CCAA Baseball Tourney: To grind or not to grind

 

As we prepare for the CCAA Baseball Championship Tournament at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, all four teams have some questions they must answer. First and foremost, how hard to go after this conference tournament title.

Hear me out. I am not suggesting teams tank, but in the grand scheme of things this conference tourney title is nowhere near as important as next week’s NCAA West Regional. And, with all four teams (Sonoma, Chico, San Diego and Pomona) ranked in the top six in the region, they are all, aside from Sonoma, a virtual certainty to get into that regional.

What if  a team needs to rest a star player, or certain pitchers need time off ? Should a head coach push his players, extend them to try to win THIS tournament, when next week’s is the one that really matters ? It’s a question that each individual team must address. Some coaches want to grind it out and lay it out on the line regardless of what’s at stake. But, should these four programs maybe show some caution when it comes to their ball clubs if, indeed, their players may need rest or could really use down time ?

It’s a dilemma that only the four teams and their coaches can answer, but, unlike past year’s where regional berths were at stake, this season the four clubs seem to be pretty safe bets to be playing for the regional next week. Which begs the question, to rest or not to rest before the tournament that REALLY matters.

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