Husson College senior second baseman Danny White figures the Eagles have a second life at the North Atlantic Conference Tournament in Standish today.
Husson, 12-20 and the third seed, will take on second seed and host St. Joseph’s College’s, 27-8, in Friday’s 6 p.m. game. Top seed Castleton State (Vt.), 24-10, and fourth seed University of Maine-Farmington, 9-17, will open the double-elimination tournament at 2 p.m.
St. Joseph’s is the defending two-time champ.
The winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“This is an opportunity for us to play our best baseball. We feel we haven’t played our best baseball yet,” said White, a tricaptain.
White feels any one of the teams can win it “because no one has a dominant pitcher like [Charlie] Furbush and [Jack] Hughes last year at St. Joseph’s last year.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to go down there and play relaxed baseball with a lot of confidence. We’ll see what happens. We’re just going to take things one inning at a time and play hard,” said White.
“We’ve proven we can play with any team there,” added senior shortstop and tri-captain Adam Sheehan. “We’ve been most successful when our pitchers get ahead in their counts and keep the walks to a minimum. Lately, we’ve had some great pitching performances. [Andrew] Patterson has been pitching very well for us and [Chad] Lavway’s last two performances have been very, very good.”
Husson coach John Winkin said pitching needs to be his team’s strength.
“We can compete against anybody if our pitching holds up to form,” he said.
Anthony DeRosa will pitch the opener for Husson. He has made two starts since a car accident sidelined him for three weeks.
“I’m hoping DeRosa, with all of his experience, can rise [to the challenge],” said Winkin.
Husson is led by left fielder Jeff Miller (.344-1 homer-13 RBIs), CF Bryan Biggers (.333-0-14), 1B Andrew Patterson (.319-0-10), White (.310-0-16) and Sheehan (.271-0-18).
St. Joseph’s has been led by SS Luke Enman (.427-5-43), RF Wade Oliver (.364-1-20), LF Keil Martin (.366-1-15), CF Dustin Spiller (.337-2-21) and C Andrew Wood (.326-0-21).
Sam Tupper (7-0, 2.90 earned run average) or Kyle Dorr (4-1, 4.56) are likely to oppose DeRosa.
The conference’s hottest teams meet in the opener as Castleton State has won 14 of its last 15 and UM-Farmington has won five of its last six.
CSC features Travis Bass (.435-1-31), Phil Puleo (.411-4-37), Eric Anderson (.375-0-24), Tim Zorio (.354-1-16) and Chris Ragis (.342-2-30). Tom Cummings (4-3, 3.75) and Jeremy Gilcris (4-2, 4.05) head up the mound corps.
UMF has been paced by Corey Provencher (.380-2-14), Tyler Hanson (.371-1-13), Andrew Bellmore (.333-0-8), Peter McLaughlin (.313-1-13) and Kyle Shea (.271-0-5). Dan Hemdal (3-2, 7.15) and Craig Pendleton (1-3, 6.00) anchor the pitching staff.