SUWANEE, Ga. - The 2011 SCAC baseball tournament field is set. Rhodes, DePauw and Oglethorpe will represent the Eastern Division. Trinity, Millsaps and Hendrix will represent the Western Division. Conference tournament play begins April 21 at Noon CT as Rhodes and Hendrix open up the 2011 SCAC Baseball Championship.
AROUND THE SCAC
Austin College went 2-1 last
week, picking up a non-conference win against LeTourneau before
splitting their weekend series with Hendrix. The ‘Roos came
back from a 4-1 deficit against LeTourneau to take a 6-4 win on
Tuesday before falling 11-7 to Hendrix on Saturday and turning
around the next day to top the Warriors by an 11-7 margin. Mason
Leech had a huge weekend at the plate for Austin College, going
7-of-8 at the plate with four runs batted in, and Scooter Merritt
batted .545 in the three games. Scott Cottingham hit .500 with a
homer and three RBI and Austin Vaughan drove in four runs. John
Schulmeister picked up a win in relief against LeTourneau, allowing
just two hits and zero runs in 4.1 innings of work, and Christian
Curtis pitched a complete game to get the win over Hendrix on
Sunday. Austin College closes out its season on Monday when they
take on the University of the Ozarks.
Birmingham-Southern (No. 12 – ABCA) went 2-2 this week, including a conference series win against Oglethorpe to clinch the best record in the East Division for the third straight year. Earlier in the week, BSC lost on the road to Covenant College, 11-9. The Panthers then split with the Stormy Petrels on Saturday, and won on Sunday, 7-5. Prior to Saturday’s doubleheader, seniors Sam Hill, Drew Leachman, and Brandon Ricco were honored for recently passing the 200 career hit milestone. It marks the first time in SCAC history that three members of the same graduating class have all achieved 200 career hits in the same season. BSC wraps up the 2011 season this weekend, facing in-state rival Huntingdon on Friday in Montgomery, then again on Saturday in a home doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday will be Senior Day for BSC’s 16 seniors.
Centre dropped all three games on the road to DePauw, losing 11-0 in game one, 11-4 in game two and 7-2 in game three. With the three losses, the Colonels fail to qualify for the SCAC Tournament.
DePauw posted a 3-1 record for the week with a 12-5 loss at Wabash on Wednesday before a three-game sweep of Centre on the weekend which clinched the second seed from the East Division for this week's conference championship. The Tigers opened with an 11-0 win over the Colonels in Saturday's first game. The nightcap was halted due to rain in the bottom of the fifth. It was resumed on Sunday with DePauw taking an 11-4 win. The Tigers then topped Centre, 7-2, in the series finale. For the week, DePauw hit .421 with a .611 slugging percentage and also had nine sacrifice flies. In the three games with the Colonels, DePauw hit .489 and held Centre to a .182 average. Rob McPike batted .733 for the four games (11-15) with six runs, three doubles and two triples with a 1.200 slugging percentage. Jason Cohen was right behind with a .643 (9-14) average and a .786 slugging percentage. Each scored six runs and drove in six. Hobs Donovan pitched a one-hit shutout in Saturday's seven-inning contest as he allowed just three base runners.
Millsaps went 3-1 this week, including two wins over Southwestern to clinch the second seed in this week’s SCAC tournament in Millington. The Majors split a Tuesday double header with the Belhaven Blazers. The NAIA Blazers took game one 9-1 before the Majors got the split in game two, 14-3. That set up the weekend series with Southwestern. The Majors rode a complete game from Aaron Williams on Saturday to get the come-from-behind win, 4-3, to clinch a tournament spot. The second seed was locked up after Sunday’s 14-12 win. Will Hawkins ended the week with 13 RBI off eight hits, including three homeruns for a .533 batting average. The Majors will open tournament play in Thursday’s second game as they take on DePauw, the two-seed out of the East.
Oglethorpe went 1-3 this past week but their lone victory over Birmingham-Southern was a huge one as it qualified Oglethorpe for a second consecutive trip to the SCAC Championships in Millington, Tenn. Earlier in the week Oglethorpe was bested by non-conference foes Emory (L, 13-9) and Piedmont (L, 7-6). After dropping game one of the series 8-0 the Petrels fell behind 7-1 in game two before rallying with a 7-run sixth inning to come away with a 10-9 win. The Petrels loaded the bases with nobody out to start the inning and proceeded to get RBI hits from Cory Leff, Adam Brazenas and Joe Parillo, with an RBI groundout from Jeff Pope. This gave the Petrels a 9-7 lead. From there, Leff entered the game as the pitcher and was able to shut the Panthers down for the final 1 2/3 innings to garner his first save of the year and preserve the victory. He did not allow a hit during his outing and struck out two. The Petrels will face Trinity on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Millington.
Rhodes went 3-0 this week taking all 3 conference games against Sewanee. Rhodes won the first game 2-1 behind 6 strong innings by junior RHP Austin Carden, as Carden improved to 3-6 on the year. Senior RHP Hunter Chandler collected his 5th save of the year in game one as well. Rhodes won the second game 15-1, as the Lynx scored 15 unanswered runs and the combined pitching efforts of sophomore RHP Jackson Baker, junior RHP Brian Lainoff, junior RHP Remick Smothers, and freshman LHP Max Halasz were able to limit the Sewanee bats to 3 hits. On Sunday, Rhodes was able to answer a 6-2 Sewanee lead after 4 innings with 19 unanswered runs in their largest offense output of the season. The Lynx offense was led by senior LF Matt Gilbert who hit .455 (5-11) with 4 doubles, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, and stole 4 bases. Gilbert had a .571 on base percentage and a slugging % of .818. Rhodes will enter this week’s conference tournament as the #1 seed from the Eastern Division and will take on Hendrix College at 12 p.m. Thursday. All the SCAC tournament games will be played at USA stadium in Millington, Tenn.
Sewanee closed out the season this week with a non-conference loss to Emory on Wednesday and a trio of conference losses to rival Rhodes over the weekend. Against the Emory, the Tigers tallied 15 hits, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 18-6. Hugh Osteen was charged with the loss on the mound. In the first game of a three-game SCAC series over the weekend, the Lynx squeaked by Sewanee with a 2-1 win, before winning 15-1 in the second game. Jacob Simpson and Lee Schurlknight picked up the losses on the mound. Jack Rogers drove in Sewanee’s only run in game one with a one-out single in the second, while Alan Komorowski stole home plate to earn the Tigers’ only run in game two. In their season finale, Sewanee held a 6-2 lead after four innings, but Rhodes erupted for 19 unanswered runs over the last three innings to propel the Lynx to a 21-6 win.
No. 24 Trinity finished the regular season with three road games, taking three one-run losses to Schreiner and the University of Dallas. The Tigers are 29-11 heading into the SCAC Tournament this weekend. At the SCAC Tournament, Trinity holds a record of 51-32 overall, and the Tigers have won two of the past three SCAC Championships (2008, 2010). The Tigers are the SCAC West Division Champions for the third time in the past four years, and for the seventh time since the 2001 season. Opening the SCAC Tournament, Trinity will take on #3 East seed Oglethorpe University at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Tigers and Petrels have met 12 times in the SCAC Tournament, with Trinity winning 10 of those meetings. Trinity was also 2-0 in the only meeting between the teams in the SCAC Divisional Playoffs (2008).
For the complete SCAC Diamond Weekly for Week 11, click here.