East Region Preview: Wilmington Top Seed For First Time, Looks to Break New Ground
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - Newark, Del.
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Junior Josh Hampton leads the Wildcats offense into Eas Region Tournament, batting .351 with 24 doubles, four triples, four home runs, and 45 RBI on the year. Photo by Mark Tetreault. © 2013 Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Utility man Frank Samluk was named the CACC Tournament MVP after batting 4-for-7 and pitching seven scoreless innings in the championship game. Photo by Mark Tetreault. © 2013 Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Senior Brandon Payne leads the team with a .360 batting average and five triples, added 11 doubles and two home runs. He batted 8-for-13 with two triples, a double, four RBI and six runs scored in the CACC Tournament. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Tim Shaffer.
For the first time in program history the Wilmington University baseball team will head into the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament as the number one seed, claiming their third straight Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship and being the eighth ranked team in the country, according to the NCBWA National Top 25 Poll.
The top seeded Wildcats finished the season 40-12 overall and took the regular season title with a 17-3 conference record. The 40 wins are a program record, besting the 37 wins from the 2011 season during the athletic department’s NCAA era.
The NCAA Division II East Region Tournament is hosted by Southern New Hampshire for the second year in a row, with No. 1 Wilmington taking on No. 6 Franklin Pierce to kick off the tournament on Thursday at 11 a.m.
Links to Follow Live:
2013 NCAA Division II East Region Tournament Homepage
Live Stat Home Page
Live Video Home Page
NCAA Division II Regional Tournament Homepage
Scouting the No. 1 Wilmington University Wildcats:
The Wildcats extended their winning streak 13 straight after going 3-0 in the CACC Tournament this past weekend as the No. 1 seed and host. Wilmington defeated No. 5 Felician, 5-4, in the opening round to moving into the winner’s bracket at Frawley Stadium. The Wildcats then went on to defeat No. 6 Chestnut Hill, 10-0, in the winner’s bracket on Friday. Chestnut Hill won its way to the championship on Saturday, but Wilmington earned its third straight tournament championship with a 15-0 victory over the Griffins.
After a hot tournament which saw senior Brandon Payne hit 8-for-13 with two triples, a double, four RBI, and six runs scored in three games, the outfielder now leads the team with a .360 batting average. He narrowly missed hitting a cycle in the championship, hitting a ball off the top of the fence with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
Utility man Frank Samluk was named the CACC Tournament MVP after hitting 4-for-7 in the first two games, scoring a run and knocking one in against Felician in the first round before throwing seven shutout innings while only allowing four hits and a walk in the championship, garnering CACC Tournament MVP honors.
Designated hitter Sam Goines batted a red-hot 7-for-10 with two triples and four runs scored for the tournament while first baseman Joe Marciano went 5-for-9 with two doubles, a triple, four runs batted in, and two runs scored.
CACC Pitcher of the Year David Hatt tossed the first game against Felician, throwing 7.1 innings with four strikeouts before turning it over to the bullpen for the no decision. Ray Gambone threw the first eight shutout innings against Chestnut Hill in their first matchup of the tournament, striking out five Griffins.
Scouting the No. 6 Franklin Pierce University Ravens:
Franklin Pierce was slotted as the No. 6 seed in the East Region Tournament after losing in the first round of the NE-10 Championship, falling 4-1 to Merrimack. That loss snapped a four game winning streak by the Ravens to end the regular season.
After starting the year with an even 5-5 record through their first 10 games, including four loses to Wilmington, the Ravens come into the East Regional Tournament with a 32-16 overall record. They earned the Northeast Division’s top seed by winning the division’s regular season with a 22-6 conference record, but fell to NE #4 Merrimack in the first round.
Starting pitcher Trevor Graham fell to 8-2 last Tuesday, throwing the first six innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. He struck out five batters while allowing two walks and a home run. Ryan Leach came on to close out the contest with the final three innings, giving up two hits while striking out a pair in not allowing another Merrimack run.
Graham was named the NE-10 Pitcher of the Year after leading the team with eight wins, two complete games, and 104 strikeouts in 93.0 innings pitched. The junior only walked 16 batters on the year and averages 10.06 strikeouts per nine innings. Graham carries a 1.94 earned run average into the East Regional. He threw 8.2 innings while giving up four runs on nine hits in a no-decision against the Wildcats in the regular season. He recorded 11 strikeouts in the contest on March 1.
Shortstop Dan Kemp and first base Zach Mathieu joined Graham on the NE-10 All-Conference First Team while outfielder Nick LaCroix was named to the second team. Kemp batted .326 on the season with seven doubles, two triples, four home runs and 24 RBI while stealing 15 bases. Mathieu batted .347 on the year with 15 doubles, two triple, six home runs and a team second best 32 RBI while stealing 18 bags. LaCroix hit .315 with a team high 17 doubles and 33 RBI while also hitting four home runs.
Freshman Justin Brock was named to the All-Rookie team for the conference after hitting .237 with two doubles, four triples and 22 RBI. He is second on the team with 23 stolen bases.
All-Time Series Record against Franklin Pierce:
2007: at – L 1-4 (NCAA East Region Tournament)
2008: vs. – L 1-9, L 1-6
2012: N – L 1-7 (NCAA East Region Tournament)
2013: N – W 10-8, W 5-4; N – W 6-5, W 2-0
Overall: 4-4 (0-2 East Region Tournament)
All-Time Record at the NCAA East Region Tournament:
2007: #1 Franklin Pierce def. #6 Wilmington, 4-1; #5 Bryant def. #6 Wilmington, 5-1
2009: #6 Wilmington def. #1 Dominican, 10-1; #4 Dowling def. #6 Wilmington, 3-2; #6 Wilmington def. #5 Assumption; #3 Adelphi def. #6 Wilmington, 9-6.
2011: #4 Southern Connecticut State def. #3 Wilmington, 2-1; #1 Adelphi def. #3 Wilmington, 6-5
2012: #5 Wilmington def. #2 Le Moyne, 1-0 (10 inn.); #3 Franklin Pierce def. No. 5 Wilmington, 7-1; #1 Southern New Hampshire def. #5 Wilmington, 6-3.
Season Series and All-Time Series vs. East Region Tournament Participants:
#1 Wilmington University Wildcats:
#2 St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartans: 2013 – 1-2 (1-2, 3-2, and 5-10); All-Time – 1-2
#3 University of New Haven Chargers: 2013 – NA; All-Time – 0-1 (2008)
#4 Southern New Hampshire University Penmen: 2013: 0-1 (4-11); All-Time – 3-4 (0-1 in East Region Tournament)
#5 Pace University Setters: 2013 – NA; All-Time – 2-4 (Last in 2007)
#6 Franklin Pierce University Ravens: 2013 – 4-0 (10-8, 5-4, 6-5, and 2-0); All-Time – 4-3 (0-2 in East Region Tournament)
2013 NCAA Division II East Region Tournament Game Schedule:
Thursday, May 16
Game 1: (1) Wilmington (Del.) vs. (6) Franklin Pierce - 11:00 am
Game 2: (2) St. Thomas Aquinas vs. (5) Pace - 3:00
Game 3: (3) New Haven vs. (4) Southern New Hampshire - 7:00
Friday, May 17
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser - 11:00 am
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 loser - 3:00
Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner - 7:00
If four teams remain after Game 6, the following schedule will be used.
Saturday, May 18
Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner – 11:00 a.m.
Game 8: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser – 3:00
Game 9: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 7 Loser – 7:00
Sunday, May 19
Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner – 12:00 p.m.
Game 11: Game 10 rematch* - 4:00 p.m.
* Game 11 only necessary if Game 9 Winner wins Game 10
If five teams remain after Game 6, the following schedule will be used.
Saturday, May 18
Game 7: Game 5 Loser vs. Game 6 Loser – 11:00 a.m.
Game 8: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner – 3:00 p.m.
Game 9: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner – 7:00 p.m.
If two teams remain after Game 9, the following schedule will be used.
Sunday, May 19
Game 10: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner – 12:00 p.m.
Game 11: Game 10 rematch* - 4:00 p.m.
* Game 11 only necessary if Game 8 Winner wins Game 10.
If three teams remain after Game 9, the following schedule will be used.
Sunday, May 19
Game 10: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Loser – 12:00 p.m.
Game 11: Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner – 4:00 p.m.