2016 Willimantic Regional preview


The Wheaton Lyons have a lot to be happy about as they enter the New England Regional as the top seed.
Wheaton (Mass.) athletics photo

Follow this regional

May 18: All times Eastern

Final
at Keystone 5, Suffolk 2
Video | Box Score | Recap
Final
Salem State 7, at Wheaton (Mass.) 4
Video | Box Score
Final
at Tufts 8, Mitchell 1
Video | Box Score | Photos
Final
Oswego State 3, at Eastern Connecticut 2
Recap | Box Score | Video | Photos
May 19: All times Eastern

Final
Wheaton (Mass.) 6, at Suffolk 5
Video | Box Score
Final
at Mitchell 3, Eastern Connecticut 2
Video | Box Score | Photos
Final
Keystone 7, at Salem State 1
Video | Box Score | Recap
Final
at Tufts 2, Oswego State 0
Video | Box Score | Photos
May 20: All times Eastern

Final - 12 innings
Salem State 3, at Mitchell 2
Video | Box Score
Final
Oswego State 2, at Wheaton (Mass.) 0
Video | Box Score
Final
at Keystone 11, Tufts 3
Video | Box Score | Recap
Final
Oswego State 7, at Salem State 3
Video | Box Score
May 21: All times Eastern

Final
Tufts 7, at Oswego State 1
Video | Box Score
Final
at Keystone 7, Tufts 5
Video | Box Score | Recap

By Joshua Kummins
for D3sports.com
 

To say the least, conference championship results shook things up quite a bit in New England. Southern Maine played itself out of NCAAs after going 0-2 in the Little East Conference tournament, leaving the door open for Wheaton (Mass.) to take over the top seed after winning the NEWMAC championship.

Tufts was pretty much a wire-to-wire leader in the NESCAC, ultimately winning the playoff title for the first time since 2011. The Jumbos are seeded third, sandwiched between imported at-large entrant Oswego State and eight-time defending CSAC champion Keystone. The remaining teams also won conference titles within the region, beginning with fifth-seeded Suffolk, back-to-back winners of the GNAC. Mitchell was dominant in the NECC and joins host Eastern Connecticut to make a pair of Nutmeg State teams in the field. Two-time defending MASCAC champion Salem State, a New England semifinalist last year in Harwich, Mass., rounds out the regional.

Willimantic Regional schedule

Wednesday, May 18
Game 1 - No. 4 Keystone (33-9) vs. No. 5 Suffolk (33-11), 10 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 2 Wheaton (Mass.) (30-11) vs. No. 8 Salem State (23-18-1), 1:15 p.m.
Game 3 - No. 3 Tufts (32-6) vs. No. 6 Mitchell (27-9), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 - No. 2 Oswego State (32-9) vs. No. 7 Eastern Connecticut (23-17), 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, May 19
Game 5 - Suffolk vs. Wheaton (Mass.), 10 a.m.
Game 6 - Mitthell vs. Eastern Connecticut State, 1:15 p.m.
Game 7 - Keystone vs. Salem State, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8 - Tuft vs. Oswego State, 7:45 p.m.

Friday, May 20
Game 9 - Salem State vs. Mitchell 10 a.m.
Game 10 - Oswego State vs. Wheaton (Mass.), 1:15 p.m.
Game 11 - Tufts vs. Keystone, 4:30 p.m.
Game 12 - Oswego State vs. Salem State, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday, May 21
Game 13 - Oswego State vs. Tufts, 12 p.m.
Game 14 - Keystone vs. Tufts, 3:30 p.m.

Keystone advances

Meet the teams 


 


Favorite

Offense wins games, but pitching and defense win championships, the old adage will tell you. Wheaton certainly excels in both of those categories, boasting an excellent pitching staff with Mike Bruemmel, Brady Furdon, and Dan Southerland having served as more than capable starters all season long. Having the best defensive numbers in the tournament field won’t hurt either. Plus, it’s not like the Lyons can’t get bats on the ball as well, as they have a .301 team average and six individuals above that clip.

Cinderella

Don’t sleep on the hosts! Eastern Connecticut ran through the Little East Conference tournament without a loss last week, beating Southern Maine in the opening round en route to winning its ninth title. After swinging their way to four victories at UMass Boston’s Monan Park, the Warriors now get to face the field on their home turf.

Most likely to disappoint

Oswego State had a great season and earned the lone at-large bid among teams in the New England field, but enjoyed little success against playoff teams this season with just two wins in eight games. The Lakers’ offense is among the nation’s top ten to this point, having produced at a higher clip (.338) than any team in the regional. But it seems like some of the nation’s elite had them figured out.

Players to Watch

C Joey Santigate, Wheaton (.309, 12 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 13 R)
1B
Louis Reyes, Keystone (.396, 14 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 34 RBI, 43 R, 10 SB)
2B
Richard Fecteau, Salem State (.412, 12 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 43 R, 14 SB)
SS
Kyle Hartenstein, Mitchell (.375, 8 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 32 R, 8 SB)
3B
Eric Hamilton, Oswego State (.412, 12 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 44 R)

Who will win the New England Regional?
Eastern Connecticut
Keystone
Mitchell
Oswego State
Salem State
Suffolk
Tufts
Wheaton (Mass.)

3B Tommy O’Hara, Tufts (.336, 9 2B, 4 HR, 45 RBI, 40 R)
OF
Harry Brown, Tufts (.420, 11 2B, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 39 R)
OF
Chandler Whitney, Mitchell (.396, 5 2B, 1 3B, 28 RBI, 28 R)
OF
Alex Zachary, Eastern Connecticut State (.377, 12 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 36 RBI, 41 R, 11 SB)
OF
Brady Chant, Suffolk (.365, 10 2B, 9 3B, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 48 R, 21 SB)
DH
Alex Parkos, Eastern Connecticut State (.346, 15 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 26 R)
DH
Kevin Belskie, Suffolk (.457, 9 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 15 R)
SP
Speros Varinos, Tufts (6-1, 2.30 ERA, 58.1 IP, 40 H, 20 BB, 65 SO)
SP
Al Jordan Johnson, Mitchell (7-0, 2.51 ERA, 3 CG, 57.1 IP, 51 H, 18 BB, 64 SO)
SP
Dan Southerland, Wheaton (7-1, 2.56 ERA, 56.1 IP, 35 H, 8 BB, 37 SO)
SP
Sean Buckland, Salem State (8-0, 2.63 ERA, 6 CG, 47.1 IP, 59 H, 23 BB, 54 SO)
RP
Eric Dumas, Wheaton (20 APP, 0-0, 13 SV, 0.44 ERA, 20.2 IP, 17 H, 2 BB, 17 SO)
RP
Yeison Andujar, Keystone (17 APP, 2-2, 10 SV, 2.96 ERA, 24.1 IP, 23 H, 14 BB, 24 SO)