That these two should generate some of the best baseball of the year is already given. They’re spectacular clubs with top tier coaches and players. One should only hope that they go to the full three games, if only to deliver two more bouts like Game 1. Should they do that, it’ll be the second year in a row that all 17 games were required to decide the NCAA tournament champion in Omaha.
Since LSU couldn’t throw Alex Lange or Jared Poch, skipper Paul Mainieri elected to go with Russell Reynolds, a fully capable arm, but relatively untried in this year’s tournament. He put Dalton Guthrie on base in the top of the first, but Guthrie made the mistake of testing LSU catcher Michael Papierski’s arm on a runout attempt at second with two outs.
It’s a great product to sell, he said of Davidson. We’ve just got to find the athletes who are admissible, and can afford the product. Honestly, we have to have guys who overachieve.
How to explain the fact that only three starters are on full rides and a handful of others have partial scholarships at one of the most expensive schools in the southeast? If may be that, given Davidson’s small size, it just flat out doesn’t have deep enough war coffers to sustain a full 11.7 scholarships for baseball especially in the case of an athletics program lacking a major college football presence.
In any case, if the NCAA is looking for altruism and that vaunted love of the game, it need look no further than the Davidson Wildcats, who carry around this year’s lovable underdog persona, inherited from Coastal Carolina a year ago. Coastal, recall, won the thing outright in its first trip to Omaha, and in a year of firsts for Davidson and Dick Cooke … well?