By Madison Carroll
Ranked number eight in the preseason polls, Virginia Wesleyan Baseball has proven that they are a force to be reckoned with as they head into the ODAC tournament with a second place ranking.
With a new head coach, Chris Francis, who took over the team this season, the Marlins were bound to face some changes.
Senior Alex Tucci felt that these differences helped create new chances saying, “The new change of a head coach seems to really have helped our program. He provided a fresh change of scenery and he has a very smart baseball mind. His insight and help, mainly with our pitchers, has made a huge difference in how our season turned out.”
Luckily, this statement rang true as the Marlins took those changes in stride and have overcome preseason expectations in a big way. Currently, the Marlins hold a record of 15-11 overall, and 14-6 in the conference.
This is the first time in five seasons that the Marlins have qualified for post-season play. Virginia Wesleyan doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down their successful season as they head to Lynchburg for the ODAC tournament this weekend.
Coach Francis is very optimistic in his team’s future saying, “I’m very proud of our guys, our program, and the work that we’ve done this season. I think we will be very competitive going into the tournament and we will definitely not be an easy out.”
Virginia Wesleyan ensured their number two standing and post-season appearance after splitting a doubleheader with Eastern Mennonite last Saturday.
Though this is the first time any of these players have competed in the tournament for the ODAC title, Coach Francis is not the only one with an optimistic outlook as the season proceeds.
Senior Reed Duffer said, “I think we stand a very good chance of winning the tournament.”
Virginia Wesleyan seems to have all the components necessary to battle hard and be successful in competing for the conference title.
Their success will indeed come down to executing the little things, “We’ll be successful if we don’t let the moment get too big. We’ve played good baseball all year. We’ve pitched well and hit well and as long as we don’t press and panic, we’ll be very fortunate,” said Tucci.