RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team continues Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play when Bluffton University comes to Randal R. Sadler Stadium for a 4:15 p.m. contest on Tuesday.
The Teams: Earlham and Bluffton. The Quakers stand at 9-7 overall and 4-3 in HCAC play after falling to Franklin College 2-1 in a three-game series last weekend. The Beavers, who also lost their three-game series (to Manchester University) last weekend, have a 10-7 overall record and 3-4 mark in conference play.
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 (125) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. James Grandey is in his 14th season leading the Bluffton baseball program.
Hitters to Watch: Freshman Danny Dopp leads the Quakers' offense with a .431 batting average. Dopp is also second on the squad in RBIs. Senior Eric Elkus, who has driven in 30 runs this season, carries the Quakers in extra base hits with seven doubles and four home runs. Seniors Nate Lynch and Brennan Laird have combined to steal 33 bases. Luke Hickey continues to lead the Beavers offensively with a .425 batting average, 31 hits, and nine doubles.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith has pitched a team-high 30.1 innings and also leads Earlham's pitching staff in strikeouts with 28. Freshman Jordan Christian has a 4.73 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched while sophomore Walter Talcott and freshman Spencer Owen have sub-2.00 ERAs in 5.2 innings pitched for each. Jaylen Van Sossen and Dyson Bowman both have two wins and over 25 innings pitched.
HCAC Honors: Freshman pitcher Kyle Gorman garnered HCAC Pitcher of the Week honors. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native needed 90 pitches to shutout Bluffton last Tuesday.
Chasing Program Records: Eric Elkus has 109 career RBIs and 20 career home runs. The Edgewood, Kentucky, native is four RBIs and six home runs away from setting career program bests in each category. Additionally, Nate Lynch has 61 stolen bases and is three away from setting the program's career mark.
Tops In the Country: Earlham No. 1 in all of NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game at 4.46 swipes per contest. The Quakers are also seventh in scoring at 9.7 runs per game. Eric Elkus leads the nation individually in RBIs per game at 2.15.
Recent History: Earlham is 6-8 against Bluffton since joining the HCAC prior to the 2011 season. The Quakers have won the last six meetings, however, including a 7-0 shutout win last Tuesday.
Coverage: Live statistics and live video of all three contest will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham travels to Manchester for a three-game series this weekend.