RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team hosts Transylvania University for a three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) series at Sadler Stadium this weekend.
The Series: Earlham will face Transylvania for a doubleheader on Friday at 1 p.m. followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.
The Teams: Earlham and Transylvania. The Quakers are 19-12 overall and 14-6 in the HCAC after a 9-1 victory over Bluffton University on Tuesday. The Pioneers are 13-20 overall and 8-12 in conference play after falling to Mount St. Joseph University 4-3 on Tuesday.
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 (135) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Zack Getsee is in his first season as Transylvania's head baseball coach.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Eric Elkus leads the Quakers offensively with 15 doubles, five home runs, 45 RBIs, and a .570 slugging percentage. Fellow senior Brennan Laird has a .333 batting average, 36 RBIs, 24 walks, and 24 stolen bases while senior Nate Lynch has a .409 batting average, 52 hits, and 36 stolen bases. Blake Hart has a team-high 22 RBIs and six home runs for the Pioneers while Jared Williams has a .377 batting average to go along with a team-high 15 stolen bases.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith has a 6-3 record with a 3.45 ERA in a team-high 60.0 innings pitched. Smith, who has pitched three complete games, also has 52 strikeouts to go along with just five walks. Freshman Kyle Gorman has a 4-1 record with a 3.44 ERA while freshman Spencer Owen, who earned his second collegiate save at Anderson, boasts a 1.04 ERA out of the Quakers' bullpen. A pair of Pioneers, Tom Banahan and Braden Johnson, have pitched 56.2 innings for Transylvania while both having over 40 strikeouts.
Recent History: Earlham is 6-13 against Transylvania since joining the HCAC prior to the 2011 season. The Pioneers beat the Quakers in both regular season meetings last year, but Earlham returned the favor with two victories over Transylvania in the HCAC Tournament.
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, is closing in on the career records for hits and runs.
HCAC Player of the Week: Howie Smith has been named the HCAC Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season after pitching his third complete game in the first contest at Anderson last weekend.
Senior Weekend: The baseball program will honor the seven seniors for their contributions to the baseball program. A brief ceremony will be held after the game on Saturday.
National Statistics: Earlham is second in all of NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game at 3.58 swipes per contest. Nate Lynch leads the country in stolen bases per game (1.24) and is second in total stolen bases (36).
Coverage: Live statistics and live video of the contest will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham faces Mount St. Joseph at home on Tuesday.