North Adams, MA- The MCLA Baseball team has returned to the postseason for the second consecutive season and have earned the sixth seed in this week's tournament. The Trailblazers, under the direction of third year head coach Mike Gladu, will travel to #3 Framingham State on Thursday night at 7pm. The two teams split the MASCAC opening series back March 31st. MCLA took the opening game 2-0 behind a complete game effort from Liam Nolan, while the Rams earned a split with a 10-5 game two victory.
Here is the MASCAC tournament preview:
The Westfield State Owls grabbed the top seed in the 2018 MASCAC Baseball Tournament.
The tournament begins with first round action on Thursday with #4 Salem State hosting #5 Fitchburg State at 3 pm while #3 Framingham State entertains #6 MCLA at 7. The winner of Salem/Fitchburg will play top seed Westfield State Friday at 3 pm in the quarterfinals while the winner of Framingham State/MCLA will face #2 seed Massachusetts Maritime also at 3.
The games will continue on Saturday at Westfield State beginning at 9:30 am with the semifinals and then the championship on Sunday with the winner earning the MASCAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Westfield State earned the top spot in the tournament and a share of the MASCAC regular season title with a 10-4 record in league play. Anthony Crowley ended the regular season first in home runs (10), RBI (47), runs scored (33) and slugging percentage (.718). He also was third in doubles with 11, triples with 3 and walks with 11. On the mound, John Gegetskas led the league in ERA (1.70), strikeouts (76) and wins (7). He threw five complete games and averaged 11.73 strikeouts per game.
Grabbing the other bye into the quarterfinals and a share of the regular season title is Massachusetts Maritime. The Buccaneers also had a 10-4 mark during league play. Connor Kennedy led the team in batting average at .314 while also collecting five doubles, two triples, two home runs 11 RBI throughout the regular season.
Framingham State is up next in the third spot. The Rams were 8-6 during the conference schedule. Aaron Williams finished the regular season first in batting average (.390), stolen bases (24) and total hits (46). He also had 21 RBI, six doubles and 22 runs scored on the season.
Sitting in the fourth slot is Salem State who also had an 8-6 record during the MASCAC season. Mac Daniel Singleton was also first in batting average (.390) and total hits (46) while also finishing fourth in on-base percentage (.447) and runs scored (29).
Rounding out the baseball tournament field are Fitchburg State and MCLA with the fifth and sixth seed. The Falcons and Trailblazers tied at 6-7-1 to end the league regular season. On the mound, Ryan Towle had a solid freshman season for Fitchburg State, finishing second in the MASCAC in ERA (1.73) and strikeouts (64), third in wins (5), fourth in strikeouts per game (11.08) with three complete games and two shutouts. For MCLA, Jeff Bink led the team in batting average (.356) while collecting seven doubles, three triples, 21 RBI and 16 runs scored.
Last season, No. 4 Worcester State outlasted No. 6 Framingham State 1-0 in the MASCAC Tournament title game for the tourney title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.