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Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney

May 27, 2003

Done In At Deland...Movin' On To Miami!

We ran into a hot pitcher in Stetson's Adam Blair on Saturday, and came up short in our pursuit of the A-Sun Tournament Championship. I have to be honest and admit that the edge was taken off my disappointment because of our regular season title and the expected at-large selection by the NCAA. I have said before, that the biggest source of pride about our NCAA participation is that all five times, FAU was selected as an at-large team. That is a clear indication of the success of the program throughout the course of a long season, rather than just a single tournament. That said...the tournament that counts begins on Friday.

The NCAA has once again sent us down I-95 to play in the Coral Gables Regional. Perhaps one day, our facility will be made suitable to host this tournament, and reward a team that has had a great year. But at this point, we need to be happy that our friends and families will be able to attend and lend their support. I know that for many parents, this site is much more convenient to see their sons play the most important series of their lives.

Much is being made of the great post season record UM possesses on their home field. My only response to that is we need to start changing the trend. First we must get by the University of Florida. They will present a formidable opponent for us on Friday. The good thing is that this club has a pretty good feel for itself. I think our kids know that they are a talented team that has accomplished much this year. However, they are also aware that we have stumbled at times against teams we should have beaten.

Bethune-Cookman is the fourth team in the field, and certainly not anyone to be overlooked. They have been regulars at the post season party, and have a great number one pitcher to get them in the winner's bracket. The Wildcats are definitely not a typical fourth seed.

I have many thoughts running through my head and sending feelings into my gut. Should I really share them with everyone? I don't know. But I'll tell you this. FAU baseball has worked hard to be in the same class as the traditional powers in the state, and by extension, the nation. The regional win last year was a big step in that direction, but that was in Tuscaloosa. There was no other Florida school in sight. If we want to prove we belong, this is the stage upon which to get it done. Only with a regional victory here, will we gain the respect of the average sports fan. Close will not get it done. We are not looked upon as true winners in the eyes of many. We are mere pretenders, but as the song goes, "It's a town full of losers and we're pullin' out of here to win!" KC



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