WORCESTER, Mass. – For the first time since 2009, Assumption baseball has earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship. The Hounds, who finished the regular season 26-18 with a 14-12 record within the Northeast-10 Conference, have earned the seventh seed in the East Regional II bracket and will travel to second seed Southern N.H. (36-12) in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, May 16.
The two teams have met three times this season with the Penmen holding the 2-1 advantage over the Hounds. In a weekend series between the two teams taking place on April 27-28, Southern N.H. took the first two games 3-0 and then 5-0, while the Hounds took the final game 5-3. The Penmen are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the eventual Northeast-10 Conference Champions Franklin Pierce in the opening round of the tournament. Southern N.H. was ranked No. 1 in the tournament.
Other matchups within the East Regional II include No. 3 LIU Post vs No. 6 Felician. In the East Regional I bracket, No. 1 Adelphi will take on No. 8 Franklin Pierce, while No. 4 Wilmington (DE) will take on No. 5 NYIT. All three games will take place on Thursday as well.
Double-elimination regional tournaments will be held from May 16-18. New to 2019, the winners of each of the 16 regional tournaments will move on to the eight Super Regionals where teams will face off in a best two-out-of-three series. The eight winners of the Super Regionals will travel to Cary, North Carolina for the NCAA DII Baseball Championship. Those eight teams will face off in two four-team, double-elimination brackets with the national champion crowned on June 8.
The Hounds are enjoying their best season 2009. Their 26-win season is the most wins in one season since their 33-win mark set 10 years ago, while it is also the most games the team has won since head coach Mike Rocco took over the program in 2014. The team has consistently ranked within the top-10 of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll and began its season 6-0 for this first time in over a decade. They finished their regular season with wins against nationally ranked Southern N.H. and NE-10 Championship teams Merrimack, Bentley, Pace and Franklin Pierce.
Assumption has received considerable contributions from several players on both sides of the ball throughout the season. Hunter Tralli (Berlin, Conn. / Northwest Catholic) has smacked six home runs, two triples and 25 RBIs this season, including two grand slams, while Derek Adamson (Chelmsford, Mass. / Chelmsford) has a team-high 36 runs to go along with 30 RBIs. Matt Lonardo (Cranston, RI / Cranston High School) leads the team with 31 RBIs and 29 walks with 30 runs. Cole Chudoba (Oxford, Conn. / Oxford High School) leads the team on the mound, throwing 78 innings in 13 appearances and 11 starts. He is 7-3 on the mound with a 2.54 ERA and with 71 strikeouts to only eight walks. Colton King (Westerly, R.I. / Moses Brown Prep) has a team-low 2.44 ERA in 22.1 innings of work in 13 appearances while picking up two wins and one save without any losses and striking out 23.
The last time the team made the Championship back in 2009, the team defeated Franklin Pierce 4-3 in the opening round of the East Regional but lost to Adelphi and Wilmington (Del.) in the ensuing rounds. The Hounds also made it to the NE-10 Conference Championship that year but lost to Franklin Pierce.