NEW LONDON, Conn.--The Coast Guard Academy baseball team which has set a single-season school record with 22 wins earned a bid to the ECAC New England tournament and the fifth-seeded Bears will host fourth-seeded Husson in the opening round on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Husson won the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) tournament championship on Monday morning with a 4-2 win over Castleton State. The Eagles, who have won six straight and 13 of their last 14 are 26-17 overall. The NAC does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, so the Eagles are the only conference tournament champion in the ECAC field.
Coast Guard won over 20 games for just the fourth time in program history, the Bears are 22-16 overall and placed fourth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) with a 9-9 mark in conference play.
Top seeded Suffolk will get a first round bye and host both the semifinals and championship on the weekend. Second-seeded Castleton will host seventh-seeded Elms while #3 MIT hosts #6 Mitchell in the other first round games.
This is the program's fourth postseason berth all time. The team got its first postseason bid in 1994 to the ECAC Tournament, but lost to Tufts in the first round.
In 2002, sixth-seeded Coast Guard recorded its first postseason win, a 2-0 win over third-seeded Mass. College in the opening round of the ECAC tournament before falling to host WNEC 5-4 in the semifinals.
In 2011, sixth-seeded Coast Guard beat third-seeded Worcester State 7-4 before losing to Anna Maria 2-1 in the semifinals.
Senior Eric Gerken leads the team with a .349 batting average while classmates Ed Sella (.336) and Nolan Gallagher (.331) are also hitting over .300 for Coast Guard, which has 15 seniors on the roster. Gallagher leads the team with 27 RBI's while Sella is second with 24 RBI's.
Seniors Derek Petty (5-3, 1.77) and Nate Toll (4-4, 2.37) are featured at the top of the pitching rotation while senior Tyler Vieira (4-1, 2.14), leads the team with seven saves this season and is the Bears all-time leader with 21 saves.
2013 ECAC New England Baseball Tournament
Wednesday, May 8th
GAME 1: #7 Elms at #2 Castleton State, 3:30 p.m.
GAME 2: #6 Mitchell at #3 MIT, 3 p.m.
GAME 3: #4 Husson at #5 Coast Guard, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 11th @ Suffolk
Winner Game 3 vs. Suffolk, noon
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 12th @ Suffolk