New York regional preview

By John McGraw for

Farmingdale State hosts the 2012 New York Regional.

Familiar faces in an unfamiliar place highlight the 2012 New York Regional which will be played at the Farmingdale State Baseball Stadium on Long Island. This year marks just the second time in eight years that a regional champion will not be crowned at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y. The last time Farmingdale State hosted the regional at its FieldTurf facility, the Rams celebrated a regional championship on their home field, defeating RPI in the title game. Four familiar postseason faces from the region will descend on Long Island – Cortland State, Ithaca, Farmingdale State and Skidmore; they’ll be joined the Castleton State from New England and Misericordia from the Mid-Atlantic. The six schools have a combined 68 NCAA tournament appearances led by 34 from Ithaca.

New York Regional web site

Of the six teams in the regional, Top-seeded Cortland State and Misericordia are ranked; the Red Dragons are ranked second and the Cougars No. 14 nationally in the latest Top 25. Five of the six teams in the regional are Pool A automatic qualifiers – Cortland State from the SUNYAC, Farmingdale State of the Skyline, Misericordia from the MAC Freedom, Skidmore out of the Liberty League and Castleton State from the NEAC. The lone at-large selection from Pool B is Ithaca from the four-team Empire 8 conference.

New York Regional Schedule
Wednesday, May 16
G     Time            Participants     
1     12:00 pm     Cortland (35-7-1) vs. Castleton State (33-14)
2     3:30 pm       Farmingdale State (29-10) vs. Skidmore (30-15)
3     7:00 pm       Ithaca (27-8-1) vs. Misericordia (36-8)
Thursday, May 17
4     12:00 pm     Loser of game 1 vs. Loser of game 2    
5     3:30 pm       Winner of game 1 vs. loser of game 3     
6     7:00 pm       Winner of game 1 vs. Winner of game 3                 
Friday, May 18
7     12:00 pm     Winner of game 5 vs. Winner of game 6
8     3:30 pm       Winner of game 4 vs. loser of game 6     
9     7:00 pm       Winner of game 8 vs. loser of game 7     
Saturday, May 19
10     12:00 pm   Winner of game 7 vs. Winner of game 9         
11     3:30 pm     Winner of game 10 vs. loser of game 10  (if necessary)

Favorite: Cortland State. The Red Dragons are the prohibitive favorites here having won 10 regional championships over the last 17 seasons. The 2010 national runners-up have won 18 straight and not lost a game since early April. In fact, Joe Brown’s Cortland side has lost only seven games total of 43 played. Prior to last year, the last time Cortland State missed the World Series was in 2009; the Red Dragons responded by winning the 2010 regional championship and then advancing to the national title game against Illinois Wesleyan.

Most likely to disappoint: Farmingdale State. Expectations are high for the Rams as the number two seed and host institution. The last time the regional was held on Long Island, Farmingdale State triumphed in a wild eight-team bracket to earn a trip to Appleton, Wisc. Since winning the Skyline tournament, the Rams have played just twice and a tough opening round game against Skidmore could find the home side in the losers’ bracket.  

Cinderella: Skidmore. The Thoroughbreds dropped their opening game in the Liberty League tournament last weekend and then rattled off four-straight victories, including two over top-seeded St. Lawrence, to capture the conference championship and the automatic bid.  Skidmore found pitching depth to compete with the best in the conference and  if they can repeat this feat, they might be shopping for glass slippers.

Players to watch:
IF Matt June, Cortland State (.361 AVE, 32 RBI, 60 H, 11 2B, 13 SB)
SP Chris Phelan, Farmingdale State (8-1, 1.90 ERA, 71.0 IP, 71 K, 4 CG)
SP Pat Lemmo, Ithaca (9-1, 1.91 ERA, 84.2 IP, 67 K, 5 CG)
OF Kenny Durling, Misericordia (.404 AVE, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 65 H, 40 R, 16 2B, .689 SLG, 21 BB)
UT Zach Rudman, Skidmore (.366 AVE, 24 RBI, 49 H, 14 2B, 6-3, 4.01 ERA, 49.1 IP, 36 K)
IF Ryan Zielinski, Castleton State (.392 AVE, 44 RBI, 62 H, 41 R, 15 2B, 4 TRP, 27 BB, 16 SB)