National Baseball Tournament returns to the Fox Valley for 2003

Andy York

The 2003 NCAA Division Three College World Series will be held once again at Fox Cities Stadium in Grande Chute this weekend. Eight teams from around the country are here to compete to see who will go home with the hardware. It’s an open field, but there are two major favorites to win.Eight teams will compete for the championship this weekend. The teams come from all around the country, but one will have a home-field advantage. UW-Oshkosh advanced through the regional qualifying and will play a short 20-minute drive from their campus this weekend.

The Titans, along with Lawrence, are the hosts of this weekend’s festivities. UW-O has won the College World Series twice, their most recent time in 1994. They are back in the tournament for the first time since 1998.

UW-O is 36-6 this season, and beat MWC regular season champion Ripon in their regional to advance. The only other MWC team in regional play was St. Norbert, and they lost their first two games and were eliminated.

Another favorite this weekend has to be Eastern Connecticut State. ECS won the 2002 College World Series held in the same stadium. They return a good portion of last year’s winning team and come into tournament play with a 41-7 record. The Warriors have the best record of any team coming into this weekend’s tournament.

The other six teams playing this weekend are, in alphabetical order, Anderson University, Chapman University, Christopher Newport University, DeSales University, Emory University, and Trinity College. Only DeSales and Trinity are making their first ever appearances in the CWS. Only Eastern Connecticut State, with four titles, and UW-Oshkosh, with two, have won the CWS.

It should be a good weekend of baseball. The action starts today with first round games being Eastern Connecticut State against DeSales at 10:00 a.m, Emory against Anderson at 1:15 p.m., Trinity against Christopher Newport at 4:30 p.m.

Anchoring the evening is host UW-Oshkosh against Chapman. The tournament is double elimination, and the championship game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. A second championship game will follow at 4:30 p.m. if it is needed.

Tickets are available at the stadium or from the Lawrence University box office.