Sonoma State

CARY, N.C. -- Alex Todd didn’t want his season to end Wednesday night. The senior shortstop was hoping it would last until the national championship game.

But the magic ran out for Todd and his Sonoma State teammates here at the USA Baseball National Training Complex on a steamy evening in North Carolina. The Seawolves lost 6-4 to Southern Connecticut in an elimination game.

Inside the press tent after the game, Todd tried to keep his head up. It wasn’t easy. Yet, as much as the loss hurt, Todd was thankful for the experience.

“It’s been great,” Todd said. “To go through this run with this group is great. We have a close-knit team and it’s truly been a blessing to play with them.”

Todd was in his first season at Sonoma State (37-22), transferring from Centenary College. He made quite an impact, hitting .322 with 37 RBI coming into the game against the sixth-ranked Owls (45-8-1).

Todd finished with three hits on Wednesday and also drove in a run. His effort helped Sonoma State at least have a chance to pull off a comeback in the end.

“We never feel like we are out of a game,” Todd said. “We stick to our approach, knowing that we only need one big hit to get things going. We have a lot of confidence, but give credit to their pitching for getting the job done.”

Sonoma State head coach John Goelz was proud of the effort Todd gave on a night when the Seawolves cranked out eight hits and went down in order in the ninth inning.

“The problem was the rules of the game,” Goelz said. “I wish I could have used Todd nine times in one inning. He hit the ball well tonight.”

Pitching doomed the Seawolves, however, as they used four different hurlers. Jayson Richards took the loss in 1 1/3 innings of work. He gave up one run on one hit.

“We have been trying to piece together a pitching staff for the last few weeks,” Goelz said. “We had a couple of guys who had not thrown in the tournament pitching and that might have not been the best coaching decision in the world. But I am proud of their effort.”

Todd said his performance this season was good, although he was more thrilled about what the team accomplished.

“I am very fortunate and I had a good year, but the year the team had went above and beyond what I accomplished,” Todd said. “I have been very lucky to have a chance to play here.”

Goelz praised Todd for his effort as well.

“Alex is a reflection of our entire team,” Goelz said. “He brought a lot to the program and helped make the other guys on the team better.”

But while Sonoma State walked into the North Carolina night feeling the sting of losing their final game of the season and preparing for a flight back across the country to California, the future is bright for the Seawolves, who also made the national tourney in 2008.

“I am disappointed with the result of the game but I am extremely proud of my team,” Goelz said. “We will take a lot of positives from this experience. We will also recruit hard this year, we will work hard and we will do everything we can to get back here again next year.”