Tribe Baseball Poised to Make a CAA Title Run


Despite a tough week, William and Mary Baseball is still currently red hot, winning 11 out of their last 13 games before this weekend giving them a record of 24-17. The Tribe is in 5th place in the CAA with a conference record of 9-9 after a 2-1 series win last weekend against the #1 ranked team at the time in the CAA, the Elon Phoenix.  

With only two wins away from eclipsing their 24 win mark from last year with 18 games left, the Tribe has its eyes on a deep run into the CAA Championships. William and Mary has been one of the stingiest teams in the nation when it comes giving up runs to opponents; the Tribe ranks 13th nationally among Division I in ERA (Earned Run Average) boasting a mere 3.65 earned runs per contest. Leading the way from the bullpen, Nate Knowles has been an integral part of the Tribe’s success with a team high 48 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.66 which ranks 56th nationally. Another pitcher worth noting, Carter Lovasz, has a 3-1 record with a team high five saves in his 12 appearances. It is also worth mentioning that William and Mary’s defense is also bolstered by its CAA-best 991 putouts.

The Tribe has done a lot of damage this year with their bats; they have the fourth most hits and second most runs scored amongst the CAA. Their .410 on base percentage is also good enough for second in the CAA. The Tribe’s offensive attack has been led by seniors Ben Williamson and Joe Delossantos. Both lead the tribe in hits, runs scored, home runs, RBIs, triples, slugging percentage, total bases, and at-bats. Ben Williamson’s batting average of .426 and ranks among the best batters in the nation as the 17th highest. These two have been nothing but problems for opposing pitchers and they look to continue that trend through the end of the season and into the postseason. 

One of the highlights of the season thus far was a 3-2 victory over #15 ranked Campbell. The William and Mary bullpen was dominant to say the least; the trio of Knowles, Zach Tsakounis, and Lovasz struck out 10 Camels and only allowed three hits to the third ranked team in runs scored in the nation. To put how good this team is into perspective, this was the first time since 2016 the Tribe has beaten a top 15 ranked opponent. This win proves William and Mary can beat anyone and is amongst the best teams in the nation. The other main highlight of the season came against Elon, one of the best teams in the CAA this season. 

The first game of the series was a nail-biter from the start. Entering the third inning, the Tribe held a lead of 1-0 after a Max Winters RBI in the first. In the top half of the inning, Elon got their bats going with three runs on four hits to give them a two-run lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Ben Williamson got a hold of a fastball and sent it over the right-center fence for a Tribe two-run shot, tying the game at three runs apiece. After a Luca Danos RBI in the fourth and three Elon hits resulting in two runs in the fifth, the score was 5-4 in favor of the Phoenix. The score would stay like this until the bottom of the ninth; with two outs on the board, Luca Danos would single and eventually score after a Lucas Carmichael double. With the score knotted at 5-5, the game went into extra innings. After not allowing any runs in the top half of the tenth, the Tribe would go on to score the game winning run in the bottom half after a costly Elon error. 

The second game of the series would be one to forget if you’re a fan of the green and gold. After an Elon 8-0 shutout, this rubber match would have to be decided in a game three. 

In the third game of the series, Nate Knowles started the game on the mound for the Tribe and was phenomenal; in his three innings pitched he had eight strikeouts and no hits allowed. Through six innings, the Tribe had given up just one run on one hit. Going into the seventh, the score was 1-1 with each team’s run coming off of solo homers. In the bottom of the ninth, Elon was up 3-2 after a two run shot in the seventh. William and Mary’s two out rally began with a Tank Yaghoubi single, his third hit of the day. Next up, Cole Ragone doubled into the right-center gap to put runners on second and third. Finally, a Corey Adams single knocked in both runners to walk off Elon for the second time in the series. 

Before being beaten twice in this series, Elon sat atop the CAA. Although William and Mary is currently only sitting at fifth in the conference it is obvious that they are more than capable of beating any team in the Colonial Athletic Association. Make sure to keep an eye on this Tribe team because they are capable of reaching the highest peaks in the CAA Championships. 

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