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Rowan Baseball Begins Quest for NCAA Division III Title; First Game Thursday 11AM

MARIETTA, OHIO - The seventh-ranked Rowan baseball team begins play in the NCAA Division III Regionals on Thursday, May 27 in the double-elimination tournament at Marietta College, which features three other Top 25 teams. The top-seeded Profs will take on sixth-seeded Penn State Behrend in the opening round at 11 a.m. at Don and Sue Schaly Field at Pioneer Park.

The winner of this game will play on Friday at 2:30 p.m., with the loser of the game playing in an elimination contest on Friday at 11 a.m.
The Profs (25-4) captured the NJAC Championship and received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and are making the 27th appearance in school history, and the first since 2019. Penn State Behrend (25-11) won the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship and earned that league's automatic bid.
The remainder of teams in the regional, with their seedings are: (2) Marietta (3) North Carolina Wesleyan; (4) St. John Fisher; and (5) Rochester. Marietta is ranked fourth in the latest national poll, with St. John Fisher coming in at 16th and N.C. Wesleyan at 17th.
The Regional champion will earn a berth in the NCAA Division III Championship series to be held at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, IA, from June 4-9.
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NJAC CHAMPS: Top-seeded Rowan swept second-seeded William Paterson, 12-4 and 8-3, last weekend to take the best-of-three series and win the 2021 NJAC Baseball Championship. It was the Profs' first title since 2018, and the second under head coach Mike Dickson while it marked the 17th conference championship in the program's history.
PROFS IN THE NCAA'S: Rowan owns an all-time record of 64-50 in the NCAA Championship with two national titles, in 1978 and 1979. The Profs have won five Regional titles with the most recent coming in 2004 and 2005 (Mid-Atlantic Region).
PROFS IN THE POLLS: Rowan moved up to seventh in the D3Baseball.com national poll this week, which is the highest ranking of the season. The Profs have been ranked every week, beginning the year at No. 12.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: Head coach Mike Dickson, the 2021 NJAC Coach of the Year, is in his seventh year at Rowan and owns a 176-78 (.693 winning pct.) record that includes four NCAA Tournament appearances and two conference titles. The Rowan alum ('02) earned All-America honors as a player and served as an assistant coach on the Profs' last teams to win regional titles in 2004 and 2005. Prior to making his return to Rowan as the head coach, he led Rowan College-Gloucester County (RCGC) to a 360-88 record and a pair of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Championships in 2010 and 2013.
HONORING THE PROFS: Rowan earned three of the top awards from the NJAC with Mike Dickson being named the Coach of the Year, Drew Ryback named the Pitcher of the Year and Zach Listro chosen the Fireman of the Year. Ryback was named to the All-Conference first team along with P Eli Atiya, 3B/DH Ryan McIsaac, SS Nick Schooley and RF Ryan Murphy. All-NJAC Second Team honors went to 2B Alex Kokos, LF Ryan Mostrangeli and P Donald Zellman.
RECORD TIME: Senior 2B Alex Kokos has 224 career hits and is closing in on the Rowan record of 228 set by Mike Rucci in 2005. Current head coach Mike Dickson was the previous owner of the mark as he compiled 215 hits from 1997-02. Kokos has played in 159 games, with 158 starts, and has scored 133 runs and driven in 125 runs during his career.
ON THE HILL:  Senior Drew Ryback (7-1) and sophomore Eli Atiya (8-1) were the winning pitchers in the sweep of William Paterson last weekend that gave the Profs the conference title. Ryback and Atiya each have a team-high 61 strikeouts on the season while Atiya leads the conference in wins to go along with his 1.99 ERA. Third starter Donald Zellman (4-0) owns the lowest ERA among the starters at 1.43 and has posted 41 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched. Closer Zach Listro (3-0) owns a career-high five saves on the season.
AT THE PLATE: RF Ryan Murphy and DH Ryan McIsaac have paced the Profs' high-scoring offense all season. Murphy leads with his .407 average and a team-best 31 RBI and eight home runs, while McIsaac is hitting at a .405 clip with team-highs of 53 hits, 14 doubles and 87 total bases. As a team, Rowan is batting .327 and has outscored its opponents by a 254-100 margin.