NCAA Tournament Harwich Regional Preview: Baseball vs. Salve Regina

NCAA Tournament  Harwich Regional Preview: Baseball vs. Salve Regina

Baseball vs. No. 22/20 Salve Regina
Thursday, May 18—9:30 a.m.
Whitehouse Field—Harwich, Mass.

THE SERIES

Babson and Salve Regina will meet for the 17th time overall and first time since 2012 in the opening game of the Harwich Regional. The Beavers are 10-5 all-time against the Seahawks (the 1986 result is unknown) although 12 of the matchups came prior to 2008.

ABOUT THE HARWICH REGIONAL
The eight-team double-elimination regional features four nationally-ranked squads and two others that are coming off NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016. No. 19/17 UMass Boston (2010) and No. 18/22 St. John Fisher (2016) have both reached the College World Series in the last seven years, while No. 22/20 Salve Regina and No. RV/25 Arcadia are in the midst of historic campaigns. Penn State-Berks won its regional opener in 2015 and 2016, and Suffolk and Worcester State are each making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance.

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE
Game 1: Babson vs. Salve Regina, 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: UMass Boston vs. Penn State-Berks, 1 p.m.
Game 3: St. John Fisher vs. Suffolk, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Arcadia vs. Worcester State, 8 p.m.

BABSON IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Beavers are making their third regional appearance and first since 2009 after capturing the program's third NEWMAC Tournament title. Babson is 1-4 in NCAA Tournament history with its lone win coming against Eastern Connecticut State in the opening game of the 2009 New England Regional

SALVE REGINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Seahawks are making their second consecutive regional appearance and fourth in program history after winning their second straight CCC Tournament crown. Salve Regina is 0-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with four losses by two runs or less.

SCOUTING THE SEAHAWKS
Salve Regina (34-10) captured its second consecutive CCC title with a two-game sweep of Endicott last Saturday. Senior Hunter Sleeper and sophomore Brody Santilli both produced four-hit days and combined to drive in seven runs as the Seahawks downed the Gulls 12-2 in the opener and 8-2 in game two. Junior Christian Vargas is batting .350 with 10 doubles, three homers and 26 runs batted in, classmate John Militano is hitting .349 with 13 doubles and 29 RBI, and sophomore Zack Smith enters the regional at .340 with 10 extra-base hits, 33 RBI and a team-high 36 runs scored. First-year Patrick Maybach is 8-0 with a 0.84 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 53.2 innings, while senior Cory Poplawski has gone 5-3 with a 1.54 ERA in 10 starts.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Babson (25-13) enters the NCAA Tournament with a 12-game winning streak after sweeping MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament championship series back on May 7. Junior Ryan Arena hit a go-ahead home run late in a 3-2 game one win, while senior Jack Halpin and sophomore Brian McHale both drove in three runs in the Beavers' 14-8 game-two victory. McHale is batting .373 with 12 doubles and 30 runs scored, Halpin is hitting .348 with 11 extra-base hits, 30 runs scored and 35 runs batted in, and Arena owns a .346 average to go along with 12 doubles, 12 homers and 30 RBI. Sophomore Michael Genaro is 6-1 with a 2.88 ERA and 7.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio in eight starts, while junior Teddy Carey is 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.

HOT AS IT GETS
The Beavers' 12-game winning streak matches the longest in program history and is currently the third longest streak in Division III behind No. 2/4 Johns Hopkins (18 games) and No. 24/28 RIT (13 games).

STRONG AT THE BACK
Junior Matt Cuneo owns the program's single-season record with nine saves, while senior Ken Rotunno boasts a 1.65 ERA in 17 relief appearances and has allowed just two earned runs over his last 18.1 innings pitched going back to March 30.

POWER SURGE
Arena's 12 home runs are a single-season school record and are good for sixth in Division III, while junior Mark Webber has gone deep five times over Babson's last six games entering Thursday's regional opener.

DEPTH IN THE ROTATION
The Beavers' rotation of Carey, Genaro, sophomore Connor Gill and junior John Floegel has combined to 19-4 with a 2.73 earned run average over 191.1 innings in 28 starts this spring. The quartet has six complete games while recording 162 strikeouts against just 48 walks.

ASSAULT ON THE RECORD BOOKS
Halpin enters the Harwich Regional ranked third all-time in hits (192) and fourth in both runs batted in (120) and total bases (273). He also has started all 136 games in his Babson career, which includes 133 straight at first base without missing a contest going back to April 5, 2014.

RACKING UP THE K'S
Carey, who ranks fourth in school history with 146 strikeouts, enters the regional needing just three to pass Jason Kosow's '04 single-season program record of 77 set back in 2004.

STREAKING
Arena has a hit in 11 straight games and has reached base in each of the last 28 contests, while Webber enters the NCAA Tournament riding a 12-game hitting streak.

WHAT'S AHEAD
Babson will face either UMass Boston or Penn State-Berks on Friday. A victory would send them into a winner's bracket contest at 4:30 p.m., while a loss on Thursday would send them into an elimination game on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Beavers are 6-3 in nine games against teams in the 2017 NCAA Tournament field.

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