 12-5 NEWMAC) at 9:30 a.m. Top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University (32-7, 11-3 LEC) takes on #8 Mitchell College (23-12-1, 12-6 NECC) at 1:00 p.m. and #2 University of Southern Maine (31-12, 11-3 LEC) battles #7 Worcester State University (25-15, 11-3 MASCAC) in an 8 p.m. start. All New England Regional Tournament games will be played at Whitehouse Field.
Saint Joseph's, Eastern Connecticut, Endicott, MIT, Worcester State, and Mitchell gained entry into the New England Regional by way of capturing their respective conference championship. Southern Maine and Tufts are among the 14 programs from across the country to have earned an at-large berth into the national tournament.
The Monks are on the verge of making their fifth-consecutive national tourney appearance and eighth in the last nine seasons overall. Saint Joseph's claimed an automatic berth into the NCAA's with a 2-0 victory over Suffolk University in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship at Larry Mahaney Diamond on Sunday, April 27th. The Monks defeated Lasell College and Suffolk, by identical 9-2 scores, in the GNAC quarterfinal and semifinal rounds – respectively – to advance to the title game for the seventh time in as many years as a member of the conference.
No team in this year's regional has made has many as eight appearances in the New England tourney since 2006, when Saint Joseph's collected an at-large berth in making the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Tufts finished as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) runner-up to Wesleyan College, which was selected as the #7 seed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Entering the final day of the NESCAC tourney through the losers' bracket, the Jumbos required a pair of wins against the undefeated Cardinals and opened with a 10-0 victory to force a winner-take-all scenario, but fell short in the final, 6-4.
The Jumbos will be making their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under the watch of Head Coach John Casey, who is in his 31st season at the helm for his alma mater. Tufts earned berths in 1995 and 2002 and was the top seed in the 2010 and 2011 New England Regional tourneys. The Jumbos defeated the Monks twice, including an 11-inning setback, in the 2010 regional at Eastern Connecticut, but Saint Joseph's effectively ended Tufts' season with a 4-3 triumph in 11 frames in the 2011 tourney, which was played at Whitehouse Field.