GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The University of Southern Maine swings between two extremes in the Little East Conference Baseball Championship Tournament. As host, USM couldn't be more gracious to visiting teams. But once the games begin, no team competes more fiercely.

That competitive spirit goes on display Wednesday morning at Flaherty Field in Gorham. The opening game of the tournament pits top-seeded USM against sixth-seeded Keene State.

Six teams will compete for the conference title in a double-elimination format. The other games on day one feature Rhode Island College vs. UMass Boston and Eastern Connecticut vs. UMass Dartmouth. The team that wins the Little East title will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

USM has a long record of success at the tournament with five prior championships and three since 2012.

Some of the Huskies' hottest bats heading into the series belong to Dylan Hapworth, Zach Quintal, Jake Dexter and Devin Warren. All four boast batting averages well above .300 and contribute to a .328 AVG for the entire team. The pitching staff is led by Dalton Rice with a 6-1 record and 3.06 ERA.