The Husson University baseball team will begin postseason play this weekend against the same opponent it faced last weekend — except on the road instead of at home.

Coach Jason Harvey’s fourth-seeded Eagles will challenge top-seeded and three-time defending champion Castleton University at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the opening game of the four-team, double-elimination North Atlantic Conference tournament at Castleton, Vermont.

The tournament, originally scheduled to run Friday through Sunday, was pushed back to a Saturday-through-Monday format due to predicted inclement weather for western Vermont on Friday.

Castleton (30-7 overall, 21-3 in NAC play) and Husson (21-18, 13-11 NAC) met in Bangor to close out the regular season with the Spartans sweeping the four-game series.

While Husson’s pitching and defense largely kept pace with Castleton, the Eagles struggled offensively while falling 6-1 and 2-1 on Saturday and dropping back-to-back 1-0 decisions on Sunday.

Castleton reduced its NCAA Division III-leading team earned run average to 1.89 with the sweep. Webster College of Saint Louis, Missouri, ranks second at 2.65.

“Obviously we lost four times to Castleton but we lost three, one-run games,” said Harvey. “It wasn’t a matter of us not being in the games, we had an opportunity in a couple of the games to score a run or push across a couple of runs but just didn’t come up with the key hit.”

“Anytime you get into a conference tournament you’ve got to beat everybody at some point … so we’ll be ready to go.”

Husson’s tournament seeding wasn’t determined until Wednesday evening after New England College of Henniker, New Hampshire, outlasted Colby-Sawyer of New London, New Hampshire, 5-4 in 12 innings.

That win earned NEC (22-18, 14-10) the No. 2 seed, with Lyndon State College of Lyndonville, Vermont (22-18, 13-11), edging Husson for the No. 3 seed by tiebreaker.

Lyndon State and Husson split their four conference matchups, but the Hornets went 1-3 against top-ranked Castleton during the regular season.

New England College, the conference’s hottest team with eight consecutive victories entering postseason play, plays Lyndon State in Saturday’s 12:30 p.m., followed at 3:30 p.m. by an elimination game between the losers of the first two contests.

The tournament continues with games at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday with the championship round set for Monday beginning at 10 a.m.

The conference tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

“I think we’re confident,” said Husson sophomore catcher Sam Huston. “We’ve done very well offensively for the most part throughout the year, and with the signs of how well our defense played and how well our pitching did last weekend, if we can just our offensive clicking we’ll be in good shape, for sure.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...