Baseball Looks for Series Win at MSJ on Tuesday

Baseball Looks for Series Win at MSJ on Tuesday

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RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team continues Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play with a 6 p.m. contest at Mount St. Joseph University (MSJ) on Tuesday.

The Teams: Earlham and Mount St. Joseph. The Quakers are 14-10 overall and 9-6 in conference after winning a series 2-1 at Defiance last weekend. The Lions are 14-14 and also boast an 8-7 HCAC mark after winning a weekend series over Franklin College.

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 (130) 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: Senior Nate Lynch leads the team in average at a .392 clip while also leading the squad in stolen bases with 28. Senior Eric Elkus, the program's all-time leader in RBIs, has driven in 40 runs while fellow senior Brennan Laird has 32 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Senior Matt Barger has a team-high 11 doubles. Roman Rothwell leads MSJ with 20 RBIs to go along with 20 walks and a .316 batting average.

Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith has a 5-3 record with a 4.04 ERA in a team-high 49.0 innings pitched. Smith, who has pitched two complete games, also has 41 strikeouts to go along with just five walks. Freshman Kyle Gorman has a 2.1 record with a 3.38 ERA while freshman Spencer Owen boasts a 1.26 ERA out of the Quakers' bullpen. Alex Wagner is the ace of the Lions' pitching staff with a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched.

Leading the HCAC: Eric Elkus and Brennan Laird are first and second respectively in the HCAC in RBIs while Nate Lynch leads the conference in stolen bases.

Weekday Success: The Quakers have won 10 consecutive HCAC weekday games including a perfect 6-0 mark last season.

Chasing Career Program Records: Howie Smith has 19 career wins and sits tied with Ron Williams (1968-70) and Jerry Stroud (1968-71) for the most in program history.

Chasing Single Season Program Records: Several Quakers are close to breaking single season records. Nate Lynch is one stolen bases away from tying the single season record with James Pentaudi (1976) and Brennan Laird (2016). Eric Elkus is three RBIs shy of tying his own mark of 43 RBIs set last season.

Tops In the Country: Earlham No. 1 in all of NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game at 3.57 swipes per contest. Nate Lynch is third in stolen bases with 28 and second in stolen bases per game with 1.19. The Quakers are also 15th in scoring at 8.7 runs per game. Additionally, Eric Elkus is third in the country in runs batted in per game at 1.76.

Recent History: The Quakers are 8-1 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 faces Anderson University in a three-game series on the road this weekend.