RICHMOND, Indiana - The Earlham College baseball team closes out its 2017 regular season with a three-game series against Hanover College at Sadler Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
The Series: A single game is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday followed by a doubleheader at noon on Sunday.
The Teams: Earlham and Hanover. The Quakers are 23-12 overall and 18-6 in the HCAC and riding a nine-game conference winning streak after defeating Mount St. Joseph 10-1 on Tuesday. The Panthers are 18-17 overall and 9-14 in conference after defeating Transylvania University 10-5 on Tuesday.
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 (139) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Shayne Stock is in his 12th season leading the Hanover baseball program.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Nate Lynch leads the team and the conference in batting average (.424) and stolen bases (43). Fellow senior Eric Elkus has a conference-high 46 RBIs and also leads the Quakers with 15 doubles and five home runs. Senior Brennan Laird has a .345 batting average with 41 RBIs, 26 walks, and 30 stolen bases. Five other Quakers have driven in at least 20 runs. Ty Stover leads the Panthers with 29 RBIs and a .344 batting average. Spencer Coop and John Scheil each have eight stolen bases.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith lead the Quakers' pitching staff in innings pitched (70.0), wins (7), and strikeouts (61) while boasting a 2.96 ERA. Smith, who is top three in program history in all three categories, has pitched three consecutive complete games. Sophomore Walter Talcott and freshman Kyle Gorman each have ERAs under 3.25 while Spencer Owen has a 1.33 ERA out of Earlham's bullpen. David Herrmann has a 2.66 ERA and a 5-2 record in 74.1 innings pitched. No other Hanover pitcher has pitched over 50 innings.
Recent History: Earlham is 9-8 against Hanover since joining the HCAC prior to the 2011 season. The Quakers are 9-3 against the Panthers over the last four years.
Chasing Career Program Records: Eric Elkus, who already broke the career RBIs record, is four home runs away from tying Ryan Hayes' (2011-14) program record of 25. Nate Lynch, already the career leader in stolen bases and runs, is one hits away from setting the program record (currently held by Jake Carr, 180).
HCAC Hitter of the Week: Nate Lynch is the reigning HCAC Hitter of the Week after a 10-20 performance last week.
National Statistics: Earlham leads NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game (3.55) while placing second in total stolen bases at 110. Nate Lynch leads the nation in stolen bases (41) and is second in stolen bases per game (1.20).
HCAC Tournament: Earlham has already clinched the program's third straight berth in the HCAC Tournament. The Quakers, who lead the conference by two games, can clinch the regular season title outright and hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament with a series win against Hanover.
Coverage: Live statistics and live video of the contest will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham will compete in the HCAC Tournament next week.