SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Northeast Conference baseball tournament field has been set and the No. 16/24 Bryant University baseball team will serve as the No. 1 seed and will face fourth-seeded Central Connecticut in the opening game on Thursday, May 26 at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn., at 12:00 p.m.
The Bulldogs (44-10, 26-4 NEC) wrapped up their fifth-straight NEC Regular-Season title two weeks ago against the Blue Devils (23-32, 15-17) and are the top seed in the NEC Tournament for the fourth-straight year. CCSU grabbed the final spot in the tournament by winning three-of-four against Wagner this past weekend. Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson are the final two teams in the four team field and will play in Thursday's second game.
The four-team double-elimination tournament will begin Thursday and run through Saturday with Sunday serving as a rain date or a possible seventh "if necessary" game. There will be two games played on Thursday, two on Friday and two on Saturday. The conference champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Bryant and Central Connecticut played eight times this season due to the unbalanced schedule in the NEC. The Bulldogs won seven of the eight games, sweeping the Blue Devils in New Britain in March before taking three-of-four in Smithfield just two weeks ago. The teams last met in the NEC Tournament in 2014 when Bryant earned a 3-0 victory behind a complete-game shutout from Craig Schlitter in the winner's bracket final.
In three seasons, the Black and Gold are 10-3 in the NEC Tournament and have appeared in the title game all three seasons. They lost their first game in 2013 before rattling off four-straight wins to capture their first NEC title. In 2014, they won three-straight games to claim their second. Last season, Bryant, once again, lost the opener but battled back to force a decisive seventh game before falling to Sacred Heart.
Information on tickets, parking and directions to Dodd Stadium, as well as the tournament schedule and links for live stats and live video can be found on the NEC Baseball Championship headquarters.