Champion Sharks headed to Salem Regional
LIU golf squad seeded 13th in upcoming NCAA Tournament
The Long Island University men’s golf team, fresh off its second Northeast Conference title in three years and third in program history, is hoping 13 is a lucky number later this month.
The Sharks, who held off Howard University by five strokes Tuesday in Daytona Beach, Florida to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, were seeded 13th in the Salem Regional Wednesday.
LIU is headed to The Cliffs at Keowee Falls in South Carolina from May 15-17 after the team gathered to see where and when it would be slotted on the Golf Channel at the Pratt Recration Center in Old Westbury, N.Y.
Freshman sensation Marcelo Mexsen, who won the individual NEC title during the tournament, will lead the Sharks into a field that features top-seeded North Carolina, No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 San Diego State.
Fifth-seeded Georgia Southern, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Purdue, No. 8 New Mexico, No. 9 Clemson, No. 10 Furman, No. 11 Middle Tennessee, No. 12 Northern Illinois and No. 14 Longwood will also be vying for one of the top-5 spots necessary for advancement.
Mexsen shot 4-under 212 over the three-day tournament to finish as the top golfer on the NEC circuit.
That championship performance included a 5-under 67 on Tuesday to nail down the crown. The Torreon, Mexico native shot at or under par on all 18 holes, recording an eagle on the 16th.
According to the LIU athletics site, there are six regional sites in total.
Three sites will host 13 teams and 10 individual qualifiers, and three will host 14 teams and five individual qualifiers. In all, there are 81 teams chasing a national championship.
If the Sharks manage to get out of Salem with one of the coveted five spots, they will continue their pursuit of the NCAA crown from May 26-31 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Jeffrey Colon pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and Kevin Parada doubled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh as the Brooklyn Cyclones won their season-high third straight game, 4-2, over visiting Aberdeen Wednesday night in front of 817 fans at Coney Island’s Maimonides Park.
Colon, who pitched to a 10.38 ERA in April, had his best start of the young season, yielding a run on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in his longest outing of the campaign.
But the 23-year-old right-hander from Las Matas de Farfan in the Dominican Republic did not factor in the decision for the fourth consecutive outing.
Instead, Jace Beck (2-2), who surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to Max Wagner with two out in the top of the seventh, picked up the victory after the Cyclones rallied for two runs in the bottom of the frame.
Brooklyn left fielder Alex Ramirez sparked the decisive rally with a leadoff double before coming home on Parada’s line drive into the gap. Ramirez was plated by designated hitter Drake Osborn, who also ripped an RBI double to cap the scoring.
Beck went 1 2/3 frames with five strikeouts, but he left two on in the top of the ninth before Cyclones righty Paul Gervase got the final two outs to record his first save of the year.
The Cyclones were scheduled to host Aberdeen again on Thursday at 7 p.m. on Surf Avenue with right-hander Blake Tidwell (0-2, 5.56 ERA) expected to take the ball as Brooklyn shoots for its fourth consecutive win.
Reloaded and ready to challenge for their first-ever WNBA title, the New York Liberty will host their annual Media Day at Downtown’s Barclays Center on Monday.
The Liberty, who bowed out in the opening round of the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons, will show off their new roster, which includes future Hall of Fame point guard Courtney Vandersloot, 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones and two-time WNBA champion Breanna Stewart.
Those three new additions, added via trade and free agency this past offseason, will bolster a roster that already features All-Stars Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney.
New York will kick off its much-anticipated season on May 19 in Washington, D.C., before hosting its home opener here on the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush on May 21.
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