FPU falls short at D-II World Series
Ravens eliminated in 3-0 loss to Grand Valley State; finish tied for 5th in nation
The Franklin Pierce University baseball team saw its run in the NCAA Division II National Finals come to an end on Wednesday with a 10-3 loss to Grand Valley State.
The Ravens earned one of the eight spots in the D-II College World Series after winning the sixth East Regional title in program history by beating Wilmington 5-1 on May 19. FPU then traveled to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. seeking the first national championship in school history.
The double elimination national tournament got off to a good start with a 1-0 win over Shippensburg on May 25, but back-to-back losses to Minnesota State, Mankato and Grand Valley eliminated FPU, as the Ravens finished in a tie for fifth nationally.
FPU took a 3-1 lead over Grand Valley in the top of the third when junior Zach Mathieu roped a two-run double to the right field corner. But the advantage was short lived, as the Lakers scored five times in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good.
After losing in the first round of the Northeast-10 Conference tournament despite earning the top seed in the Northeast Division, the Ravens had to wait until selection day to find out if their regular season body of work was good enough for a spot in the six-team East Regional. FPU earned an at-large bid and was the sixth seed in the double-elimination tournament, but quickly proved they belong with a 7-0 shutout of top seeded Wilmington.
Following a loss to New Haven in game two of the East Regional, FPU won three straight elimination games, including the victory over Wilmington in the championship game.
The national finals appearance was the first since 2010 and sixth overall. FPU also made trips in 2003 and 2006 to 2008.
The Ravens finished 37-19 for the year and were a conference best 22-6 in NE-10 games.