I touched down — or at least my plane did — at 11:15 p.m. local time in St. Louis. After a call to the office, I discovered Sonoma State lost 2-1 to Ouachita Baptist while I flew from Phoenix to Lambert International Airport. A quick call to Seawolves coach John Goelz, however, revealed that his sense of humor was intact, despite the loss.
“Where were you?” he asked. “I could have used you to pinch-hit tonight.”
Trust me. Goelz’s team — actually no team, on any level — will ever be that desperate.
But the Seawolves are in must-win mode now, needing to beat Ouachita Baptist today to advance to Saturday’s national-title game against Mount Olive.
If the loss didn’t end SSU’s season, it did wipe away an aura of invincibility it had created.
Before the Tigers took a 1-0 first-inning lead Thursday, SSU, which was riding a nine-game postseason winning streak dating back to the CCAA Tournament, hadn’t trailed in a game in 20 days, a steak that spanned 91 innings.
The good news is that they can pitch ace Matt Means on five day’s rest today. As for who might pitch Saturday? The Seawolves hope to face that decision after today’s win-or-go-home game.