Baseball looks to host CCC tourney this weekend

Sophomore Danny Roth is greeted by teammates after scoring a run on April 12 against UMass Dartmouth.

Brett Johnson, Sports Editor

*Author’s note: RWU will be hosting as the No. 2 seed in the 2018 CCC Tournament.

Nothing has gone as planned this baseball season — schedules have been messed up due to bad weather and Roger Williams University has sat near the top of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) all season long. No one expected this squad to even make the playoffs, let alone be fighting for the first seed. But there they sit, awaiting their postseason position and who, when and where they will play.

A rainy Sunday morning pushed the Hawks’ doubleheader against Salve Regina University to Tuesday afternoon. This matchup was the Hawks’ final conference game before the tournament began. They had already secured a playoff spot, but there was a tight race at the top of the conference standings among RWU, Salve Regina, Western New England University and Endicott College.

The Hawks entered Tuesday after being swept by Endicott College in a doubleheader on Saturday. They knew that the outcomes of the two games against Salve would decide their positioning in tournament play but just focused on winning and worrying about that later.

Freshman Connor Hewlette got the start for the Hawks in game one and went a strong five full innings while only allowing one earned run. The Hawks scored in the third inning on a senior Shane Nowak single, which drove in junior Chris Bosco. The Seahawks responded with a RBI single of their own but the home team took the lead on one swing of freshman Dean DePreta’s bat. His home run to left field was his first of the season. Hawks junior Ryan Havunen came in relief, but took the loss by walking in two runs with the bases loaded. The Hawks lost game one 3-2.

The Hawks came back in the second game with a vengeance. Sophomore Danny Roth ripped a home run to left to put the Hawks on the board first. Junior Anthony Dominguez helped with a RBI single, but the Seahawks took the 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks scored twice to get back on top but a two RBI single put the Seahawks in the driver’s seat. It was in the seventh inning, once again, where the magic happened for the Hawks. Roth hit a towering sacrifice fly and then freshman George Somers hit a hard ground ball up the middle to win the game.

If Salve Regina University wins both games against Gordon, Salve will take the No. 1 seed with a 12-4 record. Gordon College and Wentworth Institute of Technology would be tied for five and six-seed and the tournament committee would have to decide which team is which seed based on the tiebreaker rule. Since RWU swept WNE in the regular season, RWU would take the No. 2 seed despite both teams having an 11-5 conference record.

If Salve wins only one of the games, Salve and RWU would be tied for the No. 1 seed and the tiebreaker rule would need to be used. Gordon would fall to the fifth seed.

If Gordon sweeps Salve, RWU will rise to the top and be the No. 1 seed while Salve drops to the No. 4 seed. Gordon would be the No. 3 seed and Endicott would be the No. 5 seed.

No matter what, it looks like RWU will be hosting the opening round of the CCC Tournament on Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m. If they are the top seed, they will be playing the winner of the game between the fourth and fifth seeds. If they are the No. 2 seed, they will play the winner of the third and sixth seeds game.

The Hawks are excited to be in the position they are in this season. After working hard all season long and fighting late in games, they feel like they have earned this.

“I think that’s the best thing about this team is they’re tough,” Head Coach Jason Tower said. “They don’t give up and they battle, and that’s what I expect this weekend… Hopefully, we keep it rolling.”

“Everyone didn’t really think we’d be where we are,” said Roth. “I think we’re going to roll through and we’re going to stay hot.”