ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Macalester College did something it has not ever done, and is going somewhere it has not ever been.
The baseball team, seeded No. 4 going into the MIAC tournament, won it. In doing so, the program earned a spot in the NCAA Regionals.
They are practicing at Macalester College, and that’s saying something. A first NCAA Tournament berth.
“You know it’s a fun time. We’re getting a lot closer as a group being able to spend a lot of time together. Eating every meal together, doing everything after practice together,” second baseman Quentin Stuart said.
You see, good pitching usually comes before winning. Case in point – Macalester College. Last year they did not pitch well. This year, they did.
And guess what? That’s right, winning the MIAC title last week was the result of improvement in one area: Pitching.
“Our ERA in conference dropped from 9.29 to 2.99 in one year. Now that’s a one-year jump, but it’s a four-year commitment,” Macalester coach Matt Parrington said.
Parrrington knows it well. A veteran, he coached them to a regular season title in 2011. But this is the first time they’ve played in the regions.
“It was so exciting for our campus, for our players, for families, for alums to go through that conference tournament and win it in three straight games,” Parrington said. “It was quite rewarding.”
No matter what, this team will remember and this team will be remembered as the one that broke a barrier. And that by itself is special.
“Oh it’s a blast and baseball is a game of momentum. Once the ball starts rolling it’s hard to stop it so we’re enjoying it,” pitcher Nick McMullen said. “It’s beautiful.”
Macalester will face Concordia College of Chicago Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament in Whitewater, Wis.