Jacksonville Has That Special FeelingWeekend Spotlight
We’re only a few weeks away from the Selection Monday and the Atlantic Sun is heavily in the national discussion with one of the season’s most highly touted series taking place this weekend.
That series, for course, is Jacksonville at Stetson. The Dolphins made waves a couple of weeks ago with an impressive midweek win over top-ranked Florida. But the fact is, they’ve been a consistent team throughout the spring, opening the year with a series win over West Virginia, while also playing a solid brand of baseball between then and now. JU has a solid 31-14 overall record with an 8-4 mark in the Atlantic Sun. Most important, though, is JU’s 19 RPI and strong No. 34 ranked strength of schedule, which is superb considering some of the opponents they face in league play. Meanwhile, Stetson has one of the nation’s premier pitching staffs, ranking fourth nationally in ERA. It also has an RPI of 14 with a stable of impressive wins.
Stetson leads the A-Sun with a 9-3 record, while the Dolphins are just one game out of first place with Kennesaw State also in the mix for the league lead. But outside of the obvious league lead at stake, this series is fun for other reasons. The loser of this series won’t miss the postseason. Both teams, barring incredible meltdowns, will be playing baseball in June. This is just a weekend where the two are jockeying for postseason position.
It’s not your typical A-Sun weekend.
“It’s definitely an exciting weekend for us. We get to go on the road and play an extremely competitive baseball team in a series that’s a natural rivalry for us,” Jacksonville head coach Chris Hayes said. “We’re similar, smaller private schools in the same regional footprint and we have a lot of the same values. It’s typically a strong series and I think the fact we’re both playing extremely well magnifies it.
“It’s awesome for our league to get this kind of national exposure,” he continued. “We’ve had some really good teams in this league over the past few years, but we haven’t had this much exposure for sure.”