The Bryant Bulldogs were recently accepted into the NEC conference. This is a great move for the Smithfield (RI) school as they have become a Division 2 powerhouse in many different sports. The College Baseball Blog will be making more appearances in Smithfield to take in some NEC baseball. The full release from the NEC is available here and Bryant University here.
We have found two new schedules from the Northeast 10 conference which is one of only two conferences in the country that uses wooden bats during their regular season. The Northeast 10 conference has been dominated by Franklin Pierce University the last few seasons with UMass-Lowell and Bryant University also picking up some NCAA bids. The schedules are linked below.
The New Haven Register is reporting that the University of New Haven has set up an exploratory committee to discuss the feasibility of moving up to Division 1. New Haven is currently a member of the ECC but they want to move over to the Northeast-10 conference which has turned them down more then once over the last few years. New Haven has stated that they will not make the move to Division 1 if they were given the invitation to the Northeast-10. It is possible that New Haven will get that invite as Bryant University is also exploring about moving up to Division 1 which would be a great move for the Smithfield, RI school.
The College Baseball Blog headed up to Franklin Pierce on Sunday to take in the championship round of the Division 2 Northeast Regional Final between Franklin Pierce and Bryant University. The Ravens of Franklin Pierce entered the game with a 48-9 record while Bryant had a record of 34-23. Franklin Pierce was also undefeated in the tournament so Bryant had to sweep a doubleheader to advance to Alabama for the World Series while FPC only had to beat the Bulldogs once.
Franklin Pierce jumped on Bryant starter Luke Cowan in the top of the first inning with back to back solo homers from Kevin Renaud and Scott Savastano to get the 2-0 lead. Kevin Renaud also tacked on another solo homer in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 5-0. Bryant would pick up two runs in the bottom of the eighth but could not come closer then the 5-2 final score. Keith Renaud got the start for Franklin Pierce and continued to dominate the Division 2 ranks as he only allowed two hits in seven strong innings. He was followed up by Clay Jenkins who faced only two batters but both of them reached base. Jayson King then made the move to closer Tyler Bishop who got the final six outs of the game while allowing only one hit to send the Ravens to the College World Series starting this upcoming weekend.
Kevin Renaud went 3-4 with two doubles and a homer while driving in three runs as he lead the Ravens to the 4-1 victory over Wilmington College in the opening game of the Northeast Regional in Rindge NH. Mike Adams pitched eight strong innings while only letting up one run on six hits to keep his record perfect at 6-0. Wilmington College starter Kenny McGrady pitched a complete game while only allowing two earned runs. His record drops to 4-5. FPC will play Umass Lowell on Friday at 2:30 pm while Wilmington College will take on Bryant at 11 am.
Adelphi 5 Bryant 4
Adelphi scored a single run in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie and pick up a victory over the Bryant Bulldogs 5-4. Adelphi was led by Ralph Tropiano who went 2-4. Adelphi starter Bobby Lanignan picked up the win by pitching seven innings while giving up four runs (three earned) to put his record at 7-2 while Bryant reliever Eric Polvani got the loss by giving up one run in 1.1 innings to put his record at 4-3. Adelphi’s Mike McLasky pitched two scoreless innings while giving up only one hit. Bryant was led by Dyaln Stone who went 2-3 on the day. Adelphi will play Caldwell College at 6:00 pm.
Caldwell College 9 UMass-Lowell 4
The Caldwell College Cougars jumped on UMass-Lowell early with two runs in the first inning as they cruised to a 9-4 victory. The Cougars were led by Omar Velazquez who had three hits while Robert Casal pitched 8.1 innings while letting four runs to put his record at 10-1. UMass-Lowell starter Joe Malzone got the loss by giving up four runs in three innings of work. Brendan Fullerton was the only Riverhawk hitter with more then one hit on the day as he recorded two hits and an RBI. Caldwell will be back in action at 6 pm on Friday when they face Adelphi while UMass-Lowell takes on host Franklin Pierce at 2:30 pm.
Caldwell College Recap
HEAVY RAIN IS EXPECTED ON FRIDAY SO IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT GAMES WILL BE PLAYED ON FRIDAY. CHECK FPC’S WEBSITE BY CLICKING HERE.
The Northeast Regional for Division 2 starts up on Thursday in a six team double elimination tournament at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge NH. The winner heads to the Division 2 College World Series in Montgomery, Alabama.
Number 1 seed: Franklin Pierce College
FPC enters this weekend with a 45-9 overall record after winning the Northeast-10 conference tournament after coming through the losers bracket. They are led by Keith Renaud who is hitting .374 on the season and has a 5-2 mark on the mound with a 3.38 ERA. Arric Mather is the team’s ace on the mound with a solid 6-1 record and an ERA of 1.56.
Number 2 seed: Adelphi University
Adelphi enters this weekend as the East Coast Conference Champion. They have an overall record of 33-15. They are led by Mike Myers who was named the Northeast Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday. He has a 9-0 record with a 3.28 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. The leading hitter for the Panthers is Ryan Boelsen who is hitting at a .412 clip.
Number 3 seed: UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell enters the weekend coming off a disappointing appearance in the Northeast 10 tournament last weekend at their home ballpark. They lost to Bryant in 14 innings and then got shutout by Pace University for an 0-2 record in the tournament. They are led by Peter Nickerson who is 6-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Steve Paddock is the leading hitter with a .367 average.
Number 4 seed: Caldwell College
Caldwell College lost the championship game in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference to Wilmington College 10-7 but were able to get an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. They are led by Robert Casal who is 9-1 and has a 3.66 ERA with two complete games on the season. The leading hitter is Raymond Keelan who is batting .389.
Number 5 seed: Bryant University
The Bryant University Bulldogs got an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament after making an impressive run in the Northeast-10 tournament. They ended up losing a doubleheader this past Sunday to Franklin Pierce. The Bulldogs are led by a strong pitching staff which is headlined by Eric Loh (7-3, 2.09 ERA). The hitting for the Bulldogs has been their weak spot this year as the leading hitter on the team is Pat McKenna who has a .329 average.
Bryant Game Notes
Number 6 seed: Wilmington College
Wilmington College comes in as the champions of the CACC after knocking off Caldwell 10-7 in the championship game. They have a record of 29-18 and went 10-6 in the CACC. Information is very scarce on the team but Joe Matterer was named the MVP of the CACC Tournament and has a 12-1 record with a 3.12 ERA. Jason Rust is the team’s top hitter as he is hitting .369 and has 21 homers on the year.
The whole tournament can be heard through the Internet by clicking here.
The College Baseball Blog will be in attendance at the Regional on Sunday but if things change with the BC-UVA series, then we might attend also on Saturday.
Special Thanks goes out to Doug Monson of Franklin Pierce and Brad Davis of Bryant University for helping the Blog out with information and press passes for the weekend.
The Northeast-10 Conference Tournament takes place today in Lowell MA at the home of the Lowell Spinners. The teams participating are the Bryant University Bulldogs, UMass-Lowell River Hawks, Franklin Pierce Ravens, and Pace Settlers. Bryant knocked off Southern Connecticut State on Wednesday by a score of 4-2 while Pace University beat Bentley 5-2 in the opening round of the tourney. Franklin Pierce and UMass-Lowell each got byes in the tournament. Franklin Pierce (41-8) enters the weekend as the Number 1 ranked team in the Northeast region by the NCBWA. UMass-Lowell enters as the second seed with a record of 33-16 while Bryant is 29-20 and Pace is 28-24.
The College Baseball Blog will be attending the Northeast-10 Tourney this weekend likely on Sunday. The Blog will be taking the teaching exam on Saturday and might head up after the all-day exam but likely will spend Mother’s Day in Lowell taking in the final games of the Northeast-10 Tourney.