2022 CAA Baseball Championships

CAA Baseball Championship: Charleston Remains Team To Beat

CAA Baseball Championship: Charleston Remains Team To Beat

Charleston is the top seed at the CAA Baseball Championship for the first time since 2015 and will be one of six teams battling for the 2022 title.

May 24, 2022 by Kyle Kensing
CAA Baseball Championship: Charleston Remains Team To Beat

The road to Omaha for six Colonial Athletic Association clubs with NCAA Tournament dreams begins at Latham Park in Elon, North Carolina. 

It's CAA Championship weekend, and Elon plays host to what should be a fierce competition for the postseason bid. 

Charleston comes into the tournament having clinched the top seed weeks ago. And, despite a late-season stumble in the finale against Towson, the Cougars remain the clear team to beat. 

But, Charleston no longer is the Colonial's hottest. 

That distinction belongs to William & Mary, which rolls into the CAA Championship on an eight-game winning streak. The Tribe's rebound from a trying stretch earlier in the regular season includes a shutout win over likely NCAA Tournament team Old Dominion and a sweep this past weekend of Elon. 

William & Mary's surge and the late-season push Northeastern made to secure a berth in the field speaks to the parity on display. Any of the six can win it and advance with a shot to make the College World Series. 

Northeastern Vs. William & Mary

Wednesday, May 25, at noon ET

Preseason CAA favorite and reigning champion Northeastern came on strong in April after a sluggish start to conference play. An emphatic win over nationally ranked UConn on May 10 turned sour when the Huskies came up on the wrong end of a sweep against UNC Wilmington just days later. 

That left NU fighting for its postseason life last weekend at Delaware - and dropping the first two games turned the May 21 contest into a single-game elimination showdown. 

A seven-run eighth inning secured the win and Northeastern's spot in the CAA Championship. 

The Huskies will now look to stop the momentum of red-hot William & Mary, which won the season series, 2-1, when the teams met in Boston in April. 

Matt Thomas, the leading hitter for William & Mary throughout the regular season at .326 with a .944 OPS, went 6-of-11 with four RBI in the three games at Northeastern. Pitcher Zach Tsakounis threw one of his best games of the season April 1 against the Huskies, going 5 innings with just two hits allowed and one earned run. 

Northeastern's outstanding pitching stacks up with any opponent in the CAA, though. Expect Wyatt Scotti on the mound for the opener. This year, the senior is sporting a 2.57 ERA and .95 WHIP with 63 strikeouts. 

The winner's reward will be a matchup with one of the two higher seeds: No. 1 Charleston or No. 2 UNCW. 

Charleston's case for an at-large bid took a hit with the series loss to Towson, as the Cougars fell to the No. 61 team heading into championship weekend. They're almost assuredly in a position now of needing to claim the crown to reach the NCAA Tournament. 

UNCW is the CAA's other team with a top-100 RPI, continuing its steady climb up to No. 83. The Seahawks boast some of the hottest bats in the league at the most opportune time. 

Hofstra Vs. Elon 

Wednesday, May 25, at 4 p.m. ET 

Hofstra aims to continue its breakthrough season under first-year coach Frank Catalanotto with a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Pride roll into the CAA Championship on a five-game winning streak that includes an impressive series sweep of James Madison. 

Will Kennedy helped put a cap on the remarkable regular season with a four-hit, three-RBI performance. Kennedy brings a six-game hitting streak to Latham Park, with two four-hit performances in his last three games. 

His recent surge provides additional pop to a Pride lineup that features a trio of primary batters all batting better than .300. Hofstra seeks to maximize its power against the CAA Championship host. Elon aims to get back on track after its regular-season-ending sweep against William & Mary. 

Elon is a dangerous bunch, evident in a series win over second-seed UNCW. Should the Phoenix beat Hofstra, they are guaranteed to face Charleston on Thursday as the lowest seed in the field. That would then send the winner of Wednesday's earlier game on to meet UNCW. On the flipside, Hofstra is guaranteed a Thursday meeting with UNCW in the event of a win on Wednesday. 

Hofstra won a March series against Elon, 2-1, capped with a 15-5 rubber match. Anthony D'Onofrio, Ryan Morash and Matt Pelcher all drove in three runs, while Pelcher connected for four hits in the victory - Pelcher has not played since March 30, however. 

The loser in each of Wednesday's contests meets on Thursday for an elimination matchup.