RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team continues Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play with a Tuesday evening contest with Mount St. Joseph University (MSJ) at Randal R. Sadler Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.
The Teams: Earlham and Mount St. Joseph. The Quakers are 22-12 overall and 17-6 in the HCAC after sweeping Transylvania University in a three-game series last weekend. The Lions are 19-17 overall and 13-10 in conference after taking two of three games from Defiance College last weekend.
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 (138) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Jeff Newman is in his fourth season as MSJ's head baseball coach.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Nate Lynch leads the team and the conference in batting average (.429) and stolen bases (41). Fellow senior Eric Elkus has a conference-high 45 RBIs and also leads the Quakers with 15 doubles and five home runs. Senior Brennan Laird has a .343 batting average with 39 RBIs, 29 walks, and 28 stolen bases. Five other Quakers have driven in at least 20 runs. Nathan Hunter leads MSJ's offensive efforts with a .324 batting average, eight doubles, four home runs, and 23 RBIs. Matt Hoffman has a team-high 10 stolen bases.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith lead the Quakers' pitching staff in innings pitched (69.0), wins (7), and strikeouts (60) while boasting a 3.00 ERA. Smith, who is top three in program history in all three categories, has pitched three consecutive complete games. Sophomore Walter Talcott and freshman Kyle Gorman each have 3.38 ERAs while Spencer Owen has a 1.40 ERA out of Earlham's bullpen. Alex Wagner has a 2.72 ERA in over 49 innings pitched for MSJ despite an 0-5 record. Jacob Gunnell has a 4-1 record to lead the Lions in wins.
Recent History: Earlham is 9-1 against Mount St. Joseph over the past three seasons including winning both matches at MSJ this season.
Chasing Career Program Records: Eric Elkus, who already broke the career RBIs record, is four home runs away from tying Ryan Hayes' (2011-14) program record of 25. Nate Lynch, already the career leader in stolen bases and runs, is two hits away from setting the program record (currently held by Jake Carr, 180).
HCAC Hitter of the Week: Nate Lynch is the reigning HCAC Hitter of the Week after a 10-20 performance last week.
Midweek Success: Earlham has won a dozen consecutive HCAC midweek games. The Quakers' last conference midweek loss came on April 21, 2015.
National Statistics: Earlham leads NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game (3.55) while placing second in total stolen bases at 110. Nate Lynch leads the nation in stolen bases (41) and is second in stolen bases per game (1.20).
HCAC Tournament: Earlham has already clinched the program's third straight berth in the HCAC Tournament. The Quakers, who lead the conference by two games, can clinch the regular season title outright and hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament with a 3-1 record or better over the final four games.
Coverage: Live statistics and live video of the contest will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham concludes its 2017 regular season with a three-game series against Hanover College on Thursday and Friday.