GREENWOOD, Ind. – Earlham College claimed its first regular season baseball title this spring, earning the right to host the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament. The tournament will be held at Sadler Stadium Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on the campus of Earlham in Richmond, Indiana.
The Quakers, coached by Steve Sakosits, earned the No. 1 seed with a 26-12 record overall and a 21-6 mark in league play. Manchester finished second with a 18-9 record in HCAC action and an overall mark of 21-19. Mount St. Joseph placed third in the league standings after winning the tie breaker over Rose-Hulman, posting a 22-18 overall record and 16-11 tally in league play. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (18-22, 16-11 HCAC) finished fourth in the HCAC standings and rounds out the four team field.
Top seed Earlham opens play in the 2017 HCAC Baseball Tournament at noon against Rose-Hulman Thursday. No. 2 seed Manchester will tangle with Mount St. Joseph in the second game at 3:30 PM.
Earlham won 16 of their last 17 conference games to secure the regular season championship. The Quakers finished the season with a 26-12 overall record and 21-6 in conference action. Earlham is currently on a seven game win streak and finished the season in league play batting .319 with 58 doubles and 14 home runs. The Quakers also lead the conference in pitching earned run average at 4.07.
Manchester won seven of its last 10 games to move into second place in the final conference standings. The Spartans hit .306 with 55 doubles and 19 home runs, while posting a 5.14 ERA on the mound during conference play.
Mount St. Joseph swept Rose-Hulman last weekend to earn the tie breaker and achieve the No. 3 seed heading into the tournament. The Lions finished the regular season 22-18 and 16-11 in HCAC competition. The Mount tallied a .288 batting average and 53 doubles with 13 home runs. The Lions led the league with a total of 203 strikeouts from the pitching staff.
Rose-Hulman received the No. 4 seed after finishing 18-22 overall and 16-11 in league play. The Fightin' Engineers led the HCAC with a .326 batting average and a .413 on-base percentage with 48 doubles and 170 RBI.
Three games will be played Friday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., and the championship game in the double-elimination event is set for Saturday at noon. An automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship will be awarded to the winner of the championship.
Admission to the tournament will be available: $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and non-HCAC students. Children 11 and under are free. HCAC permanent passes and HCAC faculty, staff, and students with ID are honored. A weekend pass for $20 will also be available.