George Washington and Catholic universities take on formidable opponents in the opening round of the East Coast Athletic Conference Division I baseball playoffs today.
GW (14-7) takes on Seton Hall (32-11) at the University of Delaware at noon in the first game. Delaware (31-15) faces Buffalo (22-18) in the other game of the double-elimination tourney.
Catholic (14-6) meets St. John's (25-6) in the first of two games at Princeton at noon. Cornell goes against Farleigh-Dickinson in the other contest.
The winners of each bracket will advance to the NCAA Northeast Regional playoffs next weekend.
Rob Carney (6-4) is expected to pitch today for Catholic, with Mark Traveglini (4-0) on the mound Saturday. Carney, a righthanded junior with a 2.17 ERA, is the workhorse for the Cardinals. Two of his losses were by one run and the other losses, came in relief. Travaglini is a lefthanded fireballer from Wheaton High. The junior sports a 2.16 ERA.
Val VanDeventer, fomerly of St. John's, is the team's leading hitter with a .446 average. The outfielder also has four homers with 25 runs batted in. Catcher Tim McCormick and first baseman Eric Becroft are also fine hitters, batting .382 and .341, respectively.
Catholic boasts victories over Pittsburgh, Duquesne, Villanova, Navy and La Salle while splitting with five of the area schools.
George Washington is led by Joel Oleinik, who was sixth in the nation in batting last week with a .447 average. The former Woodward High second basemen has 37 hits, 12 of them for extra bases, and 22 RBI.
Freshman lefty Bob Keith, formerly of Churchill, shoots for his seventh victory. His ERA is 4.99 but he has 49 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. Pitcher-first baseman Mike Howell, out of Friendly High, is batting .379. His ERA is 3.30 with two victories in six decisions. Jim Goss, also from Churchill, is batting .387.
The Colonials have beaten Penn State, South Florida, Navy and Delaware twice this year.
Seton Hall is led by .400 hitter Dave Schuman and a pair of fine hurlers, Charles Puleo (7-1) and Vinnie Bryon (9-1)
First baseman Donald Troyan (.371), outfielder Doug Latrenta (.361) and pitcher Mike O'Connor (7-0) are the big guns for St. John's.