Four years ago, Delaware found itself below .500 at 26-27 despite having 33 wins the season prior.
Fast forward to the present, and the Blue Hens sit at 34-21 — the most wins since 2002 — and are fresh off the school’s first ever CAA title after an impressive run as the No. 4 seed. Now they’re preparing for their first College World Series appearance since 2001.
All of this shows one thing: Processes do work.
“You have eight seniors and all of those guys have performed pretty well,” said Delaware manager Jim Sherman. “When you have that … it’s a good ingredient to have a successful year, and that’s how they played down the stretch.”
That senior class, which saw four of them named to the CAA All-Tournament team including the bracket’s MVP, Jeremy Ake, has taken a lot of pride in seeing how far this program has come over their four years.
The group was a part of back-to-back 26-win seasons as freshmen and sophomores, eventually increasing that total to 32 last season before breaking through with the 34 wins (and counting) this year.
“We have a great group of seniors, all of the teammates in my recruiting class had great leadership,” said designated hitter Doug Trimble, who led the club with 73 hits and 48 RBI.
“We all stick together and all acted as leaders this year. There wasn’t just one or two guys … everyone was their own leader and made the team come together nicely.”
In order to reach the NCAA Tournament, Delaware needed to win their conference, doing just that with an impressive 4-0 run that saw them outscore opponents, 38-14, and only trail for three and a half innings total.
Delaware’s process isn’t over just yet, they’re ready to make some noise on the grandest stage in college baseball.
They’ll turn their attention to their first game in the regionals, a date with the nation’s No. 3 ranked team, Texas Tech, before playing either Arizona State or Sam Houston State in the second game.
“We’re taking it as another game,” Trimble said. “It’s obviously a bigger stage, but we’re not going to change our game at all … I think everybody is on board and to just play with no fear.”
Sherman, in his 17th year as the head coach, is hoping this success and the growth that came with it becomes the norm for Delaware baseball moving forward.
“We’d like to be in it year in and year out,” Sherman said. “That’s our goal. We were like that years ago … that’s the fun part, not just getting here, is getting here every year.”