With such big chaos caused in the first day of the final championship series in D3, take a look at what the final series of the year could hold going forward.
The Presidents continued their stellar play of late, holding off a late surge from the Cougars in a close 4-2 victory, advancing into the winners bracket against Roanoke, who pulled the upset of top-seeded Oswego State.
What is most fascinating in this development though is that W&J used their number-three starter, tapping Bryce Schnatterly to go in game one, and he dazzled with seven innings and giving up just two runs. This allows the Presidents to roll out their top duo of Riley Groves and Trevor Kerr in a winner bracket game, and then at worst an elimination game where you will have your best option left, and the opponent will have to use some depth pieces.
With a great offense behind the pitching depth that is being employed, W&J is now in the drivers seat of the top bracket, and could cruise their way into the championship round with two more great performances.
Roanoke 8 – Oswego State 7
The Cinderella story just gets better, as the Maroons knocked off another top seed after doing so twice in the South Regional in which they took down top seed Salisbury, and the number one team in the nation LaGrange.
What jumps off the page when watching Roanoke is the fact they never quit, going down 2-0 in the bottom of the first, but responding with three in the top of the second. After reclaiming a lead at 7-6 following the sixth, an insurance run was added in the eighth, and some tight jams were escaped by the pitching staff, anchored by freshman Sal Trancucci, who went 3.1 and allowed just two hits in 14 batters faced.
The Maroons may run into some trouble soon as their pitching depth is not the best of the remaining teams, but they have that winning mindset that can take you far in the postseason. As long as confidence flows through the clubhouse, Roanoke could stun a few more teams in their path for glory.
North Central 5 – UMass-Boston 2
Another program who came from a low seed in their regional to tournament success, NC stunned the two-seed Beacons with a late rally from down 2-1 in the top of the seventh, to then leading 5-2 going to the bottom of the eighth.
The brunt of the work was done by Cardinal starter Auston Polezoes, who went the distance and gave up two runs, and allowing just six base runners all night. That success gives NC a date with Cal Lutheran, the only top-four seed who won, and arguably the best team remaining in the winner bracket.
Boston will have to take on fellow Mass. school Wheaton in a win-or-go-home game. If both two seeds are to fall in the first couple of days, this would be a tremendously chaotic World Series.