2019 NCAA Tournament College World Series | 5 NCAA Tournaments | 7 Conference Championships

Spring Break Preview: Baseball at the RussMatt Central Invitational

Spring Break Preview: Baseball at the RussMatt Central Invitational

Baseball at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational
Friday, March 16-Wednesday, March 21
Lake Myrtle Park—Auburndale, Fla.

The Babson College baseball team returns to Florida for the second time this month to play seven games in six days beginning on Friday afternoon. All of the Beavers' games will be held at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale.

vs. Illinois Wesleyan: Babson suffered an 11-1 loss to the Titans last March in Florida.

vs. Hope: The Beavers are 0-2 all-time against the Dutchmen in a series that dates back to 2014. Hope defeated Babson, 7-3, in 2014 and won the 2015 matchup 14-6.

vs. Benedictine: first meeting

vs. New Paltz: first meeting

vs. Bowdoin: the Beavers and Polar Bears will meet for the 15th time in a series that dates back to 1983 with the all-time series deadlocked at 7-7. The teams split a doubleheader last March in Winter Haven, Fla.

vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater: first meeting

Illinois Wesleyan (7-1) has won three straight games after routing Hamilton, 14-5, on Wednesday. Sophomore Brandon Skopick had five hits and junior John Bosco went 3-for-6 with four RBI for the Titans, who pounded out 22 hits. Skopick is batting .417 with three doubles and three RBI, senior Gino Cavalieri is hitting .412 with six extra-base hits and seven RBI, and Bosco has doubled four times and leads the squad with 13 runs batted in. Sophomore Braden Miller is 2-0 with one save in three appearances for an Illinois Wesleyan pitching staff that has held hitters go a .213 batting average.

Hope (1-1) opened the season by splitting a doubleheader with Hanover last Saturday. Senior Danny Carrasco went 5-for-8 with a double, a triple and two RBI, and junior Tanner Gilmore homered and drove in five runs for the Flying Dutch, which used six different pitchers in the twin bill. Sophomore Mason Opple batted .373 with 12 extra-base hits and 36 RBI, while Carrasco had 13 doubles and drove in 34 runs. Sophomore Matt VanDyken went 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA for Hope, which went 24-18 and finished third in the MIAA last year.

Benedictine (1-1) heads to Florida coming off a 3-2 win over North Park on March 4. After getting blanked in their opener against Transylvania, sophomore Jimmy McLaughlin hit a three-run homer and first-year Alexander Schram and junior Marty Maves tossed four innings of shutout inning of relief for the Eagles. Benedictine returns five position players and junior pitcher Frank Greco, who went 8-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 10 starts last year for a team that finished 24-18 overall on its way to finishing fourth in the NACC.

New Paltz (2-2) had its two-game winning streak snapped in a 6-0 loss to Stevens on March 9. Sophomore Zach Warenius is 5-for-13 (.385) at the plate with one RBI, senior Nick DiPietro is hitting .313 (5-for-16) with a double, a triple and two RBI, and classmate Jake Williams has recorded a pair of extra-base hits and leads the team with four runs batted in. Nine different pitchers have seen action for a Hawks' staff that owns a 3.90 earned run average over its first four contests. New Paltz returns 21 players from a team that went 17-17 and reached the SUNYAC Tournament last spring.

Bowdoin (1-1) split its season-opening doubleheader with Brandeis last Saturday. Junior Ejaaz Jiu went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, classmate Jack Wilhoite doubled twice and drove in two runs, and sophomore Connor Lee was 3-for-6 with a homer and two RBI in the twin bill against the Judges. The Polar Bears return three of their top four run producers, including junior Brandon Lopez (10 doubles, 15 RBI) in addition to junior pitchers Brandon Lopez (4-1, 2.62 ERA) and sophomore Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.94 ERA), who combined for eight of the team's 15 wins last spring. Bowdoin is looking to return to the postseason for the first time since 2013.

No. 2 D3baseball/No. 6 ABCA Wisconsin-Whitewater (0-0) returns six positional players and a pair of starting pitchers from a team that went 36-9 and made its 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. Junior Daytona Bryden hit .386 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 19 games, classmate Brett Krause batted .376 with 15 extra-base hits, 12 stolen bases and 31 RBI, and sophomore Cal Aldridge homered six times and drove in a team-high 41 runs to go along with a .342 average. Juniors Austin Jones and Heath Renz both earned All-America honors last season for a Warhawks' pitching staff that posted a 3.39 team ERA and held opposing hitters to a .242 average. Renz was 9-0 with a 1.96 ERA, while Jones finished 8-3 with a 1.91 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 85 innings.

Babson (3-1) wrapped up a four-game trip to Florida with a 6-5 victory over Baldwin Wallace on March 4. Sophomore Sean Harrington went 2-for-4 with two extra-base hits and junior Nicholas Browne hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for the Beavers. Junior Brian McHale is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with three extra-base hits and two RBI, sophomore Jake Oliger went 6-for-16 (.375) at the dish with a homer and two runs batted in, and senior Ryan Arena is batting .375 (6-for-16) with two doubles and four RBI. Junior Connor Gill tossed seven shutout innings in his first start of the year, while classmate Michael Genaro allowed just three runs over eight innings to pick up his first victory of the year over Otterbein on March 3.

Senior Matt Cuneo, junior Max Tannenbaum and sophomore Michael Nocchi combined to go 1-0 while allowing just two unearned runs and two hits over six innings in games against Otterbein and Baldwin Wallace earlier this month. The trio also held opposing hitters to just a .118 batting average.

After getting just four at-bats last season, sophomore Matthew Valente went 4-for-9 with four RBI in three games during the Beavers' season-opening trip to Florida.

McHale enters the weekend riding a 15-game hitting streak, while Gill and Oliger have a base hit in six and five straight contests, respectively. Arena, who has hit safely in seven consecutive outings, has also reached base in 38 straight games.

The Beavers have gone 15-7-1 in their last 23 games in the state of Florida going back to the send of their 2015 trip.