In a rematch of the 2006 Division III national championship, the Marietta (Ohio) defeated Wheaton (Mass.) Wednesday afternoon by the same score as six years ago, 7-2, to win the Division III baseball crown once again in Appleton, Wis. This is their second consecutive national title and the sixth all time for the Pioneers. It also marks the first time since 1979 that Division III has seen a repeat champion.
After losing to St. Thomas on Sunday, Marietta won four straight elimination games to regain the title of national champions. Marietta senior righthander Brian Gasser earned the win after yielding just two runs and eight hits while striking out six over eight innings. It was Gasser's 11th victory on the season.
Defending Division III national champion Marietta (Ohio) will get a chance to defend its crown after knocking off St. Thomas (Minn.) 5-0 behind a dominant pitching effort by senior righthander Mike Mahaffey. The Pioneers will face Wheaton (Mass.) in the championship game scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis.
Mahaffey gave the five-time champion Pioneers a much-needed quality start and allowed the bullpen to rest for the second half of today's doubleheader by tossing eight shutout innings in which he yielded just four hits and a walk. Marietta senior shortstop Tim Saunders went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and junior left fielder Mitch Geers added three hits and two RBIs to lead Marietta.
St. Thomas showed signs of a rally in the eighth inning after Ben Podobinski and Dan Reichert hit back-to-back singles. However, nothing come of it as Mahaffey sat down the next three batters to end the threat. Kyle Lindquist tossed a scoreless ninth, though he did walk a pair, to end the game.
Marietta moves on to face a familiar foe in the championship. The Pioneers knocked off Wheaton, which advanced out of the winner's bracket, last night in a 6-5 extra-inning affair. In 2006, the two teams met in the championship game with Marietta knocking off an upstart Wheaton program. [...] Continue Reading »
St. Thomas (Minn.) and Marietta (Ohio) will meet in a Division III tournament elimination game today at noon, with a berth in this afternoon’s championship game against Wheaton (Mass.) at stake.
Either the Tommies or Pioneers will have to win twice today to take home a national title after rain washed out much of the action on Saturday at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis. Wheaton advanced to the title game, scheduled for 3 p.m. today, by winning the winner’s bracket.
St. Thomas earned a spot in the first game today by beating Cortland (N.Y.) State, 7-6, yesterday afternoon. Marietta earned its spot last night with 6-5, 10-inning victory over Wheaton, which was already assured a berth in the final.
When: May 27-31, 2012
Where: Appleton, Wis., Fox Cities Stadium
Who: Christopher Newport, Va. (34-8), Cortland, N.Y., State (39-7-1), Kean, N.J. (37-10), Marietta, Ohio (43-7), St. Thomas, Minn. (38-8), Webster, Mo. (35-12), Wheaton, Mass. (38-9), and Whitworth, Wash. (30-14-1)
Quick Facts: Eight-team double-elimination tournament. Marietta returns to the tournament after winning the national championship in 2011. Whitworth and Webster are making their first appearances. This marks the 13th year that Appleton has hosted the Championship. [...] Continue Reading »
Learning how to deal with adversity is a challenge for any team, but having to swallow an 11-run loss just an hour before an all-or-nothing national championship game is something few teams, if any, have to face.
Such was the case for Marietta (Ohio) College, who overcame their lone bump in a near perfect season to defeat Chapman (Calif.) University 18-5 for the Division III crown on Tuesday afternoon. Heading into the title game, the Pioneers had a 46-3 record and were in the midst of a 22-game winning streak that saw them bully their way through the Mideast Regional, outscoring opponents 38-9 in four games, and the World Series, outscoring opponents 33-7 in four games.
Rightfully so, the Etta Express, as they are known in Division III circles, was brimming with confidence heading into the tournament’s final day.
“We felt pretty good about where we were,” head coach Brian Brewer said. “Our bullpen was well rested and we knew we would have (senior Brian) Gasser in game one and (junior Austin) Blaski in game two if we needed it, so match-up wise we felt pretty good about winning one of two.”
As it turned out, the Pioneers would need two. Despite throwing Gasser—the ABCA/Rawlings co-national player of the year and D3baseball.com’s national pitcher of the year—in game one, Chapman knocked the Express off their tracks with a 15-4 win, taking advantage of a throwing error to score four unearned runs in the top of the third. The Panthers would then manufacture another run in the fourth before scoring three more unearned runs in the fifth to take a commanding 8-0 lead.
Marietta would score four in their half of the fifth, but Chapman tacked on seven more in the final four innings to force a winner-take-all scenario for the D-III crown.
“There was some disappointment after the game, but we still believed,” Brewer said. “We knew that the longer the day went, the bigger advantage we had because of our depth and our pitching. We didn’t push the panic button and focused all our efforts on winning game two.”
The Pioneers came out swinging in game two, but it wasn’t until after a failed safety squeeze with one out in the first that the runs began to pile on. With runners on first and second and two outs, sophomore right fielder Aaron Hopper hit a double over the center fielder’s head to put Marietta on top early.
“Getting on the board early like that was huge,” Brewer said. “That was Hop; that was what he did all year for us in the five spot. Biggest hit of the year.”
Holding on to that lead, Brewer said, was due in large part to senior center fielder and first team ABCA all-American John Snyder.
“(Chapman) had a similar situation in the bottom of the first with a runner on second and they hit a ball just like Hop’s that Johnny played great because he adjusted to the wind and conditions and learned from what had just happened,” he said.
Snyder’s defensive prowess aside, it was his bat in the middle of the lineup, along with Hopper and fellow ABCA first team all-American Tim Saunders, that gave Marietta its fifth overall national championship, tops among D-III schools.
“Those guys are all special,” Brewer said. “Johnny’s our guy. He’s our leader and the best player on the best team in the country. Hop is still young but he’s one of our first pro position player prospects and is just starting to understand how good he can actually be. And Timmy can jump out of a gym. He was our four-hitter but was more of a basestealer, first-to-third type guy. They were all great.”
The three Pioneers went 8-for-19 in game two with nine runs scored and seven RBIs sparking a seven-run third en route to the drubbing.
Although the offense stole the show on title day, it was Marietta’s pitching staff that dominated for much of the season, as shown by their comical 1.74 team ERA. The Express were lead by Gasser (14-1, 1.06, 86 strikeouts in 93 IP), and Blaski (12-2, 1.62, 86 strikeouts in 95 IP), who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after his six innings of two-hit work in the clinching win. All-tournament selection senior Mark Williams (8-1, 1.56, 97 K’s in 79 IP) pitched in relief of game one of each playoff tournament and then started game three of each. Junior closer Kyle Lindquist (12 SV’s, 1.70 ERA) recorded the final out before being mauled on the mound by his teammates.
“This was a special group,” Brewer said. “The preparation that the guys put in and the commitment they made to each other and the program made the season really simple. We never got caught up in the wins or what we did yesterday or what we’ll do tomorrow, and it takes a great group of players, a great coaching staff, and great trainers to stay in the moment like that.”
Three College World Series start this weekend, beginning Friday at 11 a.m. in Appleton, Wis., where the Division III World Series is being held. The NAIA World Series will begin later in the day in Lewiston, Idaho, and Division II starts Saturday at 1 p.m. in Cary, N.C.
The Division II Series headliner is Mount Olive (N.C.) righthander Carter Capps, the top small college prospect in this year’s draft. Capps was picked as preseason Pitcher of the Year and followed that up by remaining undefeated in his career with a 14-0, 1.37 mark. He has struck out 124 batters in 111 innings. Capps broke the Division II record for consecutive victories, extending his career winning streak to 24 games. Mount Olive is chasing its second national championship in four years and will likely be the fan favorite in Cary. Mount Olive, the official host school, is located about an hour and a half from Cary.
By Bubba Brown
The Division II World Series bracket is set and the double-elimination tournament is ready to kick off Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Here’s a look at the eight teams that will be competing for the title.
Atlantic Region Champion—Kutztown (Pa.): After losing the first game of the regional, the Golden Bears won four straight, including head coach Chris Blum’s 300th career win, to return to the D-II World Series for the first time since 2007. [...] Continue Reading »
While the Division I brackets haven’t been set yet, the NCAA released the Division II and D-III tournament fields on Monday.
For Division II, the host sites are Grand Junction, Colo., for the Central Regional; Kutztown, Pa., for the Atlantic Regional; Chillicothe, Ohio, for the Midwest Regional; Rindge, N.H., for the East Regional; Magnolia, Ark., for the South Regional; Aiken, S.C., for the Southeast Regional; Warrensburg, Mo., for the South Central Regional; and Keizer, Ore., for the West Regional.
“I don’t think anyone can beat us twice in one day."
Twenty-four hours ago it was hard to argue with Trinity first baseman Kent Graham’s bold proclamation to the Hartford Courant that the Bantams couldn’t lose twice in one day to Johns Hopkins. Graham was correct, but by the end of Tuesday the previously unbeaten Bantams had been taken to the brink of elimination by a resilient Hopkins squad.
After failing to clinch the title in Tuesday’s first game, Trinity took home its first-ever D-III Baseball Championship with a 5-4 walk-off victory over Johns Hopkins in the afternoon’s deciding game.
Trinity trailed 4-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth and was three outs away from watching an undefeated season unravel on a chilly Wisconsin day. With one out in the bottom half of the ninth Trinity strung together back-to-back base hits, along with a stolen base, to put runners at second and third.
Hopkins sat one out away from a national title after reliever Matt Wiegand struck out Trinity shortstop Thomas DiBendetto. Choosing not to challenge Trinity’s DH Chandler Barnard, Wiegand intentionally walked him to load the bases, setting up a potential force out at any base to seal the championship.
Wiegand walked Bantam center fielder Matt Sullivan to tie the game, bringing up senior third baseman Guy Gogliettino. Gogliettino, who entered the game late as a defensive substitution, is not regarded for his hitting, batting only .259 on the season. He came to the plate in the ninth for the first time in the World Series.
Gogliettino wouldn’t need to get a hit as Wiegand ended the championship by issuing a bases-loaded walk. James Wood came home to a mob scene at home plate, representing the championship-winning run.
The fatigue of six games in five days clearly wore on the Blue Jays as they committed five errors in the second game of the day along with a litany of baserunning mistakes in both the first and second games of the day. Hopkins third baseman Todd Emr, one of the team’s leading hitters, struggled mightily in the deciding game, going 0-for-4 along with three errors in the field. Despite that, Hopkins became the first team to beat Trinity all year and nearly won a national championship.
Trinity propelled itself to an early lead with two runs in the second, a rally keyed by Mark Sullivan’s RBI triple. The Bantams led until the top of the eighth when Hopkins center fielder Rob Pietroforte’s two-run triple gave the Blue Jays a short-lived lead. Trinity answered back in the bottom of the inning when pitch-hitter Matt Stafford singled up the middle to drive in the tying run.
Hopkins first baseman Matt Benchener put the Blue Jays back ahead in the top of the ninth with a sacrifice fly scoring Tony Margve. Wiegand came out of the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth and take the loss, his first of the year.
Trinity’s quest for an undefeated season came to a halt on Tuesday afternoon in Appleton, Wisc., as Johns Hopkins scored the winning run on a wild pitch third strike in the ninth to down the Bantams 4-3. A win would have clinched the Division III World Series championship for Trinity, but instead the two teams receive a 30-minute breather before facing off in a decisive game at 3 p.m.
Hopkins (42-7) became the first team in 2008 to defeat the Bantams (44-1) thanks to a complete-game effort from Chez Angeloni. Angeloni scattered nine hits and a walk while allowing just three runs and striking out eight.
Angeloni’s outing was matched by Trinity ace Tim Kiely. Pitching on three days rest, Kiely delivered his second complete game of the World Series, but came up on the losing end of a decision for the first time all year. Kiely struck out 11 while allowing the Blue Jays nine hits. [...] Continue Reading »
BA’s Austin Maloney updates the Division III College World Series, with Trinity (Conn.) chasing history:
Chasing an unprecedented undefeated season, Trinity (Conn.) College had rolled through conference and non-conference competition in the regular season, leading some to believe it had played a less than challenging schedule. Any questions about Trinity’s ability to beat upper-echelon opponents have been answered this weekend at the Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wis..
Trinity’s 44th straight victory Sunday night propelled the Bantams to the championship game. They knocked off Johns Hopkins 8-5 to advance and send the Blue Jays to the losers’ bracket. Trinity has used their strong pitching along with some opportunistic offense to move on. Sophomore James Wood led the Bantam attack with three RBIs, including a home run to deep center field in the third inning of Sunday’s victory.
Trinity won games on Friday and Saturday to advance to Sunday’s matchup against Hopkins. The Bantams held off a late Linfield (Ore.) rally to win 6-5 over Scott Brosius’ Wildcats. Trinity led 6-2 going into the eighth, but its lead was cut to one when third baseman Rhett Fenton hit a three-run shot to trim the Bantam lead to one. [...] Continue Reading »
The NCAA Division III baseball tournament has narrowed its field from 54 to eight as Championship Tournament play opens up today with four games. Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis., home of the Midwest League’s Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, hosts the D-III World Series. The double-elimination tournament features the winners of eight regionals from across the country, including undefeated Trinity (Conn.) College, which enters the weekend with an NCAA-record 41 straight wins.
After the first day of games, the tournament will progress into a double-elimination format with a winners’ bracket and a losers’ bracket.
DAY ONE SCHEDULE
Game 1: Chapman (Calif). Vs. Kean (N.J.)
Game 2: Adrian (Mich.) College vs. Johns Hopkins (Md.)
Game 3: Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Linfield (Ore.) College
Game 4: Cortland State (N.Y.) vs. Trinity (Conn.) College [...] Continue Reading »
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