George Washington completed its most successful baseball season last week but one that may have ended too early.
Colonial Coach Mike Toomey said recently that had GWU played - and won - a few more games, the school might reasonably expect a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Colonials finished the spring with an 18-7 mark, which added to the Capital Collegiate Conference mark of 13-7 this fall added up to a 31-14 mark - six more victories than any GW team in history.
But even that record pales when compared to those of other colleges awaiting an at-large invitation from the NCAA. The NCAA issues 13 at-large bids along with 21 automatic spots to conference winners for the tournament, which begins May 18. Such other independent schools as Hawaii (63-8), New Orleans (38-10) Florida State (36-10) and Pan American (51-7) have played far more games.
And there are also the conference runners-up to beat out for a spot. Arkansas (37-7) and Texas A&M (24-12), for example, trail Texas in the South-west Conference but each is ranked among the top 17 Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
The Colonials, like Navy, have garnered votes for the top-30 opponent. That is as much a geographical factor as anything esle: 22 of the top 30 colleges are in either the Southeast, Southwest or Far West.
Navy was rolling merrily along with a 12-3 mark until the Mids cooled off to drop four of their next six games. The Academy, which last played in the NCAA in 1954, has eight games remaining, but only three in the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League, where it trails front-runner Penn by three in the win column.
"We might have a chance if we win all eight impressively," said Mid Coach Joe Duff. "But, you never know. We've been snubbed a couple of times when we deserved it more."
Pete Sinopoli on a five-hitter and Rick Furr got Maryland rolling with a two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Terps pounded Georgetown for 12 hits, half of them for extra bases, en route to a 9-0 victory yesterday at College Park.