RICHMOND, Indiana - The Earlham College baseball team opens its first NCAA Division III Tournament against the College of Wooster at the Mideast Regional hosted by Washington & Jefferson College (Pennsylvania).
The Schedule: The Quakers and Scots will meet in a first round game at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. If Earlham wins, it will face the winner of Washington & Jefferson (W&J) and Misericordia at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19. Should the Quakers lose their first round game, they would take on the loser of W&J and Misericordia at 10 a.m. on Friday. A complete schedule can be found by visiting the NCAA Regional website link above.
Teams in Regional: Wooster is the top seeded team in the eight-team regional while Earlham is eighth. No. 2 SUNY Cortland will face No. 7 DePauw University, No. 3 LaRoche College will play No. 6 Keystone College, and host No. 4 W&J will take on No. 5 Misericordia.
First Round Matchup: Earlham and Wooster. The Quakers (29-12) won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular season title with a 21-6 record and cruised through the HCAC Tournament by winning three games at Sadler Stadium last weekend. The Scots (35-8) are ranked No. 9 in the country after claiming the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regular season and tournament titles.
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 (145) and led the Quakers to their first HCAC regular season and tournament championships in 2017. Tim Petterini, the active NCAA Division III leader in career victories, is in his 36th season coaching Wooster and has won over 1,000 games as the Scots' skipper.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Nate Lynch leads Earlham in average at a .411 clip while also driving in 32 runs at the top of the batting order. Lynch, who leads NCAA Division III in stolen bases, has swiped 46 bases this season. Senior Eric Elkus, the program's career leader in runs batted in, has 54 RBIs to go along with eight home runs, 17 doubles, and a .341 batting average. Seniors Brennan Laird and Matt Barger both hit over .320, have driven in at least 25 runs, and have stolen at least 25 bases. Michael Wielansky and Jamie Lackner lead a Wooster offense that leads the country in runs scored as both have over 50 RBIs and hit over the .400 clip. The Scots hit .342 as a team which is ninth best in the nation.
Pitchers to Watch: Howie Smith is Earlham's career leader in wins and boasts a 2.47 ERA in 87.1 innings pitched. The senior also leads the team in wins with eight and strikeouts with 68. Freshman Kyle Gorman is 7-1 with a 3.01 ERA in 71.2 innings pitched while freshman Spencer Owen has a 1.21 ERA and three saves out of the Quakers' bullpen. Nanak Saran, Tyler Schuch, and Michael Houdek have combined to pitch over half of Wooster's innings pitched this season. All three have at least six wins and ERAs under 4.00.
NCAA Tournament History: Earlham is making its first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament in program history. Wooster has qualified for 29 NCAA Division III Tournaments had has advanced to the College World Series five times including runner-up finishes in 1997 and 2009.
Old Conference Opponents: Earlham and Wooster were conference peers when the Quakers were members of the NCAC (1989-2010).
Tops in The Country: Earlham leads NCAA Division III in stolen bases (149) and stolen bases per game (3.63). Wooster leads the nation in runs scored (420) and is second in runs per game (9.8).
Tickets: General admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students and children. A $20 pass for the entire tournament is also available. Children ages six and under are free. Parking is $5 per car.
Coverage: Live video and live statistics will be available - visit the links above.
Up Next: If Earlham wins, it will face the winner of W&J and Misericordia at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19. Should the Quakers lose their first round game, they would take on the loser of W&J and Misericordia at 10 a.m. on Friday.