The 58 teams and the pairings for the NCAA Division III baseball tournament were announced Monday and there is a Vermont flavor to the “Road to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”
Winners of 16 regional tournaments will qualify for the first super regional round in NCAA Division III baseball history. The regional at Southern Maine will include 34-7 Southern Maine, Oswego State, 22-17-1 MIT and 25-15 New England College.
Southern Maine’s roster includes Tom Vesosky, a freshman outfielder from Colchester. He hasn’t received many opportunities in his first year but has made the most of it when he did get a chance to swing the bat, going 3 for 8 for a .375 average.
MIT is coached by 1985 University of Vermont graduate Andy Barlow and New England College boasts Bellows Falls pitcher Colby Howe.
Howe has made nine appearances in relief and has not allowed an earned run in his 9.2 innings.
There will be another regional played in Hartford, Connecticut, hosted by Trinity. That regional will also include top-seeded and 33-7 Babson, Salve Regina and Keystone.
The Babson staff features Jordy Allard, a hard thrower by way of Hartford High School who began his college career at Division II Southern New Hampshire University. Allard has been outstanding with a 7-0 record, 3.86 earned run average and 41 strikeouts in 42 innings.
The winner of the regional will meet the winner of a regional played at Cortland State in the best-of-three super regional. The Cortland regional includes the host Cortland team, Penn State-Harrisburg, Tufts and Alvernia.
Penn State Harrisburg brings a 32-13-1 record to the dance and includes freshman right-hander Nick Fitzgerald on its staff. Fitzgerald, by way of Lamoille Union High School, has been used sparingly. He has also been effective with his 1-0 record and 1.20 ERA and 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
The 58 teams are attempting to get to the eight-team NCAA Division III World Series, to be held in Cedar Rapids for the first time.