Division III College World Series fits in Fox Valley Series begins its third year at Fox Cities Stadium this weekend Andy YorkFor the third consecutive season, the NCAA Division III College World Series will take place in the Fox Valley. The series begins today at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute and continues through Tuesday. The series has been in Grand Chute for the past two seasons and will continue to be through at least next season. The host for the event is the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The Fox Valley has been kind to the tournament, which has traveled all over the United States since 1988. The tournament has been in Salem, Virginia, Battle Creek, Michigan, and Bristol, Connecticut, and now Grand Chute in that time frame. Grand Chute is looking to become the permenent home of the World Series, as Omaha, Nebraska is the home of the Division I College World Series. For both cities, the home teams have suffered from a jinx of sorts. UW-Oshkosh was a common participant in the Division III World Series from 1980 to 1998. They made sixteen appearances in those years, but since the tournament has reached the Fox Valley, they have yet to make an appearance. This is not unlike the University of Nebraska and the Division I series. The Cornhuskers have been in the College World Series once since 1950. UW-Oshkosh hopes to break that streak in the next few years. The World Series will be in the Fox Valley again next spring, and UW-Oshkosh has applied to host it for another three years after that. The attendance record has nearly been broken over the past two years, despite inclement weather and no Wisconsin teams in the tournament. This looks like the year the record will be broken, however. The weather looks good for most of the holiday weekend, and there are two Wisconsin teams in this years series. They are not the typical powerhouses, like UW-Stevens Point or UW-Oshkosh, but smaller teams. Carthage College, from Kenosha, and Lakeland College from Sheboygan are making an appearance this year. Carthage is from Kenosha and features many players who went to high school in the Fox Valley. They defeated Midwest Conference Champion Monmouth to advance to the final eight. Lakeland is making its first ever appearance in the College World Series. The Muskies are from Sheboygan and upset two national powers to make it to the final eight. The Muskies defeated last year’s champion, the University of Saint Thomas, from Saint Paul, Minnesota and tenth-ranked UW-Stevens Point to advance. Carthage and Lakeland will have a large task ahead of them this weekend. They will be competing in a field with two former National Champions who just happen to be ranked first and second in the country heading into this weekend. Marietta College is ranked first, and Eastern Connecticut State University is ranked second. While neither Lakeland nor Carthage will have to face either ranked team in the first round, it is virtually assured that they will face one of them at some point in the tournament. The tournament begins today with Marietta facing the College of New Jersey at 10 a.m. Carthage faces Christopher Newport University in the second game of the afternoon at 1:15 p.m. The next game between Concordia University (TX) and Eastern Connecticut State at 4:30 p.m. Finally, at 7:45 p.m. Lakeland will face off against Rensselar Polytechnic Institute, better known as R.P.I. The second round of the double elimination tournament takes place on Saturday, and the series continues throughout the weekend. The championship game will be at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, with another game scheduled for 4:30 p.m. if it is necessary.