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Houlihan Park to Play Host to Atlantic 10 Baseball Tournament

SPORTS EDITOR

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04

Courtesy of Kate Doheny/The Ram

Houlihan Park is named after Jim Houlihan, who donated $1 million to the baseball program in 2005. The money was used, largely, to resurface the field.

 

The Atlantic 10 Baseball Tournament will be held at Houlihan Park this season, as the conference moves postseason play back to college campuses. The tournament pits the top six teams in the conference against each other, with the seedings based on the teams’ conference records throughout the season. Last season, the tournament was played at Campbell Field in Camden, NJ while Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Oh, has also played host to the tournament three times in the past eight years.

The tournament will be held in various Atlantic 10 complexes for the next few years, with a rotating schedule of host sites. Fordham gets the first chance to host the event. 

“There are three or four schools that are equipped, and we are obviously one of them,” Executive Director of Athletics Frank McLaughlin said.

There was some difficulty in getting the tournament moved back to a campus site in the league, however, because the winner of the tournament is given a place in the NCAA Tournament.

“There were some people that argued that because a NCAA tournament berth was involved, we should have it at a neutral site,” McLaughlin said. “Discussions went on and eventually those in favor of the on-campus sites won.”

There are some concerns about the size of the press box at Houlihan Park. The media area becomes cramped when both teams have radio stations broadcasting from within.

McLaughlin sees no problem in hosting the media that comes with the Atlantic 10 teams, and he believes the press box size will be a non-issue.

“It will all work out,” McLaughlin said. “We have done it in the past, and we have had no problems. [Sports Information Director] Joe DiBari and his team do a great job of coordinating all of that so everything will work out.”

In order to accommodate the increased attendance, there will be temporary concessions stands set up, as well as the installment of temporary bathroom facilities. Currently, the Millenium Grille is the closest place for fans to get food.

“We have gone above and beyond when hosting A-10 tournaments in the past,” McLaughlin said. “Everything will be great.”

McLaughlin also sees this as an opportunity to get Fordham some exposure outside of New York City.

“This gives us a chance to not only to host the tournament but also to showcase the school,” McLaughlin said. “There will be people coming from other schools that have not seen the Fordham campus, but will leave very impressed.”

As well as allowing people to learn about Fordham as a school, hosting the tournament could also be potentially beneficial to recruiting for the baseball program.

“There might be a baseball player from Charlotte or Richmond or something like that, and then he comes here and realizes what a beautiful campus we have,” McLaughlin said. “Maybe down the road he has a brother or nephew who could wind up coming to Fordham because he remembers what great facilities we have.”

The softball tournament will also be moving to on-campus sites, starting with Saint Louis which will host it this season. Bahoshy Field is in the rotation, however, meaning that the tournament will be played there within the next few years.

The Charlotte 49ers won the Atlantic 10 Tournament last season. The 2011 Fordham baseball team narrowly missed out on postseason play, losing the final game of the season to the Xavier Musketeers.

This year, the Rams are 9-6 in conference and are in fifth place in the league. 

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