W&J to Host NCAA Baseball Regional Again in 2016

By Justin Zackal

Ross Memorial Park

W&J’s Ross Memorial Park.

The road to the NCAA Division III College World Series will once again go through Washington, Pa. Washington & Jefferson recently announced that it will host the 2016 Mideast Baseball Regional May 18-21 at Ross Memorial Park, just as it did in 2015.

Also as it did in 2015, the PAC Sports Network will provide live video broadcasts of all the games.

“We are thrilled to once again serve as one of the eight regional hosts for the NCAA baseball championship,” said W&J Director of Athletics Scott McGuinness in a statement released by the school. “Our goal is to make the 2016 Mideast Regional an enjoyable experience for the teams.”

That goal was achieved last year.

“I thought they did a very good job,” said Frostburg State head coach Guy Robertson, whose team won the 2015 Mideast Regional at W&J and advanced to its first-ever College World Series. “They built up the look of the place. They have a cozy environment for fans and it’s a fun environment to play in, which raised the level of intensity for the players.”

Opened in 2004 and recently updated, Ross Memorial Park has become “one of the great venues in NCAA Division III baseball,” according to McGuiness, with its 400-chairback seats, two-tiered press box and artificial turf for the entire playing surface except for the pitcher’s mound and home-plate area.

“It’s a very fair playing surface,” Robertson said. “The all-turf surface sometimes levels the playing field, but when you have the best teams in the country it is already (level).”

Frostburg State (43-9), which also played in the 2011 regional at Marietta, was one of two teams in the country to win 40 games last year. The Bobcats prevailed in the 2015 regional’s deciding game against La Roche, 8-4, after losing to La Roche, 4-3, earlier in the weekend.

W&J, Adrian, Heidelberg and Shenandoah also made up the six-team field. The Presidents were the sixth seed and went 1-2 including a 7-1 loss to Frostburg State.

Robertson compared the experience W&J provided at last year’s regional to that of Marietta, which has hosted several regionals over the years. However, he paid the ultimate compliment that a visiting coach could make.

“It’s a neat facility, but the people are what makes the experience,” Robertson said. “Their staff was great and Scott was fantastic and hospitable. It was well run. For me, it felt like we were playing at home.”