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Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney

May 27, 2005


For the past three or four weeks, we have played real good baseball. Our pitching has rounded into shape, the hitting has been closer to what we expected, and our defense has been pretty good.

Today was a great chance to solidify our push to a regional, by getting to Saturday undefeated. To get past a tough Stetson team, we'd have to do everything right.

We didn't.

Stetson started their day by leading Gardner-Webb 4-2 for much of the morning game, only to see the Bulldogs tie, and then take a one-run lead into the ninth. The Hatters battled back and fought off elimination with a game winning single by Jon Still.

In the second game, UCF got some solid pitching and pulled out a 5-1 win over number one seed Troy. Jay Bergman's guys are alive to try and claim a championship in this, their last season in the A-Sun.

We sent Will Mann out against Stetson tonight in their second game of the day. They didn't look tired as they jumped on top with a run in the first. We countered with two in our half, but relief pitcher Cameron Abel proceeded to shut us down over the next six innings.

Will had settled in and looked strong despite some sloppy play behind him. A sinkerball pitcher is as good as his defense; it's a real symbiotic relationship. Tonight we didn't give him much help.

When a team commits seven errors and gets only four hits, they aren't going to win. The combination of good Stetson bullpen work, and our own self destruction sealed our fate.

For Stetson, the 7-3 win capped off a great day. They have much of which to be proud.

Our task now is to find a way to defeat UCF tomorrow and keep our season alive. The chance for an at large would evaporate with a UCF win followed by a Stetson championship. But if we can stay alive long enough to get to Stetson, we'd have a chance.

To still have a chance at this time of the season is all one could want. KC



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