The Roanoke College Baseball team has taken the Maroon Nation on a wild ride in the past few weeks, resulting in the Maroons' first trip to the Division III College World Series.
The seniors on the team missed their own graduation ceremony on May 6 in a bid to win the ODAC championship. The team won the ODAC championship on May 8, becoming the first Roanoke baseball team to win.
Last weekend, the Maroons played in Danville, Virginia, in the Division III regional tournament. Roanoke first took down the No. 1-seeded Salisbury University 15-5 (Yes, the same Salisbury often facing the RC lacrosse teams in playoffs.) Next the Maroons upended Emory University, the fourth-seeded team, with a 4-2 score. Roanoke took on LaGrange College next, the second-seeded and top-ranked team, and won 5-2.
On Sunday, May 21, the Maroons lost 7-6 to Salisbury, the team's first loss in the tournament. In the next game, Roanoke bested Salisbury 13-5 to win a trip to the NCAA Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Roanoke placed seven players on the South Region All-Tournament team: John Ruhlman, pitcher; Will Decker, first baseman; Collier Donald, third baseman; Dean Hermanson, shortstop; Sean Guida, Scott Ellis and Sam Watson, all playing outfield.
Watson was named the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament.
Roanoke begins College World Series play on Friday, May 26, in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Here are some facts to know about the College World Series:
- The World Series runs from Friday, May 26, to Wednesday, May 31. Eight teams play in the series, starting with two brackets of four, in a double elimination. The winners of each bracket then face each other in a best of three series for the national championship.
- NCAA rules allow each team to bring 25 active players, and a total of 33 players, coaches and staff can be in the dugout. Roanoke has a big team with a full roster of 40 players and two coaches. Coach Matt McGuire said to media on Monday that one of the hardest parts of his job was telling some players that they would not be able to go to Wisconsin with the team.
- Roanoke is seeded eighth in the CWS, but that's OK. The Maroons also were seeded at the bottom of the ODAC and the South Regional tournaments and won both!
- The NCAA provides a stream/web broadcast.
- Roanoke's first game is scheduled for Friday at 2:15 p.m. EST (1:15 p.m. local Appleton time) against Oswego State. A campus watch party will be held in the Cavern for faculty, staff, students and local alumni.
- Other teams in the CWS include Concordia Chicago, Washington & Jefferson, University of Massachusetts Boston, North Central Illinois, California Lutheran and Wheaton College (Mass.).
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