|Senior outfielder Jeremy Wolf, the SCAC Player of the Year, was one of 14 Trinity Tigers placed on the 2016 All-SCAC Team.
d3photography.com photo by Larry Radloff
Follow this regional
By Ralph Turner
The Wild Wild West Regional moves to Avista Stadium in Spokane, Wash., for 2016 as the regional returns to the Northwest. This regional will get first crack at the field, so the conditions should be excellent.
This year’s field sees three repeaters from the 2015 Regional, top seed Trinity (Texas), No. 4 Whitworth, and No. 5 Texas-Tyler. Pacific Lutheran went 2-2 in the 2015 South Regional, and Case Western had strong a showing in the 2014 Mideast Regional. With all this experience in the postseason, expect some close games with the coaching staff pulling a few surprises.
Second ranked Cal Lutheran swept the SCIAC tourney to earn the Pool A bid, keeping Occidental at home with their best season in years. The NCAA has flown an outside team into this regional on multiple occasions. This year Case Western Reserve earned an at-large bid on the basis of outstanding strength of schedule and record against regional ranked teams. The Spartans are hoping to get their Washington Alumni to come out and make some noise for the out-of-region visitors.
Spokane Regional schedule
Wednesday, May 18
Game 1 - No. 1 Trinity (Texas) (35-7) vs. No. 6 Pacific Lutheran (26-17), 11 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 2 Cal Lutheran (31-11) vs. No. 5 Texas-Tyler (30-17), 2:30 p.m.
Game 3 - No. 3 Case Western (26-13) vs. No. 4 Whitworth (29-11), 6 p.m.
Thursday, May 19
Game 4 - Pacific Lutheran vs. Cal Lutheran, 11 a.m.
Game 5 - Trinity (Texas) vs. Caswe Western, 2:30 p.m.
Game 6 - Texas-Tyler vs. Whitworth, 6 p.m.
Friday, May 20
Game 7 - Trinity (Texas) vs. Texas-Tyler, 11 a.m.
Game 8 - Pacific Lutheran vs. Whitworth, 2:30 p.m.
Game 9 - Texas-Tyler vs. Pacific Lutheran, 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
Game 10 - Trinity (Texas) vs. Pacific Lutheran, 12 p.m.
Trinity (Texas) advances
Meet the teams
Trinity (Texas) finished third at the Division III World Series after winning the Regional in Tyler, Texas, last spring. The Tigers are regular-season co-champions of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference with Texas Lutheran but swept the tourney, defeating Southwestern in the tourney finals to earn the Pool A bid. Coach Tim Scannell’s squad had 14 all-SCAC players so there will be few weaknesses on offense and defense for the top ranked Tigers.
Most likely to disappoint
Host Whitworth. The Pirates won the Northwest Conference regular season but had to fight for an at-large bid. Led by coach Dan Ramsey, the NWC 2016 Coach of the Year, the Pirates are back into the regional. A repeater like Trinity and Texas-Tyler, this is the third trip to the regional since 2012, when the squad won the 2012 McMinnville Regional and went to the D-III World Series. Will we see the Pirates that ran away with the NWC title or the one that faltered in the conference tournament. Only time will tell.
Pacific Lutheran was regular season runner-up and swept the NWC tourney to earn the pool A bid. In his first year as Lute head coach, PLU alum Nolan Soete has the Lutes in the regional. Soete has been here before and the atmosphere should not distract from the job at hand. With just a ride cross state, there should be plenty of support for the Lutes. Pacific Lutheran is ready to step into the underdog role.
Players to Watch
C Tyler Wypiszenski, Case Western Reserve (22 G, 23 hits, 21 RBI, BA .338)
1B Daniel Watson, Case Western (.382, 47 hits, 26 RBI, SB 23 of 28)
2B Chad Clark, Cal Lutheran (.386, 61 hits, 5 HR, 32 RBI)
3B Davey Casciola, Cal Lutheran (.396, 67 hits, 7 HR, 42 RBI)
INF Connor Moore, Trinity (Texas) (.351, 30 of 37 Stolen base attempts)
OF Sam Lane, Texas-Tyler (.311, 61 hits, 13-13 SB, FA 1.000 on 100 chances)
OF Jeremy Druffell, Whitworth (.394, 67 hits, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 22 of 27 SB’s)
OF Jeremy Wolf, Trinity (Texas) (.418, 23 doubles, 11HR, 56 RBI)
DH Jordan McGowan, Whitworth (.350, 41 hits, 17 RBI)
SP Michael Walker, Trinity (Texas) (W-L 8-0, 3.02 ERA in 59.2 IP, 32 K, 15BB, OBA .264)
SP Cason Adams, Texas Tyler (W-L 7-2, ERA 3.61 in 14 GS; 87.1 IP, 63 K, 25 BB, OBA .252
SP Cory Nelson, Pacific Lutheran (W-L 6-1 13 GS, 83 IP; ERA 3.04, 41 K, OBA .275)
RP Garrett Brown, Pacific Lutheran (W-L 3-3, 25 apps, 45.2 IP; 37 K, 1.97 ERA, .226 OBA)