Regional Preview: Ithaca Battles No. 14 La Roche on Thursday in Stacked Adrian Regional

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ITHACA, N.Y. – The Ithaca College baseball team will make the trek out west to Adrian, Michigan on Thursday to take on No. 14 La Roche College at 4:30 p.m. at Nicolay Field as part of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 seed matchup in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championship.

Four of the eight teams in the Mideast Regional are nationally ranked according to the final regular season top 25 poll by D3baseball.com. Wooster is ranked No. 4, La Roche is 14th, Shenandoah ranks 16th and Adrian is 25th in the national. Marietta and Otterbein are receiving votes.

REGIONAL SCHEDULE (THURSDAY):
Game 1 –
Marietta vs. No. 16 Shenandoah – 10 a.m. | Live Stats | Webcast
Game 2 –
No. 4 Wooster vs. Wabash – 1:15 p.m. | Live Stats | Webcast
Game 3 –
No. 14 La Roche vs. Ithaca – 4:30 p.m. | Live Stats | Webcast
Game 4 –
Otterbein vs. No. 25 Adrian – 7:45 p.m. | Live Stats | Webcast

Click here for the regional homepage

Click here for the regional bracket

TICKETS:
$8 general admission per day
$5 students and senior citizens

ITHACA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT:
This will be the 47th time in which the Bombers have competed in the NCAA Tournament. Ithaca made 10 appearances (1955, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974) prior to 1976, which is when the NCAA established Division III. IC is 124-93 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and has won two national titles – 1980 and 1988. Outside of the two championships, Ithaca has been the national runners-up on three other occasions – 1976, 1981 and 1986.

ITHACA VS. THE REGIONAL FIELD:
The Bombers have not played a team in the Mideast Regional this season, in fact, IC hasn't competed against a school in this bracket since 1994.

Ithaca played Wooster during the 1994 season and lost to the Fighting Scots, 11-1, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The only other team that Ithaca has played in this regional in program history is Marietta. IC is 7-6 all-time vs. the Pioneers, but have not seen Marietta for 26 years, and all 13 of the matchups have taken place in the College World Series. IC defeated Marietta, 12-5, in the 1980 final, while the Pioneers topped Ithaca, 14- 12 (12 innings) and 11-6, during the 1981 and 1986 championships.

ITHACA VS. THE NATIONAL FIELD:
The Bombers went 4-3 against the field of 58 – 0-1 vs. Cortland, 1-0 vs. Oswego, 1-1 vs. St. Joseph's-Long Island, 1-0 vs. Virginia Wesleyan, 1-0 vs. Redlands and 0-1 vs. Chapman.

THE 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP:
The NCAA selected 58 teams to compete in the 2018 Division III Baseball Championships on May 14. The field is comprised of 40 automatic bids and 18 at-large berths. Those 58 institutions are divided into eight different regions across the country, with each regional winner advancing to the College World Series in Appleton, Wis. from May 25-29.

Three regionals feature six teams, while the other five have eight schools. All eight regional sites are double-elimination format.

BREAKING DOWN THE REGIONAL (BY SEED):

No. 4 The College of Wooster Fighting Scots (36-8)
At-Large Bid – North Coast Athletic Conference
The top-seeded Fighting Scots are by far the most productive offense in the regional. Wooster leads the eight-team bracket in average (.356), runs scored (473), hits (601), RBI (438), walks (222), doubles (133) and home runs (54).

Dan Harwood has blasted 14 home runs this year, to go along with 68 RBI and a .388 average. Garrett Crum is not far behind is RBI at 65, while Michael Wielansky leads the program with a .401 average and 19 doubles.

Wooster has three go-to starters in its rotation. Chandler Dippman (7-0, 2.06 ERA, 56.2 IP, 22 K), Nanak Saran (8-2, 2.80 ERA, 64.1 IP, 59 K, .206 BA) and Brian Murray (5-2, 3.30 ERA, 60 IP, 34 K, .221 BA) will earn starting nods. James Usher will be the top arm out of the bullpen as he has appeared in 25 games with four saves.

(RV) Otterbein University Cardinals (30-14)
At-Large Bid – Ohio Athletic Conference
Otterbein has an extremely balanced team on offense and on the mound, as nine different players are batting over .300 this season and six hurlers on the pitching staff have eclipsed 34 innings pitched this year.

Otterbein ranks second in the region 43 home runs and the staff is tops with 364 strikeouts.

Ben Beachy (9), Bryan Stopar (9) and Connor Brett (8) have combined for 26 of the Cardinals' home runs this season.

The Cardinals are no stranger to playing in close games this year, and it is apparent by looking at the statistics of relief pitcher Collin Hoffmann. Hoffmann has appeared in 21 games this season (all from the bullpen) and is 8-1 on the year with five saves and a 2.55 ERA. He has struck out 40 batters in 35.1 innings of work and has issued only four walks.

No. 14 La Roche College Redhawks (34-8-1)
Automatic Bid – Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference
La Roche has the second-highest team average in the field at .346 and leads the regional with 121 stolen bases. Six players in the Redhawks' lineup are batting over .357 this season, while three others are over .311.

Jonathan Spina leads the way with a .420 average and 76 hits, while Joe Professori is swinging at a .377 clip with 61 hits. Dylan Urban has swiped 29 bases this year and has scored 46 runs. Jay Novak leads La Roche with 41 RBI.

On the mound, La Roche can turn to two dominant starters in Tre Thomas and Nick Tunstall. Thomas is 8-1 on the season with a 1.48 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 54.2 innings. Tunstall is 7-1 over 57.1 innings with a 2.51 ERA and 52 strikeouts. Shane Emrich is nearly unhittable out of the bullpen as he has only allowed 10 hits and two earned runs with 35 strikeouts in 21.1 innings and seven saves.

(RV) Marietta College Pioneers (27-16)
At-Large Bid – Ohio Athletic Conference
Marietta has grinded out games all season as the Pioneers have only outscored their opposition, 253-205. Marietta is also hitting .278 (lowest in the regional) as a team, while the opponents are batting .260. The pitching staff is the only team in the regional that has walked fewer than 100 batters this season.

Mike Hale is the top offensive threat in the lineup for Marietta. Hale is hitting .322 on the season with 57 hits, 43 RBI, 20 doubles and six home runs. Geoff Snyder leads the team with a .363 average, while Chris Petrucci has stolen 22 bases with 54 hits.

David Stover leads Marietta in innings pitched (74.1), strikeouts (51), appearances (18) and wins (10). Stover has also only walked five batters all season. Scott Oberhelman has started a team-best 12 games this year in 71.2 innings of work and holds opponents to a .227 average.

No. 16 Shenandoah University Hornets (34-10)
Automatic Bid – Old Dominion Athletic Conference
Shenandoah is the second-best prolific offense in the regional, while its pitching staff is one of the stingiest. The Hornets have produced 399 runs in 44 games while batting .331, and their hurlers have surrendered just 203 runs and a .250 average. Six different batters in the lineup have recorded more than 50 hits.

Keegan Woolford leads all players on the team with 10 home runs, to go along with 65 RBI. Tristan Baker and Grant Thompson have both drawn more than 30 walks, which has led to 94 combined runs scored. Robert Marcelle paces the offense with a .383 average and 20 stolen bases.

Colin Morse has fanned 82 batters this season over 75.2 innings of work with a 7-3 record, 3.21 ERA and .181 batting average. Michael Bugonowicz is 5-2 on the year with seven saves and a 2.18 ERA over 62 innings with 66 strikeouts.

Ithaca College Bombers (28-15)
Automatic Bid – Empire 8 Conference
Ithaca has been one of the hottest teams in the nation since April. The Bombers are 19-6 overall over the past two months and are hitting .348 during that time. The pitching staff has also held its opposition under a .240 average during this stretch.

Webb and Sam Little pace the offense with .356 and .342 batting averages. W. Little is tops on the team with 52 hits and 44 runs scored, while S. Little is second with 50 and is tied for the team lead with Andrew Bailey with 356 RBI. Bailey is also tops on the squad with 15 doubles, to go along with a .303 average.

Cam Fuoti (.331), Jake Generali (.320), Adam Gallagher (.306) and Domenic Boresta (.301) are all hitting over .300 this year.

Jake Binder leads the pitching staff in wins (six), innings pitched (78.2), strikeouts (51), starts (13) and opponents' batting average (.227). Jack Morell (4-3), Emmett Dunn (5-1) and Tyler Hill (3-5) are also viable options to start for IC.

Tom Cosentino owns the lowest ERA on the team at 1.17 in 23 innings pitched, while Matt Eiel has appeared in a team-high 17 games.

No. 25 Adrian College Bulldogs (33-10)
Automatic Bid – Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
The host Bulldogs are an impressive 20-2 at home this season. Adrian's offense is well-balanced with a team average of .319, while the pitching staff is plus-200 in strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Tommy Parsons is one of the top arms in the nation as he is 10-0 on the year with nine complete games in 85 innings pitched. Parsons has struck out 103 batters this season and owns a minuscule ERA of 1.48.

Jordan Williams is also undefeated on the season at 8-0, with a 2.19 ERA in 65.2 innings of work. Williams has punched out 63 batters on the year and has saved two games.

Offensively, Hunter Hayes leads the Bulldogs in hits (63), RBI (55), doubles (17) and home runs (eight), while also batting .362. Brady Wood paces the program with a .414 average, while Zach Zschering has produced 57 hits, 49 runs and a .352 average.

(RV) Wabash College Little Giants (28-15)
Automatic Bid – North Coast Athletic Conference
Wabash is your prototypical station-to-station and small-ball team. The Little Giants have walked more than 200 times and a team and have accumulated 50 sacrifices on the season. They do rank, however, second in the regional with 24 triples on the season.

Bryce Aldridge leads Wabash with a .371 average, 59 hits and 28 walks. Aldridge is also second with 45 RBI and third in runs scored with 42. Jackson Blevins is tops in the lineup with 48 RBI and 18 doubles, and tied for second in hits with 58, as is Sean Roginski.

Bryan Roberts and Cody Cochran have both won seven games on the mound for the Little Giants. Roberts is 7-3 with a 2.29 ERA in 82.2 innings pitched with 70 strikeouts, while Cochran is 7-4 with 66.1 innings.

Zach Moffett and Tyler Cooper are the go-to guys out of the pen. Moffett has saved eight games this season in 23 appearances with a 4-0 record, while Cooper owns a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings pitched.

TEAM BATTING STATISTICS

 

AVG.

RUNS

HITS

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SB

Wooster

.356

473

601

133

24

54

438

222

81

Otterbein

.313

326

481

98

15

43

291

159

76

La Roche

.346

346

496

88

29

13

308

162

121

Marietta

.278

253

418

93

7

15

221

172

78

Shenandoah

.331

399

509

112

7

29

347

216

77

Ithaca

.309

312

463

99

12

21

274

209

55

Adrian

.319

323

453

95

17

15

277

193

46

Wabash

.300

319

451

94

24

8

273

204

65


TEAM PITCHING STATISTICS

 

IP

ERA

CG

SHO

SV

HITS

SO

BB

AVG.

Wooster

392

3.77

2

0

9

389

253

169

.258

Otterbein

388

4.59

4

3

5

414

364

133

.271

La Roche

348.2

3.64

3

4

9

328

323

156

.243

Marietta

382

3.93

4

2

6

385

256

97

.260

Shenandoah

384

3.66

3

3

13

366

300

184

.250

Ithaca

365.1

3.82

3

3

7

335

280

156

.243

Adrian

350.2

4.06

14

2

6

351

348

148

.255

Wabash

376

3.95

4

5

10

375

294

166

.262