RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team travels to Anderson University for its final road series of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular season this weekend.
The Series: The Quakers and Anderson will play a single game a single at 4 p.m. on Friday followed by a doubleheader at noon on Saturday.
The Teams: Earlham and Anderson. The Quakers are 15-11 overall and 10-6 in HCAC play after an 8-7 win at Mount St Joseph University on Tuesday. The Ravens enter the contest with a 13-16 overall mark and a 7-9 conference record.
The Coaches: Steve Sakosits is in his seventh season leading the Earlham baseball program. A coach of 38 All-HCAC honorees, Sakosits is the program's all-time leader in career victories (131) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Drew Brantley and Mark Calder are in their first seasons as co-head baseball coaches at Anderson.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Nate Lynch leads the team in average at a .410 clip to go along with 20 RBIs. The program's career leader in stolen bases, Lynch broke the single season record (31) with three swipes at MSJ on Tuesday. Senior Eric Elkus, the program's all-time leader in RBIs, has driven in 41 runs while fellow senior Brennan Laird has 32 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Senior Matt Barger has a team-high 12 doubles. Branton Sanders and Austin Cain are the two Ravens to have driven in over 25 runs. Both also average over .300 for the season.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith has a 5-3 record with a 3.88 ERA in a team-high 51.0 innings pitched. Smith, who has pitched two complete games, also has 46 strikeouts to go along with just five walks. Freshman Kyle Gorman has a 3-1 record with a 4.31 ERA while freshman Spencer Owen, who earned his first collegiate save at MSJ on Tuesday, boasts a 1.17 ERA out of the Quakers' bullpen. Tucker Waddups leads the Raven pitching staff with a 2.17 ERA in a team-high 37.1 innings pitched.
Recent History: Earlham is 4-14 against Anderson since joining the HCAC prior to the 2011 season. The Quakers have lost every series to the Ravens during that span, but have won at least one game in four straight seasons.
Chasing Career Program Records: Howie Smith has 19 career wins and sits tied with Ron Williams (1968-70) and Jerry Stroud (1968-71) for the most in program history. Eric Elkus is four home runs away from tying Ryan Hayes' (2011-14) program record of 25.
Chasing Single Season Program Records: Eric Elkus is two RBIs shy of tying his own mark of 43 RBIs set last season.
Tops In the Country: Earlham No. 1 in all of NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game at 3.57 swipes per contest. Nate Lynch is third in stolen bases with 28 and second in stolen bases per game with 1.19. The Quakers are also 15th in scoring at 8.7 runs per game. Additionally, Eric Elkus is third in the country in runs batted in per game at 1.76.
Coverage: Live statistics, video, and audio of all three games will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham returns to Randal R. Sadler Stadium for the first time in three weeks when the Quakers take on Bluffton University on Tuesday.