WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania – The Earlham College baseball team faces SUNY (State University of New York) Cortland in an elimination game of the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional on Saturday. First pitch between the Quakers and Red Dragons is slated for 1:15 p.m.
The Teams: Earlham and SUNY Cortland. The Quakers (30-13) opened the regional seeded No. 8, but knocked off the College of Wooster on Thursday before falling to host Washington & Jefferson College 15-6 on Friday. The Red Dragons (34-8) entered the regional ranked No. 4 in the country by d3baseball.com and No. 2 in the Mideast Regional. SUNY Cortland fell to DePauw University 8-5 on Thursday before rebounding to beat Laroche College 10-2 on Friday.
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 (146) and led the Quakers to their first HCAC regular season and tournament championships in 2017. Joe Brown has led SUNY Cortland to the NCAA Division III Tournament in each of his 17 seasons as head coach including a national title in 2015.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Nate Lynch leads Earlham in average at a .412 clip while also driving in 34 runs at the top of the batting order. Lynch, who leads NCAA Division III in stolen bases, has swiped 47 bases this season. Senior Eric Elkus, the program's career leader in runs batted in and home runs, has 59 RBIs to go along with 10 home runs, 17 doubles, and a .343 batting average. Seniors Brennan Laird and Matt Barger both hit over .320, have driven in at least 25 runs, and have stolen at least 25 bases. Steven Figueroa, Tyler Phillips, and Justin Teague lead the Red Dragon offense as each over a .400 batting average. Jack Massa leads SUNY Cortland in doubles with 10 and RBIs with 38.
Pitchers to Watch: Howie Smith is Earlham's career leader in wins and boasts a 2.48 ERA in 94.1 innings pitched. The senior also leads the team in wins with nine and strikeouts with 71. Freshman Kyle Gorman is 7-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 74.2 innings pitched while freshman Spencer Owen has a 2.70 ERA and three saves out of the Quakers' bullpen. SUNY Cortland features a pitching staff with a team ERA of 3.12. Alex Weingarten and Jeff Cooke each boast ERAs under 2.50 and have combined for 13 victories. Anthony Visconte has a 1.26 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 14.1 innings out of the Red Dragons' bullpen.
NCAA Tournament History: Earlham is 1-1 all-time in the NCAA Division III Tournament after the 6-2 win over Wooster and the loss to W&J. The win was the Quakers' first NCAA Tournament win as a department. SUNY Cortland has the most appearances in the NCAA Division III College World Series of any team (14).
Tops in The Country: Earlham leads NCAA Division III in stolen bases (149) and stolen bases per game (3.63). SUNY Cortland has the 12th lowest team ERA in the country.
Tickets: General admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students and children. A $20 pass for the entire tournament is also available. Children ages six and under are free. Parking is $5 per car.
Coverage: Live video and live statistics will be available - visit the links above.
Up Next: The winner of the game will face either Wooster or the loser of DePauw vs. Keystone (rescheduled for Saturday morning at 10 a.m.) on Sunday.