Baseball from the Nashua Telegraph: "Daniel Webster baseball off to Regionals"
This article is reprinted with permission of the Nashua Telegraph. It ran on May 15, 2012. See the original article on line by clicking here.
By TOM KING
NASHUA – The Daniel Webster College baseball team knew it would likely be an eighth seed in the upcoming NCAA Division III Regionals.
The Eagles knew they would be playing a highly ranked team. They just figured they'd be doing it on Long Island or in Connecticut.
Instead, they found out early Monday morning they are headed to FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ., site of the Mid-Atlantic Regional. DWC will take on top seed Keystone College of La Plume, Pa., which is also ranked third in the nation in Division III and owns a 35-6 record.
"Yeah, I'm a little surprised," said Eagles coach J.P. Pyne, whose New England Collegiate Conference championship team goes in at 23-17. "We had our fingers crossed a little bit that we'd be in the New England (regional).
"I really don't know a whole lot about (Keystone). I don't even know who I might be able to call. But this just allows me to preach to our team that we need to focus on ourselves and what we need to do to win rather than focus on some detailed scouting report prepared by some coach from some other program."
Actually, there is one common opponent – the Eagles lost 1-0 to New Jersey City University on March 10 during their season-opening Florida trip, while Keystone topped NJCU 6-0 in late April.
The host school for the event is second seed Kean Univeristy, which faces No. 7 Drew University. The other opening matchups in the double elimination event that goes into the weekend are No. 3 Alvernia College vs. No. 6 Haverford College and No. 4 Ramapo College vs. No. 5 Neumann University. Should the Eagles lose they will play again early Thursday in a losers bracket game.
There is no question who DWC will send to the mound on Wednesday – Goffstown's Kory Kiro, who went 5-2, 2.64 during the season. It's unknown who Keystone will throw but the Giants' best starter statistically is Blaine O'Brien, who is 9-1, 1.24.
"There's going to be some nerves, especially wen playing a good opponent," Pyne said of the Eagles, who are making their first NCAA appearance ever. "We're playing nine innings, no need to question what's going on. Let's just settle in, play a baseball game and compete."
The Giants hit .311 as a team, while opponents batted only .219 against them. Daniel Webster hit .308 as a team while opponents batted .296.
Being the eighth seed, the Eagles certainly face an uphill climb. They'll be counting on NECC tourney MVP Eric Bourdeau, who hit .288 during the season but was 7-for-12 in the tourney that finished over a week ago, to help them out. "During the season he showed flashes," Pyne said, "but he really stepped it up in the tournament."
Pyne is also looking for help from table setter Darrik Marstaller, who hit .341 during the year and was second on the team with 31 runs scored.
The Eagles have several locals on the roster, including former Alvirne standouts Korey LeLievere (winning pitcher in the NECC title game), Kyle Brigham (hit .375 as a freshman), and pitcher Zack Hurley.
Others are Nashua's James Harvey (sophomore outfielder), junior infielder Elliot Kilgore of Milford, Tyler Bonin of Litchfield who leads the Eagles in hitting at a .396 clip, Merrimack outfielder Ryan Dupont, and infielder Josh Sigman of Litchfield.
Pyne also feels he has some pitching depth, as he's confident in No. 2 starter Aaron Argelo, who went 5-2, 2.67.
"He took a lot of pressure off us and allowed us to stay in rotation (in the NECC tourney)," Pyne said.
Pyne, who was an assistant on NCAA tourney teams at St. Anselm College and St. Joseph's of Maine, said no matter what happens, the Eagles need to cherish the moment.
"It's going to be different than anything they've ever done," he said.
"Don't leave anything hanging off that says 'I wish I was more focused or more prepared.'
It's a great experience they're going to remember for the rest of their lives."