Starting the 2018 season off on a rocky start, Longwood University Club Baseball (LUCB) ended their conference slate with a 10-5 record, taking them to the regional championship for the third year in a row in Peachtree City, Georgia from April 27-29.
“It was kind of surprising, everything up until playoffs was nothing less than below standards,” said President Junior Bailey Russell.
LUCB defeated University of Southern Florida (USF) 6-5 in Friday's tournament game. Senior Mitchell Martin hit a home run giving the team momentum heading into the second game against University of Central Florida (UCF) on Saturday.
Martin pitched a complete game, winning 2-1 over UCF advancing them to the championship game on Sunday.
In the first round of championship games, LUCB battled UCF for the second time with Senior Michael Lamons pitching. Tied at the end of the 7th inning 1-1, Lamons gave up two runs in the bottom of the 8th to lose 3-1.
“Last out in the third game was out by a mile so after the third game ended we all had our heads down,” said Assistant Coach Senior Chris Beshai.
Facing off against UCF once again in the final game on Sunday, LUCB pulled out a high scoring victory of 14-12 with senior pitchers Drew Aldredge pitching the first six innings and Will DeBoeser went in as the closer for the 7th.
“We weren’t supposed to have a shot in regionals,” said Beshai.
Before the game on Saturday, Russell gave the team a speech he said was inspired by Keegan-Michael Key.
“You can say whatever you want and put the word yet behind it, I told them that ‘us as a group as a whole hadn’t been to the world series...yet’,” said Russell.
With nine seniors on the team, trying to advance past the regional championship for three years was something they all worked for as a team.
“After three years of going there, we finally did it, it’s not a yet thing anymore,” said Martin.
Making their second appearance in the world series in the club’s history, Beshai said “a lot of it is our mentality”.
LUCB heads to Pittsburg, Kansas from May 18-22 to compete in the Division II World Series as the 8 seed alongside California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U), South Dakota State, San Diego State, Metro State, Saint Joseph’s University, Pittsburgh State, and Siena College.
LUCB looks to advance against Cal U in their first tournament game on Friday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m.
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