C-USA Baseball Daily Snapshot 5/21

CUSA Snapshot
Mother Nature tried to dampen the spirits around the league Friday night after suspending several games. However, for the games that did play, fireworks were a plenty. As the final day of the regular season in now upon us, there’s also a new sheriff in town at the top of the standings, the top four seeds in next week’s CUSA Championship are locked in and the sprint to the finish proves to be one to remember.
One month ago, Marshall was 8-8 in CUSA play. Entering today’s finale with Old Dominion, the Herd sits alone atop the standings, controlling its own destiny to what would be its first ever CUSA Regular Season crown. Parker Dancui pitched the Herd to a 4-3 win over ODU with Burris Warner locking down the final innings for his 10th save. Simply stated, a Marshall win brings the regular season crown to the team picked to finish dead last in the conference.
Love was in the air for the Bulldogs last night after Chase Lunceford delivered a walk-off two-RBI single in the 15th inning to defeat Rice 4-3 at the Love Shack. The win secures the series for the Bulldogs and locks up the fifth seed in the tournament. There stands a possibility of the Bulldogs and Owls having equal wins at the conclusion of the day, but Rice will have fewer losses because of a rainout earlier this season.
FIU secured the series over Southern Miss with a 5-2 win last night, allowing the Panthers to lock in at no worse than the seven seed and could move up one position with a win today and an ODU loss at Marshall. The Panthers’ bullpen served up eight innings of work to dispatch the best hitting team in the league. Chris Mourelle tossed only one inning in a scheduled tune-up for next week’s tournament before handing the ball off to the bullpen. Five Panthers’ relievers allowed only one Eagles’ hit over the final eight frames as they cruised to the win.
1. Marshall               21-8
2. FAU                       20-8
3. Southern Miss     20-9
4. Rice                       19-9
5. La. Tech                18-11
6. ODU                       14-15
7. FIU                         14-15
8. Charlotte                11-16
9. UAB                         11-17
10. WKU                     10-19
11. UTSA                    7-20               
12. MTSU                    5-23
What They Said
“Parker has been doing that the last half of the year. We knew what we were going to get, he was going to attack the zone and pitch to contact. He was going to give us a chance to win and he did that today.” –Marshall Head Coach Jeff Waggoner on starting pitcher Parker Danciu’s performance.
They’ve been doing it all year, all the way down through the lineup. They expect to have great at bats, and have good approaches in RBI situations. It’s someone new every day and that’s what makes a good team. Just extremely proud of our seniors in a special weekend to see these guys play the way they are.” –Waggoner on the team’s offensive production.
“I just can’t say enough about the perseverance of this group of guys. For the folks that were here tonight, I want to tell them thank you from the bottom of my heart. What they did tonight was create something that was very special and I hope they come back. I hope they loved it because they won this game tonight. They did not let our guys give up. At the end when Chase [Lunceford] got the single, the party was on.” –La. Tech Head Coach Greg Goff said after the Bulldogs 15-inning win over Rice.
Looking Ahead
In the name of the great Ernie Banks, the words “Let’s Play Two” will be heard around the league today with FAU and WKU finishing a suspended game before wrapping up the series later this afternoon. In the battle for the eighth and final position, Charlotte and UAB will play two after a rainout yesterday in Charlotte. A Charlotte win in either game will punch the 49ers ticket to Hattiesburg next week.