Wooster Baseball No. 1 For First Time Since 2008

Garrett Crum
Garrett Crum
Nanak Saran
Nanak Saran

D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top-25 Poll

The College of Wooster baseball team reached pole position this week, as the Fighting Scots were voted the No. 1 team in the latest D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top-25 Poll, which was released Tuesday morning by the popular website dedicated to Div. III baseball.

Wooster received 12 first-place votes, and had 602 points overall in the poll. The ranking is the highest since the Scots were the top-ranked team in the 2008 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. The Scots have now been ranked No. 1 in five different seasons in the 2000s, starting in 2002 when Wooster earned top billing for four consecutive weeks. During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Wooster was either No. 1 or No. 2 in the Div. III coaches' poll each week during the regular season.

In addition to the No. 1 ranking, Wooster continues to lead Div. III in scoring at 11.1 runs per game, and the Scots are also tops in the country in slugging percentage (.558), doubles (114), and second in batting average (.362).

On the flip side, Wooster hasn't skipped a beat when in the field this year, as the Scots boast Div. III's second-highest fielding percentage at .980, and the pitching staff led by senior right-hander Nanak Saran is 35th nationally with a 3.38 ERA. Saran, who is 7-1, is just outside the top-30 nationally in victories.

Offensively, junior first baseman Garrett Crum enters the week third with 58 RBI, and ironically, classmate Michael Wielansky has the same ranking and total number of runs scored this year.

Sophomore utility player Dan Harwood typically hits between Crum and Wielansky, and he's having a breakthrough season ranking among Div. III's elite in average (.415), slugging percentage (.769), home runs (10), and RBI (55).

Other recent noteworthy milestones achieved by Wooster's baseball team include head coach Tim Pettorini moving up to fifth all-time in Div. III coaching victories during a doubleheader sweep over Allegheny College on April 21, the team winning its 20th-straight game on the same day, and the Scots picking up Pettorini's 1,200th career win with last week Thursday's 5-1 victory over La Roche College.

Wooster also checked in second in this week's American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Top-30 Poll. The Scots had the most first-place votes (7), but were edged out by Randolph-Macon College for the top spot by a single point.

Wooster (30-5, 13-1 North Coast Athletic Conference) has a tough challenge right off the bat on Tuesday as the Scots head to Otterbein University (26-9, 13-3 Ohio Athletic Conference) for a showdown between league leaders. First pitch from Fishbaugh Field is set for 4 p.m.

Fans can also catch the Scots in action this week at Wittenberg University (13-21, 7-7 NCAC) on Wednesday in a 5 p.m. twin bill, and at home for "senior day" against Kenyon College (14-14, 8-6 NCAC) at noon on Saturday.