For the first time in program history the Fairfield baseball team won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships and earned a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Fairfield’s opponents were made up of the fifth-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders and Dallas Baptist Patriots, but Fairfield would fail to pick up a victory as their magical season would come to an end.

After a slow start to the season, the Stags made a huge turnaround late in the season, pushing them to the top of the MAAC. Fairfield finished the season winning ten of their last thirteen contests and finished the season with a 32-26 overall record winning fifteen more games than the previous season. They also finished with a 17-7 record in conference play, an improvement from last season’s 9-15 record.

It all started on May 20 when the Stags hosted Quinnipiac University on the final game of the regular season. Not only was it the last regular season game, but it was also Senior Day as seniors were honored before the game.

It was a day to remember as Brendan Tracy ’16 launched a walk-off grand slam to give the Stags their first regular season title since 1983 and guaranteed a top-seed in the MAAC Tournament. When asked about the play, Tracy said, “I stood there and watched because I knew I got all of it, once I started running around first base I was like, ‘Wow that just happened.’ That doesn’t happen too often and I’m glad it happened on my Senior Day.”

Fairfield’s first opponent of the MAAC Tournament was the Manhattan College Jaspers. Behind a wonderful performance by Gavin Wallace ’18 where he pitched 7.2 innings striking out six while allowing just two earned runs, the Stags overcame the Jaspers for a 5-2 victory to advance to the semifinals.

The Stags faced a challenge as they then battled against Canisius College with the winner advancing to the MAAC Championships. Balanced offense and great pitching lead the Stags to yet another victory. Sophomore Drew Arciuolo finished the game with three hits including a homer and two RBI’s and just a double shy of the illusive cycle. After an 8-5 victory, the Stags would advance to the MAAC Championships for the first time since 2000.

When the lights shined the brightest, Fairfield erupted and put on an offensive display to capture their first championship in program history. Going up against Siena College in the MAAC Championship, the Stags would go on to score a total of 18 runs along with 19 hits; both season highs for the Stags. The final score was 18-2 setting a MAAC Championship record by scoring 18 runs and a winning margin of 16 runs.

The Stags had no easy task at hand as they had to face off against the fifth-seeded and seventh-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. Fairfield witnessed how skilled the team was as Texas Tech pounded out 16 hits leading to a 12-1 victory over Fairfield in the first round of NCAA Lubbock Regional.

Following the loss, the Stags fell to the loser’s bracket where they had to face the Dallas Baptist Patriots who came out of the gate hot, scoring three in the second inning and two more in the third. By the fifth inning, Fairfield faced a 7-0 deficit, but the resilient group that they are, they battled back scoring five runs and even getting the tying run at the plate a couple of times, but it was not enough as they fell 8-5. Given the loss, Fairfield’s season came to an unfortunate end, but not before making memorable moments along the way as Fairfield looks to build upon this season for the years to come.

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