APPLETON, Wis. — Teams are coming from coast to coast to compete for the 2013 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.
Eight college baseball teams from Maine to Oregon will arrive at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium later this week to play in the double-elimination tournament. The 38th edition of the championship begins Friday, May 24, and runs through Tuesday, May 28. This marks the 14th consecutive year the finals will be contested in Appleton.
Three former national champions are in the field and three of them represent the East Coast.
The University of Southern Maine (42-8), which won the national title in 1991 and 1997, is making its seventh trip to the finals and its first since back-to-back appearances in 2000 and 2001. The Huskies reached the finals with a 9-0 victory over Endicott College (Mass.) in the Harwich, Mass., Regional final.
Another East Coast squad, Kean University (N.J.), is making its sixth appearance in the finals and third consecutive trip to Appleton. The Cougars have made all of those appearances in the last seven years, starting with 2007, the year Kean (38-11) won its national title. The Cougars punched their ticket to Appleton with a 6-1 victory over Keystone College (Pa.) in the Moosic, Pa., Regional final.
The other former national champion in the field is Ithaca College (N.Y.), which won titles in 1980 and 1988. This is Ithaca’s 12th trip to the finals but its first since 1994. Ithaca (38-6) earned its berth in the finals with a 4-2 victory over the State University of New York-Cortland in the Auburn, N.Y., Regional championship game.
From the West Coast, Linfield College (Ore.) is making its third appearance in the finals. The No. 1-ranked Wildcats (38-7) return to Appleton for the first time since 2010 and earned their trip to the finals with a 3-1 victory over Trinity University (Texas) in the Austin, Texas, Regional championship game.
The team with the shortest travel time to Appleton is the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (39-9), which is located just 65 miles west of the Fox Cities. Stevens Point is making its fifth appearance in the finals and its first since 2010. The Pointers won the Whitewater, Wis., Regional with a 1-0 victory over Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) in the regional title game.
Manchester University (39-5-1) stopped Marietta College’s hopes for a three-peat by downing the Pioneers 8-5 in the title game of the Terre Haute, Ind., Regional. Manchester makes its second trip to Appleton, with the first coming in 2004.
Webster University (Mo.) is making its second consecutive and second overall appearance in the finals. The Gorloks (36-10) punched their ticket to Appleton with a 7-3 win over Concordia University (Ill.) in the championship game of the Moline, Ill., Regional.
The lone newcomer to the finals is Millsaps College (Miss.), which earned its berth among the final eight teams with a 7-6 victory over Sailsbury University (Md.) in the Millington, Tenn., Regional title game. Millsaps (38-12) won the regional championship game with a walk-off, run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Friday’s Game Schedule (All times Central)
10 a.m. — University of Southern Maine (42-8) vs. Millsaps College (38-12)
1:15 p.m. — Linfield College (38-7) vs. Ithaca College (38-6)
4:30 p.m. — University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (39-9) vs. Manchester University (39-5-1)
7:45 p.m. — Kean University (38-11) vs. Webster University (36-10)