CofC baseball coach: 'It's a great day, but bittersweet'
LUBBOCK, Texas (WCIV) -- The College of Charleston baseball team saw its dreams of Omaha come up short in Lubbock on Sunday after a pair of 1-0 losses to Texas Tech, shortly souring the taste of an incredible season.
On Monday, head coach Monte Lee put the season -- and the incredible postseason run -- in perspective.
At the beginning of the season, Lee didn't know what to expect of the group. What he got, though, was a ground of overachievers that logged 44 wins and the school's second-ever Super Regional appearance.
Even though they saw their season end and Rip Griffin Park on Sunday, what the seniors have done is raised the bar for years to come for the program.
"It was pretty emotional; it was hard to watch our seniors. All of our seniors were in the dugout crying their eyes out. Brandon Murray, you know, a four-year starter. To see that, a kid that's meant so much for this program," said Lee. "Being a former player myself here, I just feel bad for those guys. I'm going to miss them, because of what they were able to do for us."
What they did was set record after record.
That 44-win season ties only one other season in Lee's career at the College. The pitching staff was dominant, racking up the best-ever team ERA, opponent batting average, as well as the best defensive fielding percentage in team history.
"I don't know if I can really put in to words what this team accomplished this year. This team wasn't supposed to do this. Our guys overachieved this year. They got every ounce of ability and talent out of themselves as a team and individually. I'm just really proud of them," Lee said.
For 19 of the players on the 24-man team, the season and thepostseasonn run were not a new high or a raising of expectations -- it was simply an experience. They are the youth of the program set to return next season.
But beyond even that, bigger than the game itself, is the season. The improbable run further bound the team and the program together.
"I do this obviously to build a program to win championships year in year out. But I do it for the relationships with my players," Lee said. "It's a great day -- it's a great day in our program. But it's bittersweet. You hate to see a team that accomplished so much see their season end like this."
A very long journey for the College of Charleston ended in west Texas instead of Omaha some 800 miles to the northeast. The Cougars are closing the book on the 2014 season in a big way.