Looking back on the glory days

Matt GadSports Writer

It must have been nice to cover Owls baseball in 2011, the most successful season the program has had of late. They won 45 games and did not lose their first regular-season contest until the second game of an April 2 doubleheader with Franklin Pierce, meaning
they began their season with a perfect 22-0.

The team opened the year ranked 23rd in Division II and won their first game, 13-2, over Felician College. The second game of the day, 4-1, over then-C.W. Post, now LIU Post, with strong starting pitching in both games, first from Ryan Yerina, who, according to LinkedIn, is now an account executive based in Washington, D.C, and then from Steve Landell, who spent a year after graduation with the Syndey Blue Sox out in Australia.

On March 5 they crushed Nyack 22-1, as the No. 19 team in the country, and when they won their 22nd game of the season on April 2 they were No. 5, beating a Franklin Pierce team that was also highly regarded and 15th in the land.

They won the NE10 regular-season title as the No. 8 team in Division II on May 7, wrapping up a 21-4-1 conference mark, and then began tournament play May 13 with a 4-3 extra-inning victory over UMass-Lowell, which was still an NE10 team back then.

They ended up dropping the final two games of the tournament, 6-2 to Adelphi and 7-6 to Franklin Pierce, but based on their outstanding regular-season they went on to the NCAA Tournament, where they went 5-1, winning three of four games with Adelphi and one with Franklin Pierce.

In the College World Series they started sloppy, losing 13-0 to the University of West Florida, but they reeled themselves back in for back-to-back victories over Grand Valley State and Sonoma State, before their season ended June 2 with a tough 7-5 loss at the hands of Winona State, who went on to fall in the Division II national championship to West Florida two days later.

2011 was a serious party. While the Owls may not be near those historic levels this spring, they still have a chance to do something special as they fight here down the stretch to try to reach the NE10 conference tournament as one of the four best teams from their division. With seven games left in the regular season, anything is possible.

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