RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University baseball team, on the heels of its 7-6, 10-inning home play-in victory over Concordia (N.Y.) College on May 5, will begin play in the four-team, double-elimination main draw of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship tournament on Thursday.
Felician, the CACC South Division regular-season champion and the event's overall No. 1 seed, will face North No. 2 seed and defending champion Dominican (N.Y.) College at noon at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Conn. The tournament is being hosted by Post University.
Guided by CACC Coach of the Year Chris Langan, Felician (28-23) is making its seventh consecutive playoff appearance and the 15th in the 19-year history of the program. The Golden Falcons are seeking their third conference championship, having won the crown in 2014 and 2016.
The CACC Baseball Championship tournament began as an eight-team event. Dominican (20-30) defeated Chestnut Hill College in a play-in, and the other play-in winners, Post (29-20) and Wilmington (Del.) University (30-18), meet at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Tournament homepages can be viewed at www.caccathletics.org/sports/bsb/2017-18/releases/58Central and http://posteagles.com/news/2017/5/9/2018-cacc-baseball-tournament.aspx.
"Dominican has good team speed, they're scrappy, they're not afraid to bunt, and they know how to win," said Felician all-CACC third-baseman Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan). "We need to limit our mistakes."
The entire main draw will be hosted by Post at Municipal Stadium, 1200 Watertown Avenue, Waterbury, CT. Directions are available at http://posteagles.com/sports/2010/12/29/GEN_directions.aspx (third listing).
With a win on Thursday, Felician would advance to the winners' bracket final on Friday at noon Should the Golden Falcons fall, they would have to come back and play again on Thursday at 6 p.m. The two remaining schools after Friday's losers' bracket final at 3 p.m. will play in Saturday's championship round at noon.
"From the pitching standpoint, we need to pound the strike zone," said senior closer Dan Naif (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty). "Our offense is always on attack – even if the other team scores, we've been able to punch back. So as pitchers we need to make it easier for them."
Felician split a regular-season doubleheader with Dominican on Mar. 29 in Pomona, N.Y. The Golden Falcons went 7-1 this season against the teams remaining in the tournament field.
Ticket prices for each day of competition are $6 for adults and $3 for children, students (with ID) and senior citizens. Children age three years and under will be admitted free. Post University is requesting that coolers and grills not be brought inside Municipal Stadium.
The winner of the 2018 CACC Championship tournament receives an automatic berth into next week's NCAA Division II East Regional, to be hosted by one of the regional participants.