NCAA Tournament York (Pa.) Regional | Game #4
No. 21/23 Baseball vs. Catholic
Thursday, May 17—7:45 p.m.
PeoplesBank Park—York, Pa.
Babson and Catholic will meet for the first time in the opening round of the York Regional on Thursday night.
ABOUT THE YORK REGIONAL
The eight-team double elimination regional features seven teams with 30 or more wins, a group that includes five 2017 NCAA Tournament participants in top-seeded Rowan, the second-seeded Beavers, third-seeded Arcadia, fifth-seeded Misericordia and eighth-seeded Castleton. The Profs (No. 2 Collegiate Baseball/No. 2 D3baseball.com) are the only program to capture a regional title, their last coming in 2006, in addition to winning national championships in 1978 and 1979.
Game 1: No. 4 Virginia Wesleyan (28-14) vs. No. 5 Misericordia (31-12), 10 a.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Rowan (33-9) vs. No. 8 Castleton (30-10), 1:15 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Arcadia (30-14) vs. No. 6 Union (30-11), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Babson (32-10) vs. No. 7 Catholic (31-13), 7:45 p.m.
BABSON IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Beavers are making their second straight trip to the regionals and fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Babson is 5-6 all-time and won four times last year on its way to reaching the Harwich Regional final.
CATHOLIC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Cardinals are back in the postseason for the first time since 2015 and third time overall. Catholic is 1-4 all-time in NCAA regional play with its lone win coming in its tournament debut back in 2011.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Catholic (31-13) rallied to earn the Landmark Conference's automatic bid by winning three straight elimination games last Sunday. Senior Brennan Cotter keyed back-to-back wins over Scranton on Sunday and was selected as the tournament most valuable player after driving in 10 runs over five contests. Cotter is batting .368 with 19 doubles, 10 homers and 64 runs batted in, junior Bailey Lewis is hitting .338 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 29 RBI, and senior Jake Crist enters the regionals with a .325 average to go along with 13 doubles, six homers and 39 runs driven in. Junior Jon Mierzwa is 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 54.2 innings, while classmate Colin Brown has gone 3-1 with four saves and 26 strikeouts in 23.0 innings out of the bullpen.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
No. 21/23 Babson (32-10) has won 11 straight games after defeating Wheaton, 11-5, back on May 6 to capture its second consecutive NEWMAC Tournament title. Junior Eric Jaun was 4-for-5 with three RBI and senior Ryan Arena and junior Connor Gill both had three hits for the Beavers, who rallied from an early three-run deficit. Arena is batting .369 with 13 doubles, nine homers and 43 runs batted in, junior Brian McHale is hitting .317 with 21 extra-base hits and 44 runs scored, and senior Mark Webber enters the regional with a .314 average to go along with 12 doubles, five homers, 35 RBI and 40 runs scored. Gill (6-1) has a 2.65 ERA in nine starts, junior Michael Genaro is 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 65.1 innings, and senior John Floegel has gone 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 58.0 innings this spring.
Thursday's regional opener against Catholic will be just the second night game of the year for the Beavers, who blanked Hope 5-0 in the second game of a doubleheader back on March 17. Babson has won its last three games under the lights going back to last April.
STREAKING INTO THE POSTSEASON
For the second year in a row the Green and White enters the NCAA regionals riding a double-digit winning streak. Babson has won 11 straight games heading into the Thursday's tilt with Catholic, which is tied for the second longest streak in Division III and is just two games shy of the program record of 13 set in last year's win over Salve Regina to open the Harwich Regional.
STAYING HOT AT THE PLATE
Sophomore Matthew Valente is riding a 10-game hitting streak entering Thursday's contest against Catholic, and both he and junior Edward Lehr have reached base in 13 straight outings. Sophomore Sean Harrington and Arena have also reached base safely in 11 and 10 games, respectively.
Gill, Jaun and Lehr were three of five Babson players named to the Harwich Regional All-Tournament team last May. Gill batted .500 (10-for-20) with four doubles and six RBI, Jaun hit .385 (10-for-26) with five RBI and Lehr tossed a complete-game two-hitter in the Beavers' 9-1 elimination-game victory over Suffolk.
Arena is just the third player in program history to drive in at least 40 runs and cross the plate 40 or more times in a single season at Babson. His 48 runs scored this spring are one shy of Eric Previte's 1998 record and his 43 RBI are the most by a Beaver since 1998.
FIVE RECOGNIZED WITH NEWMAC HONORS
Arena became the Beavers' first conference player of the year selection since 2011 and head coach Matt Noone was tabbed as the NEWMAC Coach of the Year when the league released its postseason awards on May 9. Arena was joined on the first team by Genaro, while McHale and Gill, who earned NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors, were both named to the all-conference second team.
ASSAULT ON THE RECORD BOOKS
In addition to setting a new school mark for wins in a season, the Green and White enters the regionals having already set new single-season offensive records for runs (334), doubles (98), total bases (676) and walks (203), are tied for second in home runs (33) and rank third in hit batsmen (55). The Beavers' pitching staff has also set a club record for strikeouts with 292.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Beavers are 28-1 when leading after six innings this season.