College of St. Joseph's baseball team will play their first game of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) World Series against Selma University on Monday, March 14 at 11 a.m.
The Fighting Saints are the two-time defending USCAA National Champions. This year, they were seeded #7 for the USCAA tournament after a grueling schedule resulted in a 15-33 record on the season.
CSJ was ranked #1 for toughest schedule in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), as the majority of teams played were high-ranking in the NAIA. Many of the Fighting Saints' contests were lost by two runs or less.
Last year, John Loschiavo was selected to the USCAA World Series All-Tournament team. He enters the tournament this year with 46 hits, a .416 on base percentage and 12 stolen bases. Classmate Brian Quezada will also be a force in this year's National Championship. He finished the regular season with 44 hits, 25 RBI and a .380 on base percentage. The Fighting Saints recorded six home runs as a team this year.
CSJ's pitching staff is spearheaded by Ben Brown, Zachery Mattos, Luis Ramos and Ryan Cummings, who have seen the most time on the mound this year. Brown leads the dynamic group of pitchers in innings pitched (72.2) and strikeouts (61).
The Bulldogs of Selma University reign from Selma, Alabama. The Bulldogs were ranked #10 going into the USCAA's. The squad led the USCAA in home runs, paced by junior Marcus Hardy who recorded 10 home runs, 40 RBI, a .494 batting average and a slugging percentage over 1.000.
The winner of the Monday morning match-up will play #2 seed The Apprentice School from Newport News, Virginia later in the evening at 9 p.m. The Apprentice School recorded a nationwide (USCAA) high of 29 wins.
To see a live video stream of the 11 a.m. contest, go to: https://boxcast.tv/view/7-college-of-st-josephs-vermont-vs-10-selma-university-670719