Shenandoah baseball lands in Mid-East Regional in Michigan

Hornets qualified for their ninth NCAA Division III playoff appearance in the last 10 seasons with their second ODAC tournament title

Shenandoah University’s baseball team earned a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons by winning the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament on Sunday afternoon. The Hornets learned on Monday morning where their playoff journey will continue.

Shenandoah, ranked 18th in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA poll, was selected for the Mid-East Regional hosted by Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. The Hornets are the fifth seed and will take on No. 4 Marietta (Ohio) in a 10 a.m. contest Thursday morning, the opening game of the double-elimination round scheduled to run through this weekend.

Wooster (Ohio) is the Adrian Regional’s top seed, followed by No. 2 Otterbein (Ohio), No. 3 La Roche (Pennsylvania), No. 6 Ithaca (New York), No. 7 Adrian and No. 8 Wabash (Indiana).

Shenandoah has not played any of the other Mid-East Regional teams this season. The Hornets swept a pair of games with La Roche in 2017 and defeated Adrian and Marietta in the NCAA regional round in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Marietta’s 2018 squad enters its matchup against Shenandoah with an overall record of 27-16 and has lost five of its last six games. The Pioneers were the second seed in last week’s Ohio Athletic Conference tournament, during which they went 1-2.

As a team Marietta is batting .277 and is averaging 5.9 runs per game while its pitching staff has a combined 3.93 ERA, one of the top marks in the 10-team OAC. Pioneers senior David Stover was named the 2018 OAC Pitcher of the Year after going 10-2 with a save, a 2.23 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 72 innings pitched during the regular season.

Shenandoah (34-10), meanwhile, has a team batting average of .331 – which ranks 18th in all of Division III – and has scored 399 total runs, the third-highest mark in the nation. SU, which has a 3.66 team ERA, is averaging 9.1 runs per game.

The Hornets, winners of seven straight, are coming off a perfect 3-0 run through their conference tournament that ended with the team’s second ODAC title. SU ¬- the fourth seed in the ODAC tournament – upset No. 1 Randolph-Macon, 9-7, in the opening game of the tournament’s second weekend last Friday, and then beat No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan (8-3 on Saturday) and No. 3 Roanoke (8-4 in 10 innings on Sunday) to earn the conference crown and the ODAC’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Sophomore designated hitter Keegan Woolford started the Hornets’ four-run 10th inning against Roanoke on Sunday with a solo home run to break a 4-4 tie. Christian Rice’s RBI single gave SU a 6-4 lead, and an error on the play allowed a second run to score before Henry Delavergne’s sacrfice fly capped the scoring.

Shenandoah’s Woolford, Michael Bugonowicz (pitcher), Chase Smallwood (catcher), Robbie Marcelle (infielder), Luke Nussman (infielder) and Nick Goode (outfielder) all made the ODAC all-tournament team, and Hornets second baseman Tristan Baker was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Baker was 7-for-19 with a double, six RBIs and six runs scored in five tournament games.

Shenandoah was one of three ODAC teams selected to the NCAA tournament. Randolph-Macon earned the top seed in the Holly Springs (North Carolina) Regional, while Virginia Wesleyan is the No. 4 seed in the York (Pennsylvania) Regional.

The winner of each of the eight regionals advances to the NCAA Division III World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin. There are 56 teams in this year’s NCAA tournament.

Adrian College, located 36 miles northeast of Toledo, Ohio, is approximately 450 miles from Winchester, according to a news release from Shenandoah.