ODAC Tournament Preview: Baseball
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team enters the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Baseball Tournament as the No. 4 seed in the six team field. The Marlins will face No. 3 Randolph-Macon College in the 6 p.m. game on Friday.
The entire baseball tournament will be held at Lynchburg City Stadium, home of the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Advanced-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The tournament was originally scheduled to begin on Thursday and run through Sunday, but due to rainy conditions expected in Lynchburg, play has been pushed back a day with games slated to start on Friday.
No. 3 Randolph-Macon vs. No. 4 Virginia Wesleyan – Friday, 6 p.m.
The Marlins (20-18/11-9) will face Randolph-Macon (25-12/13-7) in the third and final game on Thursday. Randolph-Macon swept the Marlins in the both regular season contests by a combined score of 24-3.
Cole Migliorini (.391, 9 HR, 44 RBI) leads the Yellow Jacket offense and is a potential ODAC Player of the Year candidate. Jeff Butler (.375, 38 R, 4 HR, 32 RBI) and Ryan Duphorn (.338, 45 R, 16 SB) help lead the charge from the top of the order for a team that averages 8.24 runs per game.
Virginia Wesleyan could face Matthew Nickles (3-3, 5.03 ERA), who threw seven shutout innings, striking out seven Marlins on April 11. Nick Roth III (5-0, 2.70 ERA) could also draw the start as the Yellow Jackets attempt to capture a first round victory.
The Marlins will likely turn to freshman Patrick Monteverde (6-2, 2.20 ERA) who has pitched out of the bullpen in each of the two losses to R-MC this year. He allowed three earned runs on four hits in three combined innings between the two games.
VWC will need the top two hitters in the order, Brandon Kussmaul (.325, 35 R, 14 2B) and Corey King (.358, 39 R, 23 RBI), to set the tone and get on base early for Justin Erby (.403, 43 R, 5 HR, 40 RBI) if the Marlins hope to pull off the upset.
No. 1 Shenandoah vs. No. 6 Roanoke – Friday, 11 a.m.
Shenandoah (33-6/16-4), ranked No. 1 in Division III, swept Roanoke College (25-15/9-11) by a scores of 3-1 and 9-2 in late March.
Shenandoah will turn to Colin Morse (8-0, 2.60 ERA) in the first game. He allowed just two runs in eight innings as Shenandoah defeated Roanoke 9-2 earlier this year. Jake Loew is one of the most dangerous bats in the ODAC, posting a .378 batting average, 44 runs, 10 home runs, and 49 RBI.
The Maroons are just 4-7 in their last 11 games, nearly dropping them out of the ODAC tournament field. Dean Hermanson (.346, 21 R, 20 RBI) and Sean Guida (.341, 42 R, 8 3B, 27 RBI) lead the offensive effort.
John Ruhlman (3-5, 4.24 ERA) will likely see the mound assignment for Roanoke. He lost to Shenandoah after allowing three earned runs in seven innings of work. He struck out five and walked four.
No. 2 Washington and Lee vs. No. 5 Hampden-Sydney – Friday, 2:30 p.m.
Washington and Lee (25-12/16-4) enters the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the ODAC and will face Hampden-Sydney (21-17/10-10). The Generals swept H-SC in the regular season, winning the first game 6-0 before capturing the second, 9-8, in 12 innings.
Tom Concklin (6-3, 2.97 ERA) will be penciled into the lineup at pitcher. He threw a shutout against the Tigers on March 11, allowing just five hits while striking out five. Closer Danny Devereux (8-1, 2.34 ERA, 5 SV) will need to have a good tournament if W&L is to advance far.
Chase Mayberry (4-0, 2.80 ERA) will look to continue his strong freshman campaign against W&L. Fellow freshman Jonathan Triesler (4-2, 3.24 ERA, 2 SV) may also see time out of the bullpen.