Baseball slides into PSAC Tournament

Closing out the regular season in impeccable style, the Mercyhurst University baseball team has claimed a piece of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division first-place crown.

The Lakers finished the regular season with a respectable record of 15-9, which earned them a three-way tie for first-place position in the PSAC Western Division along with Gannon’s Golden Knights and the California (Pa.) Vulcans.

As a redshirt senior, pitcher Matthew Jimenez has had the privilege of witnessing the Lakers claim a piece of the PSAC Western Division Championship four times.

“Our team’s biggest challenge will be staying healthy and keeping the right mindset. Playing in the tournament means there will be multiple games in back-to-back days, which is draining, especially on position players who have to go out and play their best in every game,” said Jimenez. “Our pitching staff has a lot of depth, which favors us in a tournament setting.”

Dave Leisering photo: Senior Zak Blair gets on the ground to scoop up the ball before it gets past him.Dave Leisering photo: Senior Zak Blair gets on the ground to scoop up the ball before it gets past him.

Senior Zak Blair is confident that the Lakers will put on the required performance to fair well in post-season tournament play.

“We have come together as a team, and play well together. Our pitching staff is lights-out and always gives us a chance to win. The tournament will bring out the best in us. We are a big game kind of team and are ready to play anyone. If we play fundamental team baseball, we will have a very good shot at winning the tournament” he said.

The Lakers will start off the double-elimination PSAC tournament against No. 2 Kutztown University, on Wednesday, May 8, with games continuing through Saturday, May 11.

“Getting hot at the right time will lead to any teams success in this tournament,” said Jimenez. “The tournament is hosted at Point Stadium in Johnstown, Pa., where we won’t the PSAC Championship in 2011. Baseball players are definitely superstitious, and well all would like to think that this site is our “good luck” field.