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Archers Close Book on Regular Season, Anxiously Await Region XVI Tournament

May 07, 2012

Mike Ehrhard  
Mike Ehrhard has been a steady all-around performer for the Archers
this season.

To say this spring hasn't gone as St. Louis Community College's baseball team envisioned it would be putting it mildly.

The Archers fought through what was arguably the most arduous of head coach Tony Dattoli's 10 seasons.

That has Dattoli and his players eagerly awaiting this week's Region XVI tournament.

"The inconsistency has kind of produced an air with the team that they're looking forward to the postseason to kind of right the ship and get a fresh start, Dattoli said. They're going to go into the postseason where everyone's really 0-0. It's a fresh start, it's a new season. That's kind of been the sentiment in the last week."

The Archers will be anxiously awaiting that fresh start as they completed the 2012 regular season with a 27-29 record. The Archers' final three losses were by three runs or less.

The Archers have shown flashes of brilliance. During the second week of the year, STLCC reeled off 10 consecutive victories, but followed that with a 17-26 record the rest of the way. The team has also seen strong performances at the plate by individuals, namely freshmen infielders Mike Ehrhard (CBC)and Matt Weiss (Parkway South), but that has not always translated to consistent team-wide production.

Despite the struggles, Dattoli looks forward to the opportunity to approach the regional tournament from the view of an underdog, which has been an unfamiliar position during his time at STLCC.

"I'm kind of reveling the fact that we are the underdog," Dattoli said. "Our backs are against the wall and it's us against the world. Hopefully it's a motivating factor for our guys. It's not a good feeling to be under .500 going into postseason, but it's a different aspect where we're used to having the target on our back. We're going to be the predators here."

The Region XVI Tournament begins Wednesday, May 9 in Joplin, MO. The Archers enter the tournament as the sixth seed, and will square off against third-seeded Maple Woods Community College. The Archers narrowly lost a doubleheader to Maple Woods in their final two regular-season games, dropping a 10-7 game in which they held a 7-0 lead, and lost the nightcap 8-7.

While those losses were difficult to absorb, the recent history between the two teams gives the Archers a pretty accurate measuring stick for what will be required to advance in the tournament.

"It does help and I think it gives us an added advantage," Dattoli said. "The way we lost, it puts a little spur in your side that makes you want to improve on your last performance and makes you want to get the last word in that whole sequence of us playing each other this year."