Cortland baseball secures top seed in NCAA Division III playoffs

Colin BeVard (Darl Zehr Photography)

The SUNY Cortland baseball team has received a berth into the 58-team NCAA Division III playoffs for the 26th straight season and the 27th time overall. The Red Dragons (32-10) earned an at-large berth into the tournament and will be the top seed and host institution of the eight-team New York Regional at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y.

Cortland will play on Thursday, May 17, at 1:15 p.m. versus eighth-seeded Westfield St. (Mass.) (24-16-1). Thursday’s other first-round game feature: fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace (Ohio) (31-12) versus fifth-seeded Swarthmore (Pa.) (33-9) at 10 a.m.; third-seeded Southern Maine (27-13) versus sixth-seeded Amherst (Mass.) (24-12) at 4:30 p.m.; and second-seeded Salisbury (Md.) (33-10) versus seventh-seeded St. Joseph’s (Long Island) (26-16) at 7:45 p.m.

Tournament action continues with four games on both Friday and Saturday, two games on Sunday, and a final game, if needed, on Monday. Tickets each day are $3 for adults and $2 for students with ID, senior citizens, and children 12 and under, and can be purchased at the gate (cash only).

The winner of the double-elimination regional advances to the eight-team NCAA Division III World Series, which will be held May 25-29 in Grand Chute, Wis. (near Appleton; south of Green Bay). The World Series will be in Wisconsin for the 19th straight year before moving in 2019 to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Red Dragons won the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) regular-season title but finished second behind Oswego in the SUNYAC postseason tournament as the Lakers earned the league’s NCAA automatic berth.

Under 19th-year head coach Joe Brown, Cortland reached the 30-win plateau for the 24th time in the last 25 seasons. Cortland’s run of 26 straight NCAA appearances is the longest active streak in Division III, and the third-longest active streak among all NCAA divisions behind only Florida State and Cal State Fullerton.

Cortland has won regional titles in 14 of the last 23 years. Cortland advanced to the World Series in 1995, five straight years from 1997-2001, as well as in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, and three straight years from 2014-16. Cortland placed second regionally in 1996, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017. Last year, the Red Dragons were sent out of New York for regionals for the first time and placed second at the Mideast Regional in Washington, Pa.

Cortland won the 2015 national title and finished second in both 2005 and 2010. The Red Dragons have also placed third nationally three times (1997, 1998, 2016) and fourth twice (2007, 2012) among their 14 World Series trips.

Cortland will host the regional in conjunction with the Auburn Doubledays – a Class A minor league affiliate of the Washington Nationals – for the fifth time in the last nine years. The two organizations co-hosted previous NCAA regionals in 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2016. In all, this will be the 12th NCAA regional held in Auburn since 2000. Cortland has won eight of its 14 regional titles in Auburn (2000-01-05-07-08-10-15-16).

2018 NCAA Division III Baseball New York Regional
at Falcon Park (Auburn, N.Y.)
(hosted by SUNY Cortland in conjunction with the Auburn Doubledays)

Regional Web Page to be posted later

Thursday, May 17
Game 1: (#4 seed) Baldwin Wallace (31-12) vs. (#5 seed) Swarthmore (33-9), 10 a.m.
Game 2: (#1 seed) Cortland (32-10) vs. (#8 seed) Westfield St. (24-16-1), 1:15 p.m.
Game 3: (#3 seed) Southern Maine (27-13) vs. (#6 seed) Amherst (24-12), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: (#2 seed) Salisbury (33-10) vs. (#7 seed) St. Joseph’s (L.I.) (26-16), 7:45 p.m.

Friday, May 18
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1:15 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday, May 19
Game 9: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7, 10 a.m.
Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8, 1:15 p.m.
Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 4:30 p.m.
Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 7:45 p.m.

Sunday, May 20
Game 13: Loser Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 12 p.m.
Game 14: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13, 3:30 p.m.

Monday, May 21
Game 15: Same teams as Game 14 (if necessary), TBD

Other Regionals (seeds in parentheses):

New England Region – Hosted by Massachusetts Maritime Academy at Whitehouse Field, Harwich, Mass.
(1) UMass Boston, (2) Oswego), (3) Keystone, (4) Western New England, (5) Ramapo, (6) Mitchell, (7) Suffolk, (8) Penn St. Berks

Mid-Atlantic Region – Hosted by Middle Atlantic Conference at PeoplesBank Park, York, Pa.
(1) Rowan, (2) Babson, (3) Arcadia, (4) Virginia Wesleyan, (5) Misericordia, (6) Union, (7) Catholic, (8) Castleton

Mideast Region – Hosted by Adrian College, Adrian Mich.
(1) Wooster, (2) Otterbein, (3) La Roche, (4) Marietta, (5) Shenandoah, (6) Ithaca, (7) Adrian, (8) Wabash

South Region – Hosted by William Peace University at Ting Park, Holly Springs, N.C.
(1) Randolph-Macon, (2) TCNJ, (3) Denison, (4) Christopher Newport, (5) Alvernia, (6) LaGrange

Central Region – Hosted by Webster University at GCS Credit Union Ballpark, Sauget, Ill.
(1) Webster, (2) Wisconsin-Whitewater, (3) Texas-Tyler, (4) Rhodes, (5) Franklin, (6) Aurora, (7) Monmouth (Ill.), (8) Thomas More

Midwest Region – Hosted by The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn.
(1) Concordia-Chicago, (2) North Central (Ill.), (3) Wisconsin-Oshkosh, (4) Bethel (Minn.), (5) Dubuque, (6) Bethany Lutheran

West Region – Hosted by Whitworth University at Avista Stadium, Spokane, Wash.
(1) Chapman, (2) Redlands, (3) Concordia (Texas), (4) Texas Lutheran, (5) Texas-Dallas, (6) Willamette

Teams advancing to the World Series will be seeded to determine first-round matchups.

(NOTE: The format for the World Series consists of two, four-team double-elimination pools. Winners of the two pools will play a best-of-three series for the title.)