The Central Connecticut baseball team will get its first look at Baum-Walker Stadium when it has a practice day on Thursday in preparation to face fifth-seeded Arkansas in their opening game of the NCAA Regional on Friday afternoon in Fayetteville, AR. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. Eastern and the game will be carried live on ESPN3. Jim Barbar and Scott Pose will call the action.
The Blue Devils, who are 30-21 on the season, earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Northeast Conference Tournament. CCSU advanced to its sixth NCAA Tournament, and second in three seasons, with a 3-2 win over top-seeded Bryant in Sunday's championshp.
Head coach Charlie Hickey, the winningest coach in CCSU history, has won over 650 career games and led the program to six NCAA Tournament appearances. The Blue Devils had four players earn All-Northeast Conference honors and had four more earn All-Tournament Team honors, including senior Tom Curtin who was named Tournament MVP.
The Razorbacks are 41-17 overall and earned the No. 5 national seed in the field. Arkansas is appearing in the regionals for the 16th time in 17 season and hosting a regional for the third straight season. The Razorbacks have advanced to the College World Series nine times and have advanced to a Super Regional seven times. Head coach Dave Van Horn has led Arkansas to the NCAA Regional Final in each of his last eight tournament appearances.
California (32-18) is the second seed in the regional, while TCU (32-26) is seeded third. The Bears and Horned Frogs will play at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night.
The team advancing from the Fayetteville Regional will play the winner of the Oxford Regional.
The regional is a double-elimination format and will have all of the games carried on ESPN networks. The weekend's full schedule 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
Follow @CCSUBlueDevils on Twitter and www.CCSUBlueDevils.com for updates throughout the weekend. Live in-game updates for Friday's action will be available by following @KizerBlueDevil on Twitter.