As the season inches closer, a lot of news relating to Ohio’s Division III programs has come out. From All-America teams, preseason polls and more, here is a recap of all things D3.
Marietta D3Baseball’s preason No. 4
Marietta, Division III’s two-time reigning champion, will head into the 2013 season ranked No. 3 in the nation by D3Baseball.com.
En route to a 48-8 record as the nation’s top team, Marietta will seek the seventh championship in program history without D3Baseball’s 2012 Pticher of the Year, Austin Blaski, and fellow First-team All-Americans shortstop Tim Saunders and closer Kyle Lindquist.
But Brian Brewer, the American Baseball Coaches Association’s 2012 Coach of the Year, will have senior outfielder Aaron Hopper, a 2012 D3Baseball Third-team All-American and 2013 preseason Honorable Mention selection, as well as three more All-Ohio Athletic Conference selections in seniors Evan Brockmeier, Jordan Grilliot and Alex Toth.
Marietta led all teams with 14 first-place votes, in finishing with 578 points, 16 behind No. 1 Wheaton. The Pioneers open the 2013 season on March 2 with a game against Anderson (IN) in Xenia, followed by a contest against DePauw. The Pioneers will take on Wheaton, the team they defeated 7-2 on May 30 to claim its second-consecutive national championship, March 15, as part of the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Wooster was the lone other program to receive votes, finishing with four points.
Mathis, Meadows D3Baseball preseason All-Americans
Joining Hopper in receiving preseason praise from D3Baseball were Otterbein senior catcher Wes Meadows and Mount Union junior outfield Connor Mathis, both Second-team preseason All-Americans.
In leading the Raiders to a second-place OAC finish in 2012, Mathis carried a conference-best .450 average throughout his sophomore season. That clip represents the highest among D3Baseball’s preseason All-Americans as Mathis receives his second All-America accolade following a First-team selection by the ABCA. The OAC’s leader in hits, 67 and RBI, 56, Mathis was instrumental in Mount Union setting a program record in wins during it’s 28-15 season.
The Cardinals of Otterbein may have fallen on tough times, an 8-10 record produced a seventh place finish and a third consecutive season not participating in the OAC Tournament, but their backstop is set to conclude a sterling career. Meadows, a 2010 second-team, 2011 and 2012 first-team all-conference performer, ranks in the top six all time at Otterbein in doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, and slugging-percentage. The first Otterbein player to receive All-America honors since 2010, Meadows batted .368 with 14 doubles and seven home runs last season.
Rose-Hulman selected to host 2013 Mideast Regional
Be it Marietta going for a third consecutive title, Mount Union, Wooster or other, teams throughout Ohio will likely see their path to a national championship travel through Terre Haute.
For the fourth time since 2005, Rose-Hulman has been selected to serve as the host site for Division III’s Mideast Regional Tournament. Previously serving as the predetermined Mideast Regional host site in 2005, 2006 and 2008, either six or eight teams will appear in Rose-Hulman’s regional, in the double-elimination tournament format. Play will begin on Wed., May 15 and continues through May 19. The schools participating in the regional will be announced by the NCAA Division III Tournament Committee on Mon., May 13.
The Mideast evaluation region includes the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference; the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association; the Ohio Athletic Conference; the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference; the North Coast Athletic Conference; the Presidents’ Athletic Conference; and two independent institutions. But teams from these conferences can be sent to any regional, not only the Mideast Regional, and teams from other regions could also be sent to the Mideast Regional.
Champions of the eight regional tournaments will converge in Appleton, Wisc., for the NCAA Division III Baseball National Championship from May 24-28.
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference releases preseason coaches poll
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference has released its preseason coaches poll and players to watch for the 2013 season.
Leading the Ohio’s three HCAC teams would be Bluffton whose 39 points placed seventh. Mount St. Joseph and Defiance followed Earlham behind the Beavers. Manchester received seven first-place votes to pace the poll with 94 points. Franklin, Rose-Hulman, Anderson, Hanover and Transylvania respectively filled the second through sixth place spots.
With 2012 records indicated, the following players were listed as Players to Watch for their respective team.
Bluffton (19-21, 12-13 HCAC seventh): Kyle Niermann – OF (Sr., Napoleon, Ohio/H.S.), Miles Richardson – OF/P (Sr., Granville, Ohio/Newark Catholic), Tim Webb – C (Jr., Delaware, Ohio/Worthington Christian), Ben Roeschley – P (Jr., Graymont, Ill./Flanagan)
Defiance (15-24, 8-15 eighth): Darin Waterman – P (Jr., Celina, Ohio/H.S.), Brad Kremer – IF (Jr., St. Henry, Ohio/H.S.), Aaron Helland – OF (Jr., Defiance, Ohio/H.S.)
Mount St. Joseph (11-27, 4-21 tenth): Drew Ernst – P (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), Justin Shelton – 3B (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson), Collin Shaw – P (Jr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West), Brandon Polking – P (So., Cincinnati, Ohio/ St. Xavier)
Spartan baseball and Cleveland Indians benefit from facility partnership
As the Cleveland Indians finished their winter development program, a release from Case Western Reserve University highlights its relationship with the Cleveland Indians. Part of the development program for Indians top prospects, which included throwing, running and other keys to development and staying healthy, were held at CWRU’s Veale Center.
As part of the relationship, the 2013 season will mark the ninth-consecutive year in which the Case Western Reserve baseball team will host a game at the Indians’ Progressive Field. The Spartans will take to the home of the Indians on April 24 against Ohio Northern.