RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team travels to Mount St. Joseph University (MSJ) for a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) contest at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Teams: Earlham and Mount St. Joseph. The Quakers are 11-9 overall and 6-5 in conference after dropping a series 2-1 at Manchester University last weekend. The Lions are 12-12 and also boast a 6-5 HCAC mark after winning a weekend series over Bluffton University.
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 (127) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Jeff Neumann is in his fourth season as MSJ's head baseball coach.
Hitters to Watch: Freshman Danny Dopp leads the Quakers' offense with a .415 batting average. Dopp is also one of four Quakers to have driven in at least 20 runs. Senior Eric Elkus, who has driven in 37 runs this season, carries the Quakers in extra base hits with eight doubles and five home runs. Seniors Nate Lynch and Brennan Laird have combined to steal 40 bases. Taylor Szarenski leads the Spartans offensive efforts with a .348 batting average. Chad Schultz has a team-high nine doubles while Joe Gallatin has driven in 17 runs. Roman Rothwell leads the Lions with 20 RBIs, 18 walks, and a .333 batting average.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith has pitched a team-high 39.0 innings and also leads Earlham's pitching staff in wins with four and strikeouts with 35. Freshmen Kyle Gorman and Jordan Christian have ERAs below 5.00 while sophomore Walter Talcott and freshman Spencer Owen have sub-2.00 ERAs, but neither has pitched over 10 innings. Paul Spalding has a 2-3 record in 31 innings pitched for MSJ. Alex Wagner has 32 strikeouts and a 2.05 ERA despite an 0-4 record.
Weekday Success: The Quakers have won nine consecutive HCAC weekday games including a perfect 6-0 mark last season.
Tops In the Country: Earlham No. 1 in all of NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game at 4.12 swipes per contest. The Quakers are also ninth in scoring at 8.9 runs per game.
Recent History: The Quakers are 7-1 against MSJ in the last two seasons. Earlham won all three games in the series in 2016.
Coverage: Live statistics of the contest will be available – visit the link above.
Up Next: Earlham travels to Defiance College for a three-game series this weekend.