Blue Streaks eying postseason berth

April 23rd, 2009

With just four games left on the conference schedule, a postseason berth seems well within reach for the John Carroll University baseball team. It would be the first for the program since the 2004 season.

“That would be a great achievement for the team and the program going forward,” senior Paul O’Donnell said of the possibility of making the postseason. “We have been so close in each of the last three years, so for myself and the rest of the seniors, it would be awesome to play some more games.”

Coach Thibeault’s Blue Streak squad currently sits at 9-5 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, which has them tied with Marietta College for second place. Both teams trail first-place Heidelberg College with their impressive 11-3 record.

Otterbein College at 7-5 and Mount Union College at 8-6 are hot on the trail to qualify for the four-team postseason tournament.

If JCU wins out, they’ll be in the postseason. They control their own destiny to that degree.

It certainly won’t be easy, however, as their four remaining OAC games will be against teams who have something to play for.

First up is a pair of games against Mount Union on Saturday, and then a doubleheader with Heidelberg to close out the regular season on Saturday, May 2.

If JCU continues their recent tear that has seen them win six of their eight games over the past two weeks, they could be a real force to be reckoned with the rest of the season.

As of late, it seems like any Blue Streak is capable of busting out and putting up an impressive offensive display.

That was the case this week as JCU swept Otterbein College and split a pair with Wilmington.

The Blue Streaks pounded out 29 runs in the four games, with a handful of players putting up eye-popping numbers.

Freshman first baseman Tom Hickey gave the Cardinals’ pitchers headaches all day as he had seven hits and drove in seven runs in the two games.

Otterbein can find some comfort in the fact that they aren’t the only team Hickey has torched this season. His .456 batting average is tops in the entire conference and his 36 RBI lead the team and tied for fifth in the conference.

Against Wilmington, it was other infield members who had huge days to contribute to the Blue Streak victory in game two of the doubleheader.
Junior Tim O’Brien, playing second base against the Quakers, was 3-4 with five RBI’s. Sophomore shortstop John Hastings was 5-5 and scored four times.

Senior Michael Krainz showed his true value as a leadoff hitter as he scored a run in all four games, including four runs in the 12-2 thrashing of Wilmington.

In the three games the Blue Streaks won last week, O’Donnell, sophomore Tom Schaberl and freshman Chris Eggleton picked up the victories.
To anyone that has followed Blue Streak baseball this year, that should come as no surprise.

At the time this edition went to print, that outstanding trio had a combined record of 12-1 and a cumulative ERA of 3.09 in 122 2/3 innings.