Chelmsford, MA— On Wednesday, November 8, Futures Collegiate Baseball League Commissioner Chris Hall published the 2018 Futures League regular season schedule. The Futures League’s eighth season — and the Worcester Bravehearts' fifth — will open on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.
**To view the Worcester Bravehearts 2018 schedule, click here.**
The Bravehearts will begin at home in a rematch against the team that beat them in the 2017 Championship Series: the Nashua Silver Knights. The team will also host the Bristol Blues on Thursday night, May 31st. Those dates will be the earliest the Bravehearts have ever opened a season.
The 2018 Futures League will include the 2017 League Champion Nashua Silver Knights, League Runner-Up Worcester Bravehearts, as well as the North Shore Navigators, Brockton Rox, Martha's Vineyard Sharks, Bristol Blues, and Pittsfield Suns. Each team will play a 56-game regular season schedule split evenly with 28 home games and 28 road games. The Seacoast Mavericks and Wachusett Dirt Dawgs will sit out the 2018 season. The Mavericks will continue to work on building a new complex in Dover, NH with the hopes of having the Mavericks playing in 2019 at their new facility. The Dirt Dawgs are evaluating re-location options to field a team again in 2019.
With seven total teams in the league in 2018, the schedule is laid out such that the Bravehearts will have an off-day every 6th day. The exceptions will be a long 12-game stretch from June 8 - June 19 and an 11-game stretch immediately after the All Star Break in July. Worcester fans can gear up for a series of five Friday night games beginning on June 15th and ending with the final Friday night of the season on August 3rd. The team will also host four Saturday night contests, four Sunday afternoon games, and a 4th of July matinee against Nashua.
The Futures League looks to build on a record breaking 2017 season where the League ranked first in New England summer collegiate baseball for overall attendance with 279,802 fans and for average attendance with 1,238 fans per game. The 1,238 fans per game also ranked the Futures League third in the country for all of summer collegiate baseball. After seven seasons, the Futures league has drawn upwards of 1.6 million fans.
“We’re very proud of the league we’ve become,” said Commissioner Chris Hall. “Our ownership groups, facilities and the communities we play in have been recognized as some of the best in the country and our attendance proves that. That success presented us the opportunity to host the National Collegiate Teams from the USA and Japan in 2017 and provided our top prospects the opportunity to play against Team USA,” Hall continued. “Each of our teams is an integral part of their communities and we’ll continue work tirelessly to make our host communities proud.”
The regular season runs from Wednesday, May 30 through Sunday, August 5 and will be immediately followed by the Futures League playoffs. The playoffs will feature six teams in a three-round format. The first and second place teams will each have a bye in round one. The next four teams with the best overall records will play in winner-take-all play-in games. The play-in games will feature the #3 vs. #6 seed and the #4 vs. #5 seed. Teams will be seeded 1 through 6 based on overall records. Round two will feature a 3-game series between the league’s #1 seed and the lowest remaining seed from round one, while the league’s #2 seed will match up against the highest remaining seed from round one. The Futures League championship will be determined by a final 3-game series between the two winners of the semi-final round.
On July 17th, the Nashua Silver Knights will host the 7th Annual Futures League All-Star Game at Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua, NH. This will be the second time the Silver Knights host the league all-star game as they hosted the inaugural game in 2012. "The Futures League far and away runs the best Scout Day and All-Star Game in the country,” said one Major League Scout. “I always look forward to attending their All-Star Games."
Since 2011, the Futures League has experienced a meteoric rise to become one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the country. This rise is due in large part to the league’s well-capitalized ownership groups featuring franchises with tremendous facilities in outstanding communities. In addition, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League provides family-friendly and affordable fun for its host communities in a minor league-style setting. Learn more at www.thefuturesleague.com.