Cortland Red Dragons DIII baseball dominance continues

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The SUNY Cortland baseball team has received a berth into the 48-team NCAA Division III playoffs for the 28th straight season and the 29th time overall. The Red Dragons (27-6) will be the second seed at a six-team, double-elimination regional Thursday through Sunday, May 27-30, hosted by Wells College at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y.

Cortland will play Tufts University (Mass.) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the second game of the day. Top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State will face sixth-seeded Merchant Marine Academy at 11 a.m. and Keystone College (Pa.) will play Mitchell College (Conn.) at 6 p.m.

The regional will continue with three games on Friday and three games on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. each day, with a championship round of one or two games Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets are $3 each day (cash only).

Due to COVID-19 issues, the NCAA baseball tournament field was reduced for this season from 58 to 48 teams. Instead of the regional/super regional format that was first employed by Division III in 2019, the NCAA instead this year has temporarily gone back to six-team regionals, with each regional winner advancing to the NCAA Division III World Series June 4-9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Cortland’s run of 28 straight national tournament appearances (1993-2019, 2021) breaks the NCAA Division III record that the Red Dragons shared with Marietta College (1976-2002). The Red Dragons’ streak is the second-longest longest active streak on an NCAA level, behind only Division I Florida State (42 straight from 1978-2019).

The Red Dragons, under 22nd-year head coach Joe Brown, earned an NCAA automatic berth after winning the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) tournament. The league adjusted its format for 2021 to a divisional setup, with a handful of crossover games that also counted in the standings. Cortland won the SUNYAC East, swept Brockport in two games in the SUNYAC best-of-three semifinals, and rebounded from losing the first game to visiting Oswego to win the next two contests in the SUNYAC best-of-three finals.

Cortland has won 15 regional titles (1995, 1997-2001, 2005, 2007-08, 2010, 2012, 2014-16, 2019). Of those, 14 sent the Red Dragons to the World Series. In 2019, Cortland advanced to a super regional before losing at Babson. Cortland won the 2015 national title and finished second in both 2005 and 2010. The Red Dragons have also placed third nationally three times (1997, 1998, 2016) and fourth twice (2007, 2012) among their 14 World Series trips.

In all, 12 previous NCAA regionals have been held at Falcon Park, all since 2000. Eight of the Red Dragons’ 15 regional crowns occurred in Auburn (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2016), along with three second-place finishes (2006, 2011, 2013) and one third-place finish (2018).

2021 NCAA Division III Baseball Auburn, N.Y. Regional – Falcon Park (hosted by Wells College)

Thursday, May 27

Game 1: (#1 seed) Eastern Connecticut State (32-6) vs. (#6 seed) Merchant Marine Academy (16-3), 11 a.m.

Game 2: (#2 seed) Cortland (27-6) vs. (#5 seed) Tufts (12-6), 2:30 p.m.

Game 3: (#3 seed) Keystone (21-4) vs. (#4 seed) Mitchell (25-7), 6 p.m.

Friday, May 28
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m.

Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3, 2:30 p.m.

Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 6 p.m.


Saturday, May 29

Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 11 a.m.

Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 6, 2:30 p.m.

Game 9: Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 6 p.m.

Sunday, May 30

Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9, TBA

Game 11: Same teams as Game 10 (if necessary), TBA


Saturday, May 29

Game 7: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6, 11 a.m.

Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 2:30 p.m.

Game 9: Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7, 6 p.m.


        Sunday, May 30 

        Game 10: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, TBA 

        Game 11: Same teams as Game 10 (if necessary), TBA 


        Sunday, May 30 

        Game 10: Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 9, TBA 

        Game 11: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, TBA 

Other Regionals (seeds in parentheses):

Hartford, Conn. Regional (hosted by Trinity College; Murren Family Field/DiBenedetto Stadium)

(1) Southern Maine, (2) Oswego, (3) Wheaton (Mass.), (4) Salve Regina, (5) Husson, (6) Johnson & Wales (R.I.)

Marietta, Ohio Regional (hosted by Marietta College; Don and Sue Schaly Field at Pioneer Park)

(1) Rowan, (2) Marietta, (3) North Carolina Wesleyan, (4) St. John Fisher, (5) Rochester, (6) Penn St. Behrend

High Point, N.C. Regional (hosted by Greensboro College and High Point Downtown Stadium Foundation; Truist Point)

(1) Salisbury, (2) Washington & Jefferson, (3) LaGrange, (4) Lynchburg, (5) Birmingham-Southern, (6) Marymount (Va.)

Decatur, Ill. Regional (hosted by Millikin University; Workman Family Baseball Field)

(1) Washington (St. Louis), (2) Webster, (3) Denison, (4) Millikin, (5) Transylvania, (6) Illinois College

Collegeville, Minn. Regional (hosted by Saint John’s University (Minn.); Becker Park)

(1) St. Thomas (Minn.), (2) Texas-Dallas, (3) York (Pa.), (4) Pacific (Ore.), (5) Chapman, (6) Scranton

St. Paul, Minn. Regional (hosted by Univ. of Northwestern-St. Paul; Reynolds Field)

(1) Trinity (Texas), (2) Aurora, (3) Misericordia, (4) Northwestern-St. Paul, (5) Saint Mary’s (Minn.), (6) Johns Hopkins

Whitewater, Wis. Regional (hosted by Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Miller Stadium, Prucha Field)

(1) Adrian, (2) Wisconsin-Whitewater, (3) Texas Lutheran, (4) Penn St. Harrisburg, (5) Luther, (6) Salem St.

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