(With contributions from the Little East Conference)
GORHAM, Maine -- For the second straight year, the University of Southern Maine baseball team has won the Little East Conference regular-season title to earn the right to host the 17th annual LEC Baseball Championship Tournament starting Wednesday (May 8) at USM Baseball Stadium.
The six-team, double-elimination tournament will run through Saturday (May 11) when the 2013 conference tournament champion will be crowned. The tournament champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the 2013 NCAA Division III tournament.
Southern Maine (33-7, 12-2 LEC), the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors (28-11-1, 10-4), the Keene State College Owls (18-21, 7-7), the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons (15-21, 7-7), the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs (15-21, 6-8), and the Western Connecticut State University Colonials (17-22, 5-9) complete the respective seeding order.
The top-seeded Huskies will take on the sixth-seeded Colonials in Game One of the tournament at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The second-seeded Warriors will play the fifth-seeded Corsairs in Game Two at 12:30, followed by the third-seeded Owls facing the fourth-seeded Beacons in Game Three at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students. Children six and under will be admitted free.
The Huskies are led offensively by senior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy), who finished the regular season batting .427 (73-for-171) with 14 doubles, 55 runs scored, and a team-high 49 RBI. Senior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H./Coe-Brown Northwood) is hitting .425 (65-for-153) with seven home runs, 47 RBI, and team-highs of eight triples, 60 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases. White also has a .745 slugging percentage.
Junior southpaw Logan Carman (Newfields, N.H./Laurel Springs) turned in a tremendous regular season on the mound going 9-0 with a 1.97 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 64.0 innings pitched to lead the Huskies. Sophomore right-hander Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) is 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 53 innings of relief work. Senior right-hander Ryan Yates (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) is 5-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 33 innings pitched.
Southern Maine, who has won four LEC regular season titles outright, including three times in the past five years, has also shared the regular season crown on four other occasions. The Huskies are searching for their fourth LEC Championship, and 20th trip to the NCAA tournament since becoming an affiliated member of NCAA Division III in the 1985-86 school year. Southern Maine has advanced to the NCAA DIII College World Series six times (1989, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2001), and won NCAA Division III National Championships in 1991 and 1997.
Fans unable to make the trip to Gorham, Maine, can follow all the action on LEC Tournament Central. Tournament Central will provide the real-time statistical and video links for each contest of the championship. For the sixth consecutive campaign, LittleEast.tv will broadcast each game of the tournament.
2013 Little East Baseball Tournament
(at USM Baseball Stadium, Gorham, Maine)
Day 1: Wednesday, May 8
Game 1: #6 Western Connecticut at #1 Southern Maine, 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: #5 UMass Dartmouth vs. #2 Eastern Connecticut, 12:30 p.m.
Game 3: #4 UMass Boston vs. #3 Keene State, 3:30 p.m.
Day 2: Thursday, May 9
Game 4: Loser of Game #1 vs. Loser of Game #2, 9:30 a.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game #1 vs. Loser of Game #3, 12:30 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game #2 vs. Winner of Game #3, 3:30 p.m.
* The remaining format of the tournament will be determined by the number of teams still remaining after Day 2. Tournament Central will feature the updated bracket and game times.
Day 3: Friday, May 10
Game 7: to be determined, 9:30 a.m.
Game 8: to be determined, 12:30 p.m.
Game 9: to be determined, 3:30 p.m.
Championship Day: Saturday, May 11
Game 10: to be determined, 12:00 p.m.
Game 11: to be determined (30 minutes after Game 10)