NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Saint Joseph's vs. Wheaton

NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Saint Joseph's vs. Wheaton

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

STANDISH, Maine - Saint Joseph's College (32-10) will face Wheaton College (27-10) at Monan Park in Boston in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament on Friday, May 17th at 2:30 PM. UMass.-Boston (30-11), as the top seed, will serve as the four-team pod host with #2 Wheaton, #3 Saint Joseph's, and #4 Baruch (16-18) filling out the bracket for the weekend.

Both programs are listed among the nation's top programs in the latest American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Collegiate Baseball Poll, as Wheaton is ranked 26th and Saint Joseph's received votes for the sixth-consecutive week.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT:

Featuring a new format this spring, the NCAA Tournament will have 16 regional sites – 13 four-team pods and three two-team locales. The four-team regionals will use a double-elimination format and the two-team regionals will play a best-of-five series.

Winners of the 16 regional tournaments will qualify for first super regional round in Division III baseball history with the teams competing in a best-of-three format Friday-Saturday, May 24-25. The eight super regional winners advance to the NCAA DIII Baseball World Series, which will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa starting on May 31st.

TOURNEY SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, MAY 17TH:

G1: #4 Baruch vs. #1 UMass.-Boston, 11:00 AM
G2: #3 Saint Joseph's vs. #2 Wheaton, 2:30 PM

SATURDAY, MAY 18TH:

G3: G1 loser vs. G2 loser, 11:00 AM (loser eliminated)
G4: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 2:30 PM
G5: G3 winner vs. G4 loser, 6:00 PM (loser eliminated)

SUNDAY, MAY 19TH:

G6: G4 winner vs. G5 winner, 11:00 AM
G7: If necessary, 45 minutes following G6 completion

TICKETS & DIRECTIONS:

Tickets will be five dollars for all fans. All fans are required to park at UMass Boston's West Garage-which is located directly next to Monan Park. Fans check out the location of Monan Park and how to get to the West Garage on the linked map of UMass Boston's campus. No fans will be allowed to park in the Boston College High School Lots. If fans park in the B.C. High School Lots, they will be towed

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Saint Joseph's earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament after defeating Johnson & Wales, 8-7 in 11 innings, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship at Fraser Field in Lynn, Massachusetts last Sunday.

Wheaton is one of 16 teams nationally to claim a Pool C berth as the Lyons went 0-2 in the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament last week.

Wheaton is one of four New England Region programs to claim an at-large berth along with Southern Maine, Babson, and Trinity.

WHO TO WATCH – SAINT JOSEPH'S:

  • Senior shortstop Joey Murphy (Derry, N.H.), the 2019 GNAC Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-Conference honoree, is hitting .428 (65-152) with 45 runs, 11 doubles, a triple, a home run, 21 RBI, and 36 steals in 39 attempts
  • Senior outfielder Jared Gagne (Dover, N.H.), also a two-time First Team All-GNAC selection, is hitting .413 (59-143) with 46 runs, 10 doubles, six triples, one home run, 30 RBI, and 35 stolen bases in 40 attempts while starting all 42 games this spring
  • Senior catcher Greg Emanuelson (Hudson, N.H.) claimed First Team All-GNAC accolades after hitting .343 (49-143) with 33 runs, 10 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 47 RBI, and eight stolen bases while starting all 42 of the Monks' games this season
  • Freshman pitcher Matt Bergeron (Salem, N.H.) garnered First Team All-GNAC honors after posting a 2.88 ERA with a 6-3 record and 28 strikeouts and just nine walks in 50 innings this season
  • Sophomore starter Zach Begin (Georgetown, Mass.) was selected as a Third Team All-GNAC honor after posting a perfect 6-0 record with a 4.82 ERA and 50 strikeouts while walking 21 batters in 46.2 innings

WHO TO WATCH – WHEATON:

  • Senior outfielder Jared Sharkey (West Bridgewater, Mass.) was selected as the NEWMAC Player of the Year after hitting .322 (49-152) with 40 runs, nine doubles, 11 home runs, and 48 RBI; he led the conference in homers while ranking second in total bases (95) and RBI and third in slugging percentage (.625)
  • Freshman outfielder Jacob Studley (Barrington, R.I.) was named as the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year after pacing the Lyons with a .423 (44-104) batting average while scoring 31 runs with 10 doubles, four homers and 19 RBI in 30 games
  • Junior catcher Nick Raposo (Johnston, R.I.) claimed First Team All-NEWMAC honors after hitting .372 (55-148) with 44 runs, six doubles, four home runs and 37 RBI; the 2018 D3Baseball.com Second Team All-American struck out just four times in 172 plate appearances, or once every 37.0 at-bats, making him the fourth-toughest batter to strike out in NCAA DIII Baseball this spring
  • Sophomore starting pitcher John Mikosz (Southington, Conn.), another First Team All-Conference honoree, posted a 1.88 ERA with a 5-0 record and 50 strikeouts – against just 14 walks – over 48 innings and 10 starts this season
  • Freshman starter Griffin Young (Dover, N.H.), a Second Team All-NEWMAC choice, is 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 55 K's – versus only nine free passes – in 10 appearances, including seven starts, this spring

ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:

Saint Joseph's Head Coach Will Sanborn '86, currently in his 27th season as the Monks' skipper, has led his Monks to 21 titles during his coaching tenure. With a career 747-387-5 (.656) career record, he is the winningest head coach in SJC Athletics history and, with a 4-3 victory over Rivier University on April 12th, 2018, became the 37th NCAA DIII Baseball coach to record 700 career victories. Only five other New England Region skippers have hit the plateau and Sanborn is one of just three active head coaches in the region to have reached the 700-victory mark.

Wheaton Head Coach Eric Podbelski, now in his 23rd season at the helm of the Lyons' baseball program, has literally built Wheaton's baseball program from the ground up as the only skipper the program has ever known. Owning one of the highest winning percentages among active NCAA Division III coaches at .708 (644-261-5) through Wheaton's first 21 years of varsity play, Podbelski and the program earned their 500th win on April 25, 2013 against Eastern Connecticut State University at home.

THE LAST TIME WE MET:

(BOXSCORE) The Monks and Lyons last faced off on March 11th, 2016 when Wheaton scored five runs in the top of the seventh to defeat St. Joe's, 5-4, during Spring Break in Auburndale, Florida. A handful of senior players from both teams appeared in the contest, which took place during their freshman season.

In the history of the matchup, Wheaton owns a 9-5 record versus Saint Joseph's, but the New England rivals have played to a 3-3 stalemate in the last six meetings dating back to 2013.

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY:

The Monks will be making their first NCAA tourney appearance since 2014 – and ninth in the last 14 seasons – this weekend.

The Lyons will be making their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance - and first since 2017 – this Friday. Since 2006, Wheaton has advanced to the NCAA DIII World Series three times and finished as the 2006 national runner-up.

NOT TO MENTION:

  • Saint Joseph's is one of five New England teams with 30+wins this season, as only Mitchell (34), Southern Maine (34), and Babson (33) have more triumphs heading into the national tourney
  • The Monks opened the 2019 campaign with 11-consecutive victories, tying the program's best start to a season with the 2007 club; St. Joe's also posted nine and seven-game win streaks during the 2019 regular season
  • Murphy broke the Monks' single-season and career stolen base record this spring and goes into the NCAA's with 36 swipes this year - second in the country - and 73 in his career (12th highest total among active NCAA DIII players)
  • The Monks' .969 team fielding percentage is the highest in program history and tied for the 10th best mark in NCAA DIII Baseball this spring

 

#GOMONKS

 

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Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.