After two consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament, the UNCW baseball team’s expectations for 2017 were sky high.
They turned out to be expectations that the team couldn’t live up to.
“The at-large bid was the preseason goal, and (to be) a regional host,” UNCW senior Casey Golden said. “All those expectations, but those are out of the picture.”
After starting the season 3-0, the wheels fell off as UNCW proceeded to lose eight straight.
“The experience is still there, but we didn’t win baseball games,” Golden said. “I think we played too hard and didn’t live up to expectations.”
The problem wasn’t talent as the Seahawks returned seven position starters from a team that won 41 games the year before.
Making mistakes was the biggest issue. UNCW pitchers were giving up too many walks, batters struck out too much, and the team committed too many errors in the field.
However, the Seahawks have fixed those errors, and dug themselves out of the early hole. After finishing second in the Colonial Athletic Association standings, UNCW earned a bye in the upcoming league tournament.
“Our players are confident,” Seahawk head coach Mark Scalf said. “They feel good where they are. We are in better shape and place than six weeks ago.”
Regardless of how they got here, the Seahawks are three wins away from advancing to the NCAA tournament for a third straight year.
UNCW opens the CAA tournament Thursday when it plays the Elon-William & Mary winner at 3 p.m.
Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.