The Navigators crop of D-II and D-III talent performed admirably throughout the 2009 season, but the players’ respective teams struggled to move past the regional round of the NCAA Tournaments.
The Navigators were represented by Benjamin Benigno and Michael Dowd of the Franklin Pierce Ravens and Matthew Costello of the Valdosta St. Blazers.
Franklin Pierce hosted the East Regional with Dominican, Wilmington, Assumption, Dowling, and Adelphi. The Ravens lost their first game to conference rival Assumption by the score of 4 to 3. The Ravens would then need a win in their second game to avoid elimination, but fell at the hands of Dominican by the score of 5 to 4. Dowling defeated Adelphia in the final two games of the regional to advance.
Valdosta St. made a run in the South Regional held in Magnolia, Arkansas. The Blazers defeated heavily-favored Barry 8-3 in their first game before losing 6-3 against Florida Southern. A loss away from elimination, Valdosta St. defeated Tampa 10-5 to stay alive, but a 12-5 loss to Southern Arkansas would send the Blazers home. Lynn defeated Florida Southern 19-3 in the final game of the South Regional to advance.
The Navigators were represented by Jim Schult of the Eastern Connecticut St. Warriors, who entered the NCAA Tournament as the third-ranked team in DIII Baseball by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America.
Eastern Connecticut St. hosted a regional as the #1 seed in the region. The Warriors lost their first game by the score of 10 to 6 against Babson, but rebounded by taking four consecutive games with wins over Suffolk, Southern Maine, Husson, and WPI. In the final game of the regional, the Warriors took on Trinity, who had yet to lose in tournament play, and a close game went the way of #3 Trinity by the score of 5 to 4.
…trinity won last year’s division III championship with the help of former-navigator kent graham. benigno, dowd, costello, and schult should be both rested and battle-tested come june 4, when the navigators season gets underway at fraser field…