WORCESTER, Mass. -- For the first time in program history, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) baseball team is in the NCAA Division III championships. The team defeated Suffolk University Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 7-6, in the opening game of the 2009 NCAA Division III New England Regional, hosted by Eastern Connecticut. Read about the team’s first victory in their first NCAA championship appearance, in the Telegram & Gazette.
WPI will play NEWMAC rival Babson on Thursday, May 14, 2009, in a winner’s bracket semifinal game at 4:30 p.m.
The Engineers, led by fourth-year Head Coach Mike Callahan, entered the tournament with a 28-11 record, and shared the NEWMAC regular season title and captured last weekend's ECAC Division III New England championship.
"It's cool to think it’s the first time in 106 years that it has happened," said Coach Callahan. "It’s a nice reward for all the hard work the guys have put in this year."
The senior class of Conor Fahey (Cumberland, R.I.), Scott McNee (Falmouth, Mass.), Ethan Brown (Lunenburg, Mass.), Ben Erle (Boylston, Mass.), and Jonathan Quintero (Miami, Fla.) have amassed 82 victories over their four years at WPI. The total is 20 more than the next highest for a class in the 106-year history the program.
Fahey, the 2009 NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year, is 8-1 with three saves and 104 strikeouts. His 27 career wins are the most in school history. McNee, the 2008 NEWMAC Player of the Year, leads the Engineers with a .388 batting average to go along with 11 homers, 47 runs, and 39 RBI.
"Our senior class deserves it,” said Callahan. “Four years of hard work has paid off. This was their goal, and they accomplished it. It’s a good feeling when you set a goal early in January and come May you can say you have accomplished it."
The tournament features eight teams, including host and top-seed Eastern Connecticut. The regional is scheduled to conclude Sunday, May 17, with the champion heading to Appleton, Wisc., for the Division III World Series.
If you can’t make it the Eastern Connecticut baseball stadium in Mansfield, watch the live webcast here.