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Could Wittels Break Ventura's Record?

SXPJMSJPVLXJVRR.20100310015603 Even the most casual Panthers fan has now heard all about Garrett Wittels' school and conference record 39-game hitting streak, which he kept alive with a two-run home run in FIU's 10-4 drubbing of Bethune-Cookman Wednesday night.

The only benchmark that remains for Wittels, who has hit in every game in which he's played this season, is Robin Ventura's Division I record of 58, set with Oklahoma State in 1987.

Dare to dream?

The cold reality for Wittels is, unless the GP make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament, he simply doesn't have enough games to break the record this season.

For argument's sake, let's say Wittels keeps hitting. And the Panthers win just enough to keep playing, but lose enough to maximize their games played.

He's got nine more games left in the regular season, which would put him at 48 entering the Sun Belt Conference Tournament (which I'll staff, as long as Nashville isn't completely washed away). For FIU to even qualify for the NCAA's, it'll need to reach the conference title game. Let's say that the Panthers lose a game early in the tournament, but still reach the final. That will give them five more contests. That makes 53.

Where will Wittels get his six additional games? Well, the NCAA Regionals offer, at most, another five opportunities. But that would merely tie the record, not break it. For Wittels to eclipse Ventura, it would almost certainly have to come at some point in the Super Regionals -- possibly in the deciding game, with the Panthers' first-ever trip to the Division I College World Series at stake.

I told you to dare to dream.

However, the most likely scenario is that if Wittels continues to hit, his shot at history would come early next season. Could you imagine the pressure of that hanging over his head for an entire offseason?

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