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PREVIEW: After Record-Setting Campaign, Baseball Shifts Focus to Postseason Play

PREVIEW: After Record-Setting Campaign, Baseball Shifts Focus to Postseason Play

USCAA SMALL COLLEGE WORLD SERIES 

No. 6 D’Youville University (14-20) vs Penn No. 3 Penn State Mont Alto (27-9) 

Date: Monday, May 16, 2022 

Time: 1:30 p.m. 

Location: Showers Field (DuBois, Pa.) 

 

After tallying a program-record 14 regular-season wins that saw the D’Youville baseball team win their first NCAA Division II and first East Coast Conference contests, the Saints are set to embark on postseason play when they travel to Dubois, Pa. for the USCAA Small College World Series next week. The Saints were selected as the No. 6 seed in the 10-team field and will take on third-seeded Penn State-Mont Alto in the second round of the tournament on Monday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Showers Field. 

Record-Setting Saints – It was a record-setting and milestone-filled campaign for the 2022 Saints. Along with setting the program record for single-season wins, D’Youville is on pace to set program records for team batting average (.293), on-base percentage (.390), and slugging percentage (.426) and has set new records for hits (310), doubles (61), triples (13), home runs (18), runs (203), runs batted in (175), fielding percentage (.953), earned run average (6.51), and strikeouts thrown (226).  

At the plate, at least two members of D’Youville’s revamped roster from a year ago have cracked the top-10 list of each of the team’s individual offensive categories, excluding stolen bases. 

All-East Coast Conference - Two Saints, sophomore outfielder Ethan Hammond and freshman starting pitcher Chris Auclair, etched their names onto the All-East Coast Conference First Team. Hammond finished third in the conference's batting title race with a .407 clip at the plate as he set a new program record for single-season hits with 50. The Oakville, Ontario native also drove in 22 runs for the Saints and hit safely in 29 of his 34 games played this season.

Auclair started a program-record 10 games on D'Youville mound and won another program-high five games. The Baldwinsville, N.Y. native's 72 strikeouts and 2.48 earned run average were second-best in the ECC in each category, and both set program records. Auclair's season was highlighted by a 13-strikeout performance in D'Youville's 7-3 win over Lincoln (Pa.) on April 22. The Lincoln victory was his season-high in strikeouts and his third outing where he put nine or more Ks on the scoreboard.

Last Time Out – The Saints will be well-rested heading into next week’s tournament, having not played since a 3-2 win over Staten Island on May 1. An RBI single in the first inning from sophomore Alex Dzimian and a two-run home run from junior Craig Oliver provided just enough offense for the Saints to hold off the Dolphins. D’Youville’s three-game series against Molloy on the final weekend of the regular season was canceled due to inclement weather. 

DuBois Bound – The Saints will be heading to the USCAA Small College World Series for the first time in program history. D’Youville is in the second of three seasons as a member of the USCAA until the Saints are eligible for the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2024. Despite a below-.500 record, the Saints received a bid to the USCAA’s with one of the field’s strongest strength of schedules as 31 of their 34 games were played against NCAA Division II competition. 12 of the Saints’ 14 wins also came against NCAA DII opposition and the Saints played to narrow defeats against regionally-ranked No. 7 Queens (N.Y.) and No. 8 Le Moyne and flirted with an upset-bid over nationally-ranked No. 14 Minnesota State, Mankato earlier in the season. 

USCAA Field at a Glance – The USCAA Small College World Series field is comprised of 10 teams, expanded from eight a year ago. As the No. 6 seed in the tournament. The Saints received a first-round bye and escaped having to play in either of the two first-round games reserved for seeds 7-10 that would go on to play the top-two seeds in the bracket: No. 1 Penn St.-DuBois and No. 2 UC Clermont.  

The tournament is a double-elimination format that allows each team a shot at the National Championship by either winning each of their preliminary-round contests or by navigating their way through the loser’s bracket. The participant that makes the championship game from the loser’s bracket will have to defeat the participant from the winner’s bracket twice in order to be crowned USCAA National Champions. 

Penn St.-Mont Alto at a Glance – The Nittany Lions, members of the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC), are coming off an impressive regular season campaign that was concluded with a PSUAC Conference Tournament run where they were crowned champions after defeating Penn St.-DuBois twice on May 9. Mont Alto is 27-9 on the season, the Nittany Lions are riding a four-game winning streak, and have won 11 of their last 12 games.  

Jared Pine (.405 AVG, 23 RBI), Hayden Kissel (.306 AVG, 24 RBI), Brady Bigler (.319 AVG, 26 RBI), and Jarett Goodyear, (.321 AVG, 21 RBI) have been consistent threats at the plate all season for the Nittany Lions.  

The D’Youville offense can expect to see Zach Garlin (5-3) starting on the mound for the Nittany Lions in the USCAA opener. In 10 starts and 11 appearances spanning 56.1 innings this season, Garlin has posted a 3.36 earned run average and has fanned 78 batters, good for 12.46 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. 

When the Saints Come Marching In – D'Youville will counter with their ace in Auclair (5-2). Auclair, who was named ECC Pitcher of the Week back on April 25 for his career-high 13-strikeout performance in D’Youville’s 7-3 win over Lincoln (Pa.), finished the regular season second in the ECC with a 2.48 earned run average and second in strikeouts with 72.

Offensively, the Saints are led by Hammond and Dzimian. The pair were third and fourth in the ECC this season in batting average with Hammond’s .407 average and Dzimian’s .393 clip at the plate. Two more Saints, sophomore Jeremy Glinski (.320 AVG) and former ECC Rookie of the Week, freshman Alec Boucher (.305 AVG) have provided consistency at the plate this season for the Red and Black. The Saints have been no stranger to the long ball this season as junior John Rogowski, Jr. and senior George Farid each hold the single-season record for home runs with five trips around the bases apiece. Farid also leads the team in runs batted in with 26. 

Follow the Saints during the USCAA Small College World Series on Instagram (@dyouvillebaseball) and Twitter (DYouville_BSB).