'KEENE, N.H. 5/6/03– The Keene State baseball team is hoping for a second chance when it plays in the double-elimination, six-team Little East Conference Tournament that begins Wednesday at Eastern Conn. State University.
The fourth seed in the tournament, the Owls (11-21) will face third seed UMass-Dartmouth (17-17) in a 7 p.m. game at ECSU Baseball Stadium.
"Everyone starts at 0-0," said KSC Coach Ken Howe. "We haven't played the way we're capable of playing all season. The tournament gives us a second opportunity to show what we can do.
KSC will be facing an UMass-Dartmouth team that swept them last Saturday in North Dartmouth, Mass., 16-5 and 12-4.
"I think it's good that we go right back against them," added Howe, who will pitch Buzzy Francis in the opener, who the Corsairs haven't seen this season.
Ranked first in Division III, the defending champion Warriors of Eastern Conn. (33-6) comes into the tournament as a heavy favorite. The remaining teams include second seed Southern Maine (26-14), #5 Western Conn. (16-21) and #6 Rhode Island College (20-17).
After opening last year's tournament with their third win against ECSU, Keene State, was eliminated by Southern Maine in the semifinals. The Owls advanced to the championship game in 1999.
"All these guys have been here before and know what to expect," Howe said. "Hopefully this will be our year to finally win a championship."