PAWTUCKET, R.I. – For the first time since mid-March, the baseball programs at the University of Southern Maine and UMass Boston are in the top-25 of both national polls, with the Huskies remaining in the top-five after peaking at No. 2 last week.
Southern Maine is ranked third in the nation this week in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA)/D3baseball.com Poll and are fourth in the country according to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (CBN) Poll. The Huskies went 2-2 in last week's double-elimination Little East Conference Championship Tournament, posting wins over Castleton and Rhode Island College. USM fell to Eastern Connecticut in its second tournament game before being eliminated by UMass Boston Saturday night.
UMass Boston was a perfect 4-0 on its way to capturing its LEC-record third consecutive conference title, which propelled the Beacons to the No. 22 spot in the ABCA/CBN Poll and the No. 23 position it the NCBWA/D3baseball.com Poll. UMass Boston opened the tournament with a victory over UMass Dartmouth Wednesday and later capped the tournament with another win over the Corsairs in the championship round Sunday. The Beacons also registered wins over Rhode Island College and USM as the won their fourth overall LEC title.
Both teams will host a NCAA Division III Championship Tournament regional this weekend, and are set up in the bracket to potentially meet in next week's Super Regional. All games will be carried on the LEC Network – LittleEast.tv.
This marks the first year of the new NCAA tournament format, and the LEC is the only conference in the country to have a pair of No. 1 seeds and four-team regional hosts.