ANNVILLE, PA – Tenth-ranked Rowan will open play in the NCAA Baseball Annville Regional against Mitchell College on Friday, May 20 at 10 a.m. at McGill Field. The Profs (30-8) are seeded first in this regional while Mitchell (30-11) is fourth.
In the second game at 1:30 p.m., 24th-ranked and second-seeded Washington & Jefferson (35-8) will face the host, third-seeded Lebanon Valley (30-14). The winners of Friday's game will play at noon on Saturday, while the losers will face off at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The double-elimination format will continue through Sunday.
All three teams other than Rowan won their conference titles to reach this point – Mitchell (New England Collegiate Conference); Washington & Jefferson (Presidents' Athletic Conference); and Lebanon Valley (MAC Commonwealth).
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ABOUT THE PROFS: The Profs are making their 28th NCAA appearance in school history, and the fifth consecutive under head coach Mike Dickson. Rowan has been nationally-ranked all season, and as high as fourth in the polls, and owned a nine-game winning streak beginning in late April and captured the NJAC regular-season title with a 16-2 record.
THE HEAD PROF: In eight seasons, Mike Dickson has led the Rowan baseball program to a 210-88 record and five NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the NCAA Division III College World Series in 2021. He picked up his 200th win at Rowan on April 15 with a win over TCNJ. He has guided the Profs to two NJAC Championships in his eight years, with the most recent tournament title coming in 2021. Dickson's Profs were the top seed in the NCAA Marietta (Ohio) Regional in 2021 and captured the Regional Championship to advance to their first NCAA Division III World Series since 2005. Rowan went 29-6 overall and 17-1 in conference play and finished the season ranked seventh in the nation in the D3Baseball.com poll, its highest ranking since the inaugural poll in 2010. With the success of the 2021 season, he was honored as the ABCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year and as the NJAC Coach of the Year, earning both awards for the first time in his career.
HONOR ROLL Eli Atiya was named the NJAC Baseball Co-Pitcher of the Year was joined on the All-NJAC First Team by teammates Chris Curcio and Ryan Murphy. Patrick Defeciani was named to the All-Conference Second Team while Tyler Cannon and Hunter Wroniuk were Third-Team selections. Atiya and Murphy are the Profs' only repeat members of the All-NJAC Team with both earning first-team honors in 2021.
SERIES HISTORY: This will be the first-ever meeting between Rowan and Mitchell. The Profs own a 1-2 record against Washington & Jefferson and last met in the 2019 Salisbury Regional, as the Presidents advance to the Division III World Series by defeating Rowan twice. Rowan is 0-1 all-time against Lebanon Valley with the only meeting coming in the 2002 season.
RANKING THE PROFS: Rowan was ranked 12th in the preseason and has stayed in the D3Baseball.com top 10 all year, reaching a high of fourth on May. In this week's poll, the Profs dropped two spots to 10th
ON THE HILL: Lefthander Eli Atiya was named the NJAC Co-Pitcher of the Year and tops the conference in ERA with 1.94, while ranking second in wins with his 7-0 record and in runs allowed with 22. Righthanders Jason O'Neill (7-2) and Donald Zellman (3-2) handled most of the other starting assignments for the Profs, with Michael Miles (2-1) and Ben Iervolino (1-0) also making a few starts.
IN RELIEF: Closer Christian Bascunan set a Rowan record for saves in a season with 10, breaking the previous mark of nine that has been held since 2009. The senior set the record by earning a pair of saves as the Profs swept the season's final doubleheader with Kean, 4-3 and 8-7, to earn the conference's regular-season title.
AT THE PLATE: Anthony Schooley tops the Profs in batting with his .389 average. He also tied for the lead in the NJAC with 17 doubles and had 18 multiple-hit games. Ryan Murphy is the team's leader in runs (46), hits (58), triples (2) and home runs (9) as he has recorded career-best numbers in runs, hits and RBI, while notching nine games with three or more hits. Tyler Cannon hit .358 with 12 doubles and a team-high 10 stolen bases with DH Patrick Defeciani (.331) recording career-best numbers of with 37 runs and 29 RBI. Ryan Mostrangeli tied for the team lead in doubles (17) while hitting eight home runs and driving in 49 runs. Hunter Wroniuk (.321) had a career-high 34 hits as did Chris Curcio (.321) with 42 hits.
WHAT'S NEXT: Winners from the 16 NCAA Regional Tournaments will qualify for eight, best-of-three series at the Super Regionals on May 27-28. The eight Super Regional winners will then advance to the College World Series from June 3-8 at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.