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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Western New England College will meet Westfield State at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (May 19) in an opening round game of the NCAA Division III New England Regional Baseball Championship in Mansfield, Connecticut, it was announced on Monday (May 17).
Fifty-five teams will compete in the national tournament that begins Wednesday at eight campus sites. The field consists of 36 conference champions and 19 schools who received at-large bids. The eight regionals are all double elimination tournaments.
The Golden Bears (33-10) are seeded third in the eight-team event while the Owls (30-9) gained the sixth seed.
In other games Wednesday, fourth-seeded (and host) Eastern Connecticut (30-13) will open the tournament against fifth-seeded Worcester State (31-19-1) at noon followed by a contest between top-seeded Tufts (31-5) and eight-seeded St. Joseph's, Maine (32-11) at approximately 1:15 p.m.
The final game of the day features second-seeded Wheaton (32-8) taking on seventh-seeded Massachusetts Boston (28-15) at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Western New England College earned its fifth consecutive trip to the national tournament (and seventh in the last 10 years) after capturing The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) Tournament title for the third straight season.
Westfield State was awarded an at-large invitation after placing second in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament. The Owls are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.
WNEC and Westfield State met earlier this spring with the Owls winning 19-5 on April 22 at its home field. This will be the 44th meeting between the teams with WSC leading the series (which started in 1974) by a 29-13-1 margin.
Ten of the 55 teams are from New England with Keene State and Castleton State selected to play in the New York Regional in Auburn, New York.
Regional champions will qualify for the double-elimination championship at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin, May 28-June 1.
Teams in the NCAA Division III Championship