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PREVIEW: Baseball set to begin Atlantic East tournament in first-round pod with Griffins, Knights

PREVIEW: Baseball set to begin Atlantic East tournament in first-round pod with Griffins, Knights

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University baseball team will begin the Atlantic East Conference tournament on Friday, May 3, traveling to Gwynedd Mercy University for a first-round pod. The third-seeded Saints will take on fifth-seeded Neumann University in a 12:15 p.m., contest, before squaring off with the second-seeded Griffins at 3:30 p.m.

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How we got here:

The Saints finished the regular season with an 8-4 record in Atlantic East play, which created a tiebreaker with the Griffins for the second and third seeds. Based on head-to-head matchups, the Griffins held the advantage with landed the Saints the No. 3 seed in the tournament. Marymount swept Immaculata University in a conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 27 in the final Atlantic East contests of the regular season. Senior Luke Tyree went 5-for-9 between the two games, while driving in six RBI and scoring four runs to lead the Saints.

How they got here:

Gwynedd Mercy finished with an 8-4 record in Atlantic East action on the year, earning the tiebreaker over the Saints to take the No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Griffins split a conference doubleheader with Neumann to close out the conference portion of their schedule, winning the first game, 15-6.

After taking the second game of the twin bill, 15-6, Neumann finished the year with a 5-7 record in Atlantic East play to earn the fifth seed in the tournament. The Knights outscored the Griffins 12-3 in the final six innings of the game, with eight runs coming in the seventh and eighth innings, combined.

Last time we met:

The Saints split a doubleheader with Neumann on Saturday, March 23, winning the first game, 1-0. The Knights came back to take game two, 8-5. Sophomore Ryan Bergenhagen pitched the complete, seven-inning game to earn the win, while allowing only two hits, and senior Austin Sizemore drove in the lone run of the game in the first inning. The Saints again took an early lead in the third inning of game two on RBI singles by senior Conner Hall and freshman David Kurzrock, but the Knights scored in each inning from the fourth to the seventh to go on to the win.

On Monday, April 22, Marymount traveled to Gwyedd Mercy for a doubleheader, with the Griffins taking both games, 3-2 and 12-0. Tyree led off game one with a home run, before the Saints doubled the lead in the second inning, 2-0. However, a three-run fifth inning for the Griffins set up the win, before they went on for the shutout victory in the second game.

Series history:

This season's matchups with the Knights and Griffins was the first ever for the Saints in both pairings. The programs will continue to become familiar however, with all three schools being inaugural members of the Atlantic East, playing in its first season.

Hitting the century mark:

The the Saints' final game of their regular-season schedule, the team earned the program's 100th win. Marymount earned the victory in dramatic fashion over Catholic University of America on Wednesday. Marymount held a 3-1 lead until the Cardinals tied the game, 3-3, in the seventh. After going into extra innings, the Cardinals had the bases loaded twice in the 10th and 11th innings, but senior Conner Hall and junior Will DiGiulian each got out of the jams with a strikeout to end each inning, respectively. The strong play on the hill set up a walk-off wild pitch that brought junior Mike Ferrara home for the win.

What's next?

The first-round pod will continue at Gwynedd Mercy on Saturday, May 4 for the double-elimination tournament. If all three teams remain after the first day of action, the Saints and Knights will open day two with an 11 a.m., contest on Saturday. If only two teams remain, the first pitch of the second day is set for 11 a.m., as well.