Army headed back to Virginia for NCAA baseball regionals
Army will head to a familiar destination and face a familiar foe in the NCAA baseball regionals.
For the second consecutive year, the Black Knights were sent to the Charlottesville, Va., regional, where they will play Virginia. Army (29-21) is the four-team regional’s fourth seed; Virginia (47-10) is the No. 1 seed. The Cavaliers are ranked fifth in the Baseball America poll and sixth in the Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Coaches polls.
Virginia and Army will play at 1 p.m. Friday. The game will be streamed online at ESPN3.
Also appearing in the Charlottesville double-elimination tournament are second-seeded North Carolina-Wilmington (37-21) and third-seeded Elon (32-28). Regional fields were announced Monday.
“I know our guys are going to be hungry and excited about traveling down to Virginia,” Army coach Joe Sottolano said. “We're going to enjoy this moment, but we’ll work hard the next few days to prepare and then just see where the cards fall.”
In last year’s regionals, Virginia defeated Army 9-1. Oklahoma eliminated the Black Knights in their next game, 2-1.
This year’s Army squad is much different than the one that made the trek to Virginia last year. The Black Knights had a more experienced squad in 2012 and finished with a 41-15 record – 12 more wins than they have this season. Twenty-five of Army’s 34 players this year are freshmen or sophomores.
The Black Knights qualified for the regionals after repeating as Patriot League tournament champions. Army, the conference’s No. 2 seed, won the first two games of a best-of-three championship series against Holy Cross on May 19.
Army is led by senior pitcher Chris Rowely, who has a 9-3 record and 2.68 ERA. The Black Knights’ top hitters are junior first baseman Patrick Mescher (team-best .345 batting average), and freshman outfielder Jacob Page (.314 batting average and tied for the team lead with three home runs).