It didn’t matter that it was May and the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean along the New York shore was somewhere between cold and frigid.
It didn’t matter that people were walking along the Coney Island Boardwalk. It didn’t matter that they didn’t have swimsuits.
Xavier just barely made the Championship, claiming the final spot, and got off to a rough start, both on and off the field. Off the field, the team’s flight to New York was late, the bus to the hotel had a flat on I-95, and when they got to the hotel, the rooms were flooded because of a plumbing issue so they had to go to a second hotel and didn’t arrive until midnight. That was followed by a 9-2 opening game loss to—of all opponents—top-ranked Creighton. But wins against St. John’s and Seton Hall in the double-elimination tournament set up the rematch against Creighton.
Outfielder Mitch Elliott was named the tournament’s MVP, while five other Xavier players—Dan Rizzle, Joe Forney, Derek Hasenbeck, Sean Campbell and freshman pitcher Trent Astle, who threw the title-winning three-hit shutout—were also named to the all-tournament team.
The title earned the Musketeers a trip to the College World Series, where they lost their opener against Vanderbilt, beat Clemson and were eventually knocked out in an extra-innings loss to the University of Oregon. The team finished the season with a 30-29 record.