TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology baseball team will travel to Augustana University in Moline, Ill., to compete in the six-team NCAA Division III Central Regional starting this Wednesday.
The Fightin' Engineers have earned the No. 5 seed in the regional and will square off with No. 2 seeded St. Thomas (Minn.) in the tournament opener on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Central Time.
Other teams in the Central Region include No. 1 seeded Webster, No. 3 seeded Buena Vista, No. 4 seeded St. Scholastica and No. 6 seeded DePauw. Webster (No. 1) and St. Thomas (No. 8) and Buena Vista (No. 18) are each nationally ranked in the latest d3baseball.com national poll.
Rose-Hulman stands 26-16 on the season and won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday to clinch its sixth bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Fightin' Engineers return to the NCAAs for the first time since 2010 and the fourth time since 2008.
Sophomore Kody Alayon was named HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player after helping the Fightin' Engineers finish a perfect 3-0 in the event last weekend. Alayon leads the Fightin' Engineer offense with a .424 batting average and has added 10 doubles, 15 stolen bases and a .457 on-base percentage. Senior Hank Akard has added a .329 average and paces the squad in hits (56), home runs (4), RBIs (32) and stolen bases (a school record 22).
Other .300 hitters in the starting lineup include sophomore Caleb Kissel (.327, 7 2B), junior Josh Hoeing (.317, 8 2B, 5 3B) and freshman Zach Trusk (.310, 6 2B).
The pitching staff features starting pitchers Andrew Stull (5-4, 2.76), Karson Nixon (5-3, 4.16), R.J. Carroll (3-2, 4.13) and Kevin Farley (6-2, 4.63). The bullpen has included contributions from several pitchers, including Alec McNally (1-2, 3.78, 9 saves), John Krasich (1-1, 4.41 in 19 appearances), Michael Bush (0-0, 1.26 ERA in 14.1 innings) and Daniel Sutherland (4-1, 3.13 in 13 apperances).
St. Thomas won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Tommies are ranked No. 6 nationally in this week's d3baseball.com national poll and are 33-7 overall after sweeping through their conference tournament unbeaten last week.
Top-seeded Webster is also the No. 1 team in the nation in the latest NCAA Division III poll released by d3baseball.com. The Gorloks are 37-5 overall and finished a perfect 26-0 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season standings. Webster enters the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak.
Buena Vista College won the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday and enters the NCAA Division III Tournament on an eight-game winning streak with a 36-7 record. The Beavers are ranked No. 15 nationally in this week's d3baseball.com weekly national poll.
St. Scholastica captured the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament title and stand 30-10 entering NCAA play. The Saints finished 19-1 in their conference and closed the season with 20 consecutive wins.
DePauw University rounds out the field for the Central Region after winning twice on Saturday over top-seeded Wooster to capture the North Coast Athletic Conference tgournament championship. The Tigers are 23-19 overall and finished 13-6 in conference regular season play.
Links to live in-game video and stats from the NCAA Division III Regional will be available at www.rose-hulman.edu/sports. In-game updates will also be posted online @rhitsports.
NCAA BASEBALL REGIONAL PAIRINGS:
Wednesday May 14 - at Augustana College (Ill.)
G1 - #1 Webster vs. #6 DePauw, Noon CT
G2 - #2 St. Thomas vs. #5 Rose-Hulman, 3:30 CT
G3 - #3 Buena Vista vs. #4 St. Scholastica, 7 p.m. CT
Thursday May 15 - at Augustana College (Ill.)
G4 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, Noon CT
G5 - Win Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3, 3:30 p.m. CT
G6 - Win Game 2 vs. Win Game 3, 7 p.m. CT
(Friday and Saturday bracket determined by
number of teams remaining after game five)