It's official! The NAIA Coaches Poll released Tuesday evening has the York College baseball team at No. 10, the highest ranking achieved by a Panther program since the move to a four-year college in 1993. The #10 Panthers roll into the final games of the regular season at 36-9 and 16-2 in conference play.
Thanks to a 2-3 loss by the Bellevue University Bruins last weekend against the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles, the Panthers are in control of their own destiny when it comes to the MCAC regular season and the opportunity to host the conference tournament. When the losses were at two apiece, the best York could hope for was second place because the four-game series with Waldorf College in March was cut short due to inclement weather. The two games could not be made up in time and Bellevue had the upper hand with their conference record. Had the Bruins won out, they would have received the automatic bid to host the tournament despite the even split of the four head-to-head games with the Panthers.
All that separates the Panthers and Bruins going into the weekend is .039. That number is now in York's favor as they have the higher conference winning percentage of .889 in comparison to the Bruins' .850. With a sweep of the Central Baptist Mustangs, York will be the 2013 MCAC Regular Season Champions and the host of the MCAC Tournament, May 1-4.
The magnitude of this weekend series is no secret, and it goes without saying that coach Nick Harlan and associate head coach Brian Walth are not looking past Central Baptist.
"The Mustangs have something very important to play for as a win against us could propel them into the MCAC tournament," said coach Harlan. "Our team is mature enough to recognize the opportunity and embrace it. We just want them to stick to the approach we have had all year."
Currently, the Mustangs are tied for fourth with Waldorf in conference standings and only the top four teams are eligible to play in the tournament.
Harlan added, "Our goal this weekend will be simply to execute each pitch the best we can. We will encourage them to have fun, stick together, and play hard. At the end of the day we are called to give our best and that is what we will do! "
Friday's double header begins at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday's games start at noon. Saturday will also be Senior Day. Both days are free admission. If you can't make the games in person, be sure to catch the webcast and cheer on the Panthers!
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