The Apprentice School baseball team opens play on Monday afternoon at 1:30 pm CST when they take on Briarcliffe College in the opening round of the 2014 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series in Springfield, Illinois.
These teams have met earlier in the year as the Builders defeated Briarcliffe 12-6 in the third day of the Builder Invitational.
Ironically in last year's USCAA Small College World Series, these teams played in the second round as the Builders defeated Briarcliffe 2-1 in Butler, Pennsylvania.
The Builders have faced a strong schedule heading into the 2014 USCAA Small College World Series as they've played eight games against teams that are post-season bound. They are 4-4 in those contests.
- Kutztown – NCAA D2 – PSAC Champions
- Mass. Inst. Of Technology – NCAA D3 – New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference
- Castleton State – NCAA D3 – North Atlantic Conference
- Tufts – NCAA D3 – host New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament this weekend – ranked top 15 NCAA D3 and lost in their conference final.
- Bloomsburg – NCAA D2 – PSAC Tournament qualifier – regionally ranked
- Rochester College – USCAA Qualifier
- Briarcliffe College – USCAA Qualifier
It would've been nine games but Mother Nature took one off the slate as the Builders' game against Salisbury University (NCAA D3/Capital Athletic Conference champion) was rained out.
Sweep of CNU
A highlight of the 2014 season was a back-to-back set against in-town rival Christopher Newport University winning 9-4 at War Memorial Stadium on April 22 and then winning 15-3 at Captains Park the next afternoon.
Aldridge at bat
Senior centerfielder Chris Aldridge is closing in on one of the more productive final seasons in school history. He is hitting .418 (ranked fifth on the single-season list), with 61 hits (eighth best), 11 doubles, five triples (sixth best) and 19 stolen bases.
Junior Sam Massie broke his single-season record for saves in the season finale in the Builders 3-1 win over Thomas Nelson Community College. Massie, who held the record last year with six, raised his career total to a school-record best 19 through most of the junior campaign.
The Builders came away with a few pre-tournament honors on Sunday afternoon as four players were named to the USCAA All-American squad and eight were named to the USCAA All-Academic team.
You can follow video feeds of games and live stats at the USCAA Small College World Series on the internet at baseball.theuscaa.com