Baseball America’s College Blog allows us to cover the game like never before, and this year we’re experimenting with coverage of the postseason at levels other than Division I.
The NCAA Division III Regionals began Wednesday night, and each of the eight regions figures to feature some great baseball. Each pod will utilize double elimination with a loser’s bracket, and all eight regions will be over after Sunday with the winner advancing to the finals May 25 through May 29 in Appelton, Wisc.
In the Boyertown Regional, Kean (N.J.) is the No. 1 seed with a record of 36-8. Frostburg (Md.) State has already been eliminated after losing Wednesday to Gwynedd-Mercy (Pa.) College 5-3, and then falling to Kean 7-0 today. The College of New Jersey, Johns Hopkins (Md.) and Gwynedd-Mercy all figure to be Kean’s main competition in this bracket.
There has yet to be any upsets in the Orange Region as Chapman (Calif.), Pacific Lutheran (Wash.), Texas Lutheran and Texas-Dallas each held its own Wednesday and today. No. 5 seed George Fox (Ore.) was the first team to be eliminated, as the Bruins fell to No. 1 seed Chapman 3-0.
The Harwich Regional has had two upsets thus far. On Wednesday, No. 5 seed Keene (N.H.) State defeated No. 4 seed Curry (Mass.) College in extra innings behind a two-run double by James Chavalier in the 10th inning, and No. 6 seed Western New England (Mass.) College beat No. 3 seed Williams (Mass.) College 10-5. This region is home to Wheaton (Mass.) College, last year’s national runner-up and one of the favorites to win it all this year. Wheaton is led by Robert Foote, who is hitting .382 with three home runs and 28 RBIs.
The Wooster Regional is host to one of the best teams in D-III baseball, and last year’s national champion. The College of Wooster (Ohio), the No. 1 seed, is 41-5 and is led by aces Adam Samson (11-0, 1.61) and Matt Barnes (8-1 2.32). The No. 4 seed Marietta (Ohio) College, who defeated Wheaton last season to claim the D-III crown, upset No. 3 seed Hope (Mich.) College 9-1 on Wednesday.
If high-scoring affairs are what you’re after, then the Auburn Regional is for you. In the first four games teams combined to score at least 10 runs in each contest, and three teams logged 10 runs or more. No. 1 seed Cortland (N.Y.) State is led by Mike Zaccardo who is hitting .443 with seven homers and 37 RBIs, and Danny Maycock who’s batting .394 with seven bombs and 53 RBIs.
One of the bigger surprises of Wednesday was No. 6 seed Ferrum (Va.) College blasting No. 3 seed York (Pa.) College 10-2 in the Ferrum Regional. Ferrum pitcher Ryan Cooper pitched a complete game five-hitter for the win. This region has also been kind to the batters, as 74 runs were scored in the first four games. No. 1 seed Emory (Ga.) and No.2 seed Salisbury (Md.) are the favorites to move on to the finals.
In the Bloomington Regional, No. 5 seed Webster (Mo.) upset host No. 2 seed Illinois Wesleyan 11-7 on Wednesday. Luther (Iowa) College, the No. 1 seed, compiled a 29-9 regular-season record and has a potent offense featuring five players with more than 30 RBIs, to go along with a stellar pitching staff led by Nate Todd (7-3, 2.45) and Adam Kohls 8-1 2.55.
This is the second consecutive season that Wisconsin-Stevens Point has hosted a regional, and the Wisconsin Rapids Regional pits some familiar foes against the Pointers. No. 2 seed St. Thomas (Minn.) lost twice this year to Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and No. 3 seed Ripon (Wisc.) College swept the Pointers 4-2 and10-9 on April 21.