Put a ring on it: Hawks head into postseason ready to chase championships, earn some new bling
QUINCY — Brock Boynton can envision a championship ring sizable enough to celebrate more than one title.
“I was thinking about it last night,” the Quincy University senior center fielder said Wednesday morning before the Hawks boarded a bus headed for Marion, Ill., and the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. “There’s four sides to a ring. You have a GLVC side. A regional side. A super-regional side. A World Series side.
“I want to fill up each side.”
It’s been the Hawks’ unified goal since the season began.
The first step toward filling up every side of a championship ring begins Thursday in the opening round of the GLVC Tournament at Mtn Dew Park, the home of the Prospect League’s Thrillville Thrillbillies. Top-seeded Quincy (40-9) faces eighth-seeded Missouri S&T (24-22) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
The approach to tournament play is no different than any regular-season game.
“Keep playing our game no matter what,” QU first baseman Lance Logsdon said. “Go down there and get four.”
It takes a minimum of four victories to win the title, similar to sweeping a weekend series.
The Hawks, who moved up to No. 6 in the NCBWA Division II national poll this week after winning the GLVC regular-season championship, swept four GLVC series, including the final two weekends against Drury and Rockhurst. They also swept two non-conference series and have won 20 of their last 21 games.
None of the Hawks see their success, national ranking or No. 1 tourney seed as pressure to win the title this weekend.
“Absolutely not,” Boynton said. “At the end of the day, we are our biggest competitor. We compete against ourselves. We go into every game knowing we are the better team on the field, and we compete against ourselves.”
Logsdon echoed that.
“There’s no pressure on us,” he said. “What do we have to lose? We’re in a good spot, but it’s time to go down there and win something and start a really good run to this postseason.”
The Hawks are looking for the kind of run that leads to a ring.
“Get one now,” Logsdon said of a GLVC Tournament championship. “And get another here in two weeks.”
That would be a Midwest Regional title and a berth in the NCAA Division II World Series for the second time in program history.
No one riding the bus on the four-hour ride to Marion was getting ahead of themselves.
“We control what we can control,” Boynton said. “That’s one game at a time.”
Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament
Need to Know
Streaming: All games will be streamed on the GLVC Sports Network with a $10 charge per game or a $30 tournament pass.
Tickets: Single-day tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students with college ID and youth ages 6-17, and free for children 5 and under. All-tournament passes can be purchased for $40. All tickets must be purchased in advance online with no cash on site. To go to the ticket link, click here.
Championship site: Mtn Dew Park, the home of the Prospect League’s Thrillville Thrillbillies, will play host to the GLVC Tournament for the first time. The park is located in Marion, Ill., opened in 2007 and seats 7,000 fans. It was the home of the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League from 2007-21. The park’s dimensions are 320 feet to left field, 392 to left-center field, 400 to center field, 375 to right-center field and 335 to right field.
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