ALBANY — The Bryant & Stratton College baseball team will conclude its inaugural season playing for a world series championship.
Bryant & Stratton concluded its season with four straight wins, posted victories in six of its last seven games and prevailed in 13 of its final 20 to earn an at-large bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series in DuBois, Pennsylvania.
“Three weeks ago, we were on the bubble,” Bobcats head coach and Schenectady native Bob Godlewski said. “We sat down and I told the guys, ‘We’ve got to get some big wins.’ ”
The Bobcats, a USCAA Division I affiliate, open play Monday against NCAA Division II Bluefield State from West Virginia.
The tournament also includes NAIA teams.
"It's going to be a tough road, but I think our guys are up for it," said Godlewski, whose Bobcats are seeded No. 7 in the 10-team field.
Before starting up the Bryant & Stratton program last May, Godlewski had coached four years at St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont, and each of his teams there reached the USCAA Small College World Series. In 2016 and 2017, his teams captured championships.
"In the fall, I told my team, 'It's about that,'" Godlewski said of the world series. "'I don't know if you're going to get there, but that's what we're striving for."
Penn State DuBois is the defending world series champion and will host this year's tournament. Bryant & Stratton swept Penn State DuBois (winning 4-1, 9-7) on April 25 as part of its late-season run.
"I think that clinched it," Godlewski said of his teams' world series berth. "I think that was the final nail."
With a roster that includes Bethlehem graduate Nick Mosier (freshman outfielder) and Whitehall graduate Kyle Welch (sophomore relief pitcher), Bryant & Stratton finished the regular season with a 25-23 record and, along the way, provided Godlewski with his 450th collegiate coaching win.
"We hit the ball, and we play good defense," said Godlewski, an alumnus of Mont Pleasant High School and Ithaca College who also guided teams at SUNY Adirondack and Columbia-Greene Community College. "If anything, we don't have good depth in our pitching. We've got four real good guys. The pitching after that, it's piecemeal. Some guys are going to have to step up."