Eagles Named Sixth Seed in NCAA Regional
(Posted May 17, 2004)
Huntingdon, PA - The Juniata College baseball team has been tabbed as the sixth seed in the NCAA Regional to be held in Boyertown, PA May 20-23. Juniata earned a berth in the 42-team field by claiming the Commonwealth Conference Championship and receiving the automatic bid given to the champion. Juniata will be appearing in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 1990. Juniata will square off with number one seed Johns Hopkins at 11 am on Thursday in the regional opener.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP: The Division III baseball championship provides for a maximum field of 42 teams. Six teams will compete at five first-round sites; four teams will compete at three first-round sites. All first rounds will use a double-elimination format and will be held from May 20-23. The eight regional champions will then advance to the NCAA Division III College World Series which will take place in Appleton, Wisconsin May 28-June 1. The championship round in Wisconsin is also double elimination, with each team entering the championship round without a loss regardless of the record during regional play. The winner of the Boyertown Regional will face the winner of the Whitewater Regional in the first round of the Division III World Series.
THE REGIONAL FIELD: Johns Hopkins (37-2) enters the regional as the number one seed and earned its berth by winning the Centennial Conference championship. The Blue Jays are currently ranked first in the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Division III poll. Second seed Rowan University (36-6) is ranked eighth in the ABCA poll and earned the bid as the winner of the New Jersey Athletic Conference. DeSales University (26-12) won the Freedom Conference Tournament to earn a regional berth and are the third seed. Skyline Conference Champion St. Joseph's College (26-16) is the fourth seed in the region, and Arcadia University (25-14) enters as the fifth seed after claiming the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Championship. All six teams earned their spots in the NCAA Tournament by claiming automatic bids which are awarded to conference champions. After Juniata and Johns Hopkins battle in the opening game, Rowan will face Arcadia in the day's second contest which will start at 3 pm. DeSales and St. Joseph's will wrap-up the first day of competition as they get underway at 7 pm. If the Eagles win the first outing they will play the loser of the DeSales/St. Joseph's contest on day two. A first-day loss would pit Juniata against the loser of the Rowan/Arcadia tilt. Juniata did not compete against any of the teams in the Boyertown Regional during the regular season.
THE EAGLES: Juniata enters the tournament with a record of 24-15, which marks a program record for wins in a season. The Eagles have won 10 of their last 12 games entering regional play, including sweeping the field at the Commonwealth Conference Championships. Juniata placed six players on the Commonwealth Conference All-Conference Team, which was selected by the conference head coaches. Walt Goedkoop (Manheim Township/Lancaster) was a first-team All-Conference choice and leads the team in nearly every offensive category. He has a .341 batting average and team-high 26 RBI to his credit on the year. David Saintz (Titusville/Titusville) hit .331 during the season and set a school record with seven triples. He was second with 27 runs scored. Second baseman Will Russell (Tyrone Area/Tyrone) also hit better than .300 while pounding out 43 hits and scoring 17 runs. Shortstop Darren Hake (Red Lion/Red Lion) enters tournament play with a .322 average with 37 hits and 12 RBI. Four Juniata players finished the season with 15 RBI. Adam Camberg (Altoona/Altoona) was an All-Conference choice with 15 RBI and 11 doubles. Juniata's pitching staff is anchored by junior Jayme Fye (Philipsburg/Philipsburg) who was named second-team All-Conference. He posted a 4.66 ERA during the year and leads the team wins with six, innings pitched and strikeouts. Cody Zong (Lewistown/Lewistown) posted a 3.66 ERA, best among the starters, and fanned 37 hitters in 46 and two-thirds innings pitched. Senior Ryan O'Donnell (Lebanon/Lebanon) recorded an ERA of 3.83 and a record of 4-1 on the year. He held opponents to just a .260 batting average and whiffed 34 on the year. Sophomore Andrew Michanowicz (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona) rounds out the Juniata rotation. He boasts a 2-2 record on the year and an ERA of 4.38. Closer Eric Hatten (Dubois/Dubois) was named first-team All-Conference while posting seven saves on the season. Hatten struck out 15 in 16 innings and didn't allow a run in conference play. His ERA of 2.25 leads the team.
THE GAMES: Juniata's games at the NCAA Regional will be broadcast live on WKVR 92.3 FM, and will also likely be available in streaming audio format on the Juniata athletics webpage.
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