Outlook: The final season of baseball at The College of Wooster under the helm of legendary head coach Tim Pettorini continues, as the Fighting Scots were selected at one of the 16 Pool C (at-large teams) to the 58-team 2019 NCAA Div. III Championships. Wooster was selected as one of 16 host sites for the regional tournament, and will welcome the University of Rochester (28-15), Case Western Reserve University (22-13), and Otterbein University (26-16-1) to Art Murray Field for a four-team, double-elimination tournament, which starts on Friday and runs through Sunday.
Game 1 | Friday, May 17, 10 a.m. - Wooster vs. Rochester
Game 2 | Friday, May 17, 1:30 p.m. - CWRU vs. Otterbein
Game 3 | Saturday, May 18, 8:30 a.m. - Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser (elimination game)
Game 4 | Saturday, May 18, 12 p.m. - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
Game 5 | Saturday, May 18, 3:30 p.m. - Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser (elimination game)
Game 6 | Sunday, May 19, 11 a.m. - Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner
Game 7 | Sunday, May 19, 45 min. after game 6 - Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary)
Ticket Info: Daily admission to the 2019 Wooster Regional is as follows: Adults - $10. Seniors/Student/Youth - $7. Art Murray Field will not be cleared between games, so your ticket is good for all games going on that particular day. Tickets are cash only.
Media Coverage: All of the games at the Wooster Regional will have live stats and live video, links to which can be found on Wooster's host site (https://wooster.prestosports.com/sports/bsb/2018-19/NCAA/2019_Baseball_Regional). Fans can also follow the team's Twitter account - @WoosterBaseball - for periodic updates.
Parking/Directions: The entrance to Art Murray Field is located on Gasche St. near the right field corner. It is recommended that fans use the Wooster Inn address (801 E. Wayne Ave., Wooster, Ohio 44691) for GPS navigation. There is limited parking available at Art Murray Field. Additional parking is available at the Wooster Inn, along E. Wayne Ave. (street parking), and at John P. Papp Stadium, accessible on E. University St. Please note there is a hill to climb from John P. Papp Stadium to reach Art Murray Field and there will not be a shuttle.
Swan Song: Wooster is home to the active leader in NCAA Div. III coaching wins - the one and only Tim Pettorini, who owns a 1,239-458-6 record (.729) in 38 seasons, all with the Scots. Pettorini, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2019 season, has guided the team to 26 NCAA regional appearances and a league-best 19 NCAC championships. His squads have won the Mideast Regional and advanced to the eight-team finals on six occasions (1989, 1994, 1997, 2005, 2009, 2018). There, Wooster has a pair of national runner-up finishes (1997, 2009) and a third-place performance (2005) to its credit. Pettorini, who became the seventh Div. III coach to reach 1,000 wins on May 4, 2012, is a 14-time NCAC Coach of the Year. Last year, the legendary skipper moved up to fifth-place on the all-time Div. III coaching list during Wooster's 15-4 win over Allegheny on April 21, 2018.
Unprecedented: Wooster became the first program in NCAC history to win four consecutive conference championships this season, with the Scots officially clinching their league-leading 19th championship with an official announcement from the conference office on Monday, May 6. Wooster previously had a chance to send out a senior class with four consecutive conference championships in 2007, but Ohio Wesleyan University upended the Scots in the 2007 NCAC Tournament, which at the time determined the conference champion. Starting last year, the team with the highest winning percentage in the NCAC is deemed the conference champion since the teams now play a full round-robin schedule. Wooster's in the midst of a NCAC-leading sixth stretch of winning at least two straight conference championships.
A Look-Back at Wooster's Outings Last Week: Wooster's bid at a conference-leading 14th NCAC Tournament crown got off to a strong start, as the Scots downed Wabash College 10-4 in the NCAC Tournament opener last Thursday. Senior utility ace Chandler Dippman (Waterville, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) pitched 8 1/3 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on 11 hits. Offensively, Dippman helped his cause with a home run and three RBI, while defensively, he was able to cut down the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the third inning. In the winners' bracket, Wooster smoked Denison University 19-3. The Scots plated seven runs in the fourth inning despite only having three base knocks in the inning. Freshman Ben Gbur (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) powered the offense that inning with a grand slam. In the championship round, Denison scored three times in the top of the ninth to force the winner-take-all game, and in that contest, the Big Red withstood and eighth inning rally from the Scots.
No Slowing Down: Wooster's offense continues to rate among Div. III's elite. Last year, the Scots led the nation in hits (658), runs (516), doubles (139), and fielding percentage (.978), while this year, Wooster's in the top 10 nationally in average (7th, .340), on-base percentage (8th, .429), slugging percentage (2nd, .539), scoring (8th, 8.9), and homers (5th, 44).
Numero Uno: Wooster started the season in pole position in the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 25 Poll, marking the sixth different season in the 2000s the Scots have had at least one No. 1 ranking. Wooster's first No. 1 ranking this century came in 2002, when the Scots earning top billing for four consecutive weeks. Wooster was either No. 1 or No. 2 in the Div. III coaches' poll each week during the 2006 and 2007 regular seasons, and was No. 1 in CollegiateBaseball's 2008 preseason prognostics. Last season, Wooster was voted No. 1 in the May 1 D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25.
23 in a Row: Senior Garrett Crum (Alliance, Ohio/Canton South) logged Wooster's 12th 20-game hitting streak, reaching the milestone with a fourth-inning double during the Scots' 16-9 win over Denison on April 27. Crum's streak was snapped at 23, as he went hitless in game two of the twin bill against Wittenberg University on May 1. Crum hit a remarkable .526 (51-for-97) during his 23-game run with 35 RBI and 27 runs scored. He was the NCBWA Div. III Honorable Mention Player of the Week for games spanning April 22-28.
RBI Machine: Very few Div. III players have been as consistent as Crum when it comes to driving in runs. The Scots' standout first baseman ranked in the top 10 in Div. III in RBI as a sophomore and junior, and he enters the NCAA Regional needing six for a third straight 50-RBI campaign. For his career, Crum's 170 RBI are the 11th-most in program history, and he enters the week with 191 career base knocks.
Utility Ace: Dippman's well established as one of the premier utility men in all of Div. III. The four-year starter has seen his role shift around some this year, as he's spent time as the starter at second base as well as designated hitter, but one thing's for certain - he has a knack for stepping up in the biggest games. The senior was on a roll earlier this season on the bump as he had a four-start stretch (Bethany College, Hiram College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash) during which he allowed one run on 17 hits in 26 innings of work. The right-hander went the distance against Wabash, during which he fired a two-hit shutout on 80 pitches. A week prior, he allowed one run on five hits in a complete-game effort versus Ohio Wesleyan.
Simply Getting on Base: Last year, junior Dan Harwood (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) enjoyed a breakthrough season during which he clubbed 14 homers and drove in 72 runs en route to earning All-American honors. While his power numbers are down this year, he's actually a more well-rounded player. That's because Harwood's hitting a career-high .400 (61-for-152) and is reaching base at a .514 clip. The junior's walked 23 times and has been hit 11 times.
Filling Big Shoes: Senior Jacob Stuursma (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) came into the season already established as one of the premier infielders in the NCAC. Nonetheless, he had some big shoes to fill with moving over to shortstop to replace Michael Wielansky, the 2018 American Baseball Coaches Association's Div. III National Player of the Year. Stuursma's excelled in his new position, and he enters the NCAA Regional as the team's leader in runs (46), while also ranking second on the team in hits (60) and third in average (.387).
"King of the Hill": Sophomore Andrew Hill (New Albany, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy (Va.)) fired the 13th no-hitter in program history during Wooster's 16-0 win over Allegheny College on April 21. The sophomore's electric stuff was just what the Scots needed to get back on track after falling in game one to the Gators, 6-1. While Hill's tops on the team with 52 strikeouts, it was the defense behind the righty getting the job done all afternoon and keeping the no-no intact. Twelve of the 13 batters Hill faced between innings two and five were retired, and only one by means of a strikeout. Hill's no-hitter is the program's first since Kyle Cunningham-Rhoads' perfect game against Hiram on April 15, 2012.
Old Reliable: Senior Wyatt Linde (Boulder, Colo./Boulder) has trotted out of the bullpen a team-high 20 times this season. He's 2-1 on the year with a save, and sports a 3.48 ERA over 20 2/3 innings. Last year, the southpaw appeared in 28 games, marking the second-most in program history. For his career, Linde's 6-3 with a 4.55 ERA over 79 2/3 innings. His 63 career relief appearances are tied for the fifth-most all-time at the College.
Faxon Enters NCAA Regional on a Roll: Sophomore Evan Faxon (Cleveland Hts., Ohio/Hawken School) is a key reason why the Scots are still playing this week. During Wooster's run up to cliching its league-leading 19th NCAC title, the southpaw fired 8 1/3 innings of three-hit shutout baseball during a 1-0 win at Kenyon College back on May 4.