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College Baseball: Mathieu, FPU cruise in NCAAs
Franklin Pierce University Head Coach Jayson King, left, and SNHU Head Coach Scott Loiseau watch St. Thomas Aquinas and Pace play during the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament in Hooksett on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
The Ravens, a No. 6 seed with all kinds of motivation, routed No. 1 Wilmington, 7-0, at Penmen Field at Southern New Hampshire University on Thursday in the tournament opener.
There were other motivators, among them the way the Northeast-10 tournament ended and the fact that Mathieu and a couple of his fellow teammates may be playing their last collegiate games.
"I think they had a chip on their shoulder from Wilmington and as far as the season goes, it's more of a second chance," said Raven coach Jayson King. "We didn't do what we wanted to do in the conference tournament and we got a bid. I think the guys are feeling like they got a second chance and feel like they have as good a chance as anybody to win this."
The Ravens play at 3 p.m. today in the double-elimination event against the loser of Thursday night's game between No. 3 New Haven and No. 4 Southern New Hampshire.
Mathieu knocked in Franklin Pierce's second run in the third inning with a long sacrifice fly to right field.
Mathieu leads the Ravens in batting average at .341 and in home runs with six. He's second in runs batted in with 33 and doubles with 15.
"He's similar to Zach," King said. "He's real big. He's got a real good fastball and he throws a lot of strikes. Both those guys are athletic and both those guys are only going to get better."
"You think about the draft," Mathieu said. "But I try to put the team first right now and focus on college because you never know when it's going to be your last time playing college baseball."