Looking ahead to baseball playoff weekend

The Hawks will be very reliant on junior Chris Bosco for offensive and defensive leadership throughout the CCC Tournament.

Brett Johnson, Sports Editor

While most people will be watching the Kentucky Derby or celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, the Roger Williams University baseball team will be playing playoff baseball. On Wednesday night, the Commonwealth Coast Conference rankings were finalized and the opening round of the tournament was set.

Salve Regina University grabbed the No. 1 seed after sweeping Gordon College in a doubleheader earlier that day and the Hawks took the second slot. Both Salve Regina and RWU earned home field advantage for the first-round of the playoffs.

On Saturday, May 5, the Hawks will await the winner of the No. 6 Gordon College and No. 3 Western New England University matchup at noon at Paolino Field in Bristol. Shortly after the conclusion of the first game, the Hawks will look to move on to Sunday.

The Hawks have had success against both teams this season. They swept WNE on April 17 by scores of 7-6 and 8-2. The Hawks took both games of their doubleheader against Gordon on April 21. They won the second game in 10 innings on a walkoff when sophomore Justin Stone got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

On Friday, the All-CCC teams and other awards were announced. Senior Sam Bennett and  junior Chris Bosco were named to the Second Team, while sophomore Justin Garcia, senior Shane Nowak and freshman Matt Vernacatola were named to the Third Team. Head Coach Jason Tower was named CCC Co-coach of the Year.

The Hawks will continue to look to Bosco for offensive and defensive leadership but also rely on freshmen Dean DePreta and Brandon Jenkins, who have been producing offensively as of late.

They will also depend on the arms of their extensive pitching staff. Bennett will lead as their ace while Garcia and Vernacatola learn unfamiliar territory of playoff baseball.

On the opposite bracket, No. 4 Endicott College will take on No. 5 Wentworth Institute of Technology, whom they swept in a doubleheader early in the season. Salve Regina will play the winner of the matchup. Salve Regina swept Endicott late in the season and split with Wentworth in early April.

The losers of the lower-seeded games will play Sunday at noon in hopes to win their way back into championship contention. The winners of the second games on Saturday will play the winners of the Sunday noon games. Whoever wins these games will move to a best-of-three game series which will take place on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 for the CCC Championship.