RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team opens its 2017 season at the University of the South (Sewanee) for a three-game series at Sewanee on March 4-5.
The Teams: Earlham and Sewanee. The Quakers have not played this season, but finished the 2016 campaign with a 29-14 overall record and advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament championship round. The Tigers are 4-7 on the season with three wins over Wilmington College and one victory over Wheaton College (Illinois).
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 and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. David Jenkins is in his third season leading the Tigers, who went 5-35 a season ago.
Hitters to Watch: Earlham returns two First Team All-HCAC hitters from a season ago in seniors Brennan Laird and Matt Barger. Laird finished with a .307 batting average to go along with 39 runs batted in (RBI), 31 walks, and a program-best 29 stolen bases. Barger broke the program record with 15 doubles while batting a .326 clip. Senior Eric Elkus, a Second Team All-HCAC selection last season, led the conference in home runs (10) and RBIs (43) while setting single-season program bests in both categories. Trey Akins and Jared Demkowicz lead Sewanee with 11 RBIs each.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith, a First Team All-HCAC selection last season, leads the Quakers' pitching staff as he posted a 3.54 earned run average (ERA) and a 6-5 record. Sophomore Walter Talcott, who was named HCAC Freshman of the Year and Mideast Region Rookie of the Year by d3baseball.com in 2016, set program records for wins (10), strikeouts (87), and innings pitched (87.1). Drew Mancuso carries a 4.91 ERA and leads the Tigers with 18.1 innings pitched.
Recent History: Earlham opened its 2016 season with a three-game sweep of Sewanee at Sadler Stadium. The Quakers won by scores of 8-0, 6-5, and 4-3 with a walk-off hit.
Coverage: Live statistics and live video of all three contests will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham opens its home schedule hosting Olivet College on March 8.