After winning its sixth Northeast Conference championship on Sunday, Central Connecticut earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 5 overall seed Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR, in the NCAA Baseball Regionals it was announced Monday. Central is 30-21 overall and will be making its second NCAA appearance in the last three seasons. TCU and California will meet in the other regional contest.
The Blue Devils and Razorbacks (41-17) will play on Friday, May 31, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern at Baum Stadium. The game will be available on ESPN3. The Horned Frogs (32-26) and Bears (32-18) will play at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. The regionals are a double-elimination format.
The schedule for the weekend is as follows (all times Eastern):
Friday, May 31:
Game 1 (#5 Arkansas vs. CCSU) - 2 p.m. ESPN3
Game 2 (TCU vs. California) - 7 p.m. ESPN3
Saturday, June 1
Game 3 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
Game 4 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Sunday, June 2
Game 5 – Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3 p.m. (ESPN3)
Game 6 – Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4, 9 p.m. (ESPN3)
Monday, June 3
Game 7 – Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Ticket Information: All-session Hog Pen general admission tickets are on sale for $75. All-session tickets are $75 each and include admission to all six/seven games of the tournament. Each session will consist of a single game, and the stadium will be cleared between each game. Tickets can be purchased online HERE
Head coach Charlie Hickey guided the Blue Devils to a 3-2 win over top-seeded Bryant in the seventh game of the NEC championship. With the win, Central has won 30 games in a season for the eighth time under Hickey and came out of the loser's bracket to win the league crown for the first time since 2010. In his 20th season at the helm of CCSU, Hickey is the winningest coach in Central's history with 548 victories.
The Blue Devils are making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance overall. They have won conference titles in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2010 along with the most recent appearance in 2017. The Blue Devils went to Fort Worth, TX, for the 2017 regionals and went to Norwich, CT, in 2010. In 2002, CCSU traveled to the University of Texas, 2003 to Arizona State and to Oklahoma City in 2004.