Just as their season started in February, St. Scholastica baseball lost its patriarch when good friend John Baggs died of cancer.
On the field, the Saints have clearly learned much of what their old coach tried to teach them.
St. Scholastica (35-5) has qualified for the NCAA Division III regionals once again this year. They'll be heading to Oshkosh, Wis., this week to play in a regional hosted by UW-Oshkosh. The Saints are the third seed in a six-team grouping, and will play fourth-seeded St. Norbert in the opening round. The top seed is St. Olaf, followed by St. Thomas. Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Beloit are the other two teams in the regional.
The Saints got to regional play after a busy second day at the UMAC Tournament Friday in Duluth. St. Scholastica scored 56 runs in three straight wins -- two of them over Bethany Lutheran, who had upset the Saints Thursday night -- to clinch their 13th straight UMAC baseball crown.
The regional tournament begins Wednesday. The winner advances to the Division III World Series in Appleton, Wis., beginning May 22.