NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Notebook: Host Adrian Opens Mideast Regional with Otterbein

The senior class of (shown, clockwise) of Aaron Ajrouche, Frank Resto, Preston Perry, Brian Guck, Tommy Parsons and Hunter Hayes will be leading the Adrian Bulldogs into the NCAA Playoffs. (Photo provided)
The senior class of (shown, clockwise) of Aaron Ajrouche, Frank Resto, Preston Perry, Brian Guck, Tommy Parsons and Hunter Hayes will be leading the Adrian Bulldogs into the NCAA Playoffs. (Photo provided)

NCAA Championship release l NCAA Mideast Bracket l NCAA Digital Program l Host Site l NCAA Baseball l NCAA III Statistics l Record Book

ADRIAN, Mich.--Adrian College will begin its quest in the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship as the host of the eight-team Mideast Regional, running Thursday through Monday at Nicolay Field. The seventh-seeded Bulldogs will square off against No. 2 Otterbein University on Day 1, with first-pitch scheduled for 7:45 p.m.

Overall Records: Adrian is 33-10 overall, including a 20-2 mark at home, while the Otterbein Cardinals are 30-14 on the season and 8-3 in true road games.

Ticket Information: Ticket prices are $8 per day for general admission and $5 per day for senior citizens and students with ID. Per NCAA rules, no complimentary passes accepted. The front gates will open 1 hour and 45 minutes prior to the start of the first game each day

Multimedia: LiveStats and Live Video will be provided by the Adrian College Athletic Communications office and Adrian College Television (ACTV). 

How Adrian and Otterbein Got Here: The Bulldogs are seeded No. 7 in this regional after capturing their sixth Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament crown, earning the MIAA's automatic bid. The second-seeded Cardinals are a Pool C (at-large) team out of the Ohio Athletic Conference, after dropping a 15-6 decision against NCAA-bound Baldwin Wallace in the OAC title contest.

Bulldogs Versus the OU Cardinals: Adrian trails in the all-time series, 0-4. The last time the schools met was on March 23, 2016, at Otterbein as the Cardinals prevailed 4-0. The Cardinals also were victorious in their only previous visit to Nicolay Field on April 19, 2010, 9-6.

Rest of the Regional (with seedings): No. 1 Wooster (36-8), No. 3 La Roche (34-8-1), No. 4 Marietta (27-16), No. 5 Shenandoah (34-10), No. 6 Ithaca (28-15) and No. 8 Wabash (28-15).

Championship Make Up: Early Monday morning, the Division III Baseball Committee announced the 58 teams that will compete in the 2018 field. Six teams will compete at three regional sites and eight teams will compete at five regional sites. All regionals will use a double-elimination format. Forty conference champions qualified automatically. Winners of the eight regional tournaments will qualify for the pool play double-elimination championship at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin, Friday- Tuesday/Wednesday, May 25- 29/30, 2018.

Bulldog Bits: Adrian has won 10 MIAA championships in a row, extending its conference record...the 'Dawgs have earned the MIAA tournament title in six of its seven seasons of existence (since 2012) and hosted as the No. 1 conference seed six times...AC went 3-1 versus the Top-25 this spring...Adrian was 17-2 in the month of April...AC has won 30 games in a season every year since 2008.

Coach Craig Rainey: The 1989 graduate is in his 25th season at his alma mater. Rainey has compiled a 652-411 (.613) career and school record. With a 451-169 (.727) conference record, he is the winningest baseball coach in MIAA history. 

Adrian Highlighted in NCAA National Statistical Rankings: The complete listing is linked here, but the Bulldogs are Top-50 in won-lost percentage (17th, .767), strikeouts per nine innings (20th, 8.9), doubles (25th, 95), on-base percentage (31st, .417), batting average (34th, .319), triples (41st, 17), hits (42nd, 453), strikeout-to-walk ratio (43rd, 2.35), sacrifice bunts (43rd, 32), base on balls (48th, 193) and runs scored (49th, 323).

Honors, Honors, Honors: Adrian landed six all-conference standouts including a sweep of the MIAA Player and Pitcher of the Year for the third consecutive season. Senior Tommy Parsons headlines the listing as a three-time MIAA Pitcher of the Year, while classmate Hunter Hayes is the top position player...Freshman pitcher Jordan Williams, sophomore outfielder Gunner Rainey, sophomore second baseman Brady Wood also were named to the first team. Sophomore pitcher Pierce Banks is a two-time All-MIAA pick, including the second unit this spring...Parsons is on the national ballot for Google Cloud Academic All-America® by the College Sports Information Directors of America CoSIDA...Wood won the last MIAA Player of the Week award and was named to the Team of the Week on April 24.

Tommy Boy-Oh-Boy: The New Albany (Ohio) High School product is 10-0 with one save on the season while leading the MIAA in earned-run average (1.48), victories, strikeouts (103), shutouts (2), complete games (9) and innings pitched (85.0). Opponents are hitting just .232 against him. Among NCAA Division III leaders, Parsons is first in complete games, second in strikeout-to-walks ratio (20.4), fifth in strikeouts, 20th in WHIP (0.93) and 25th in ERA. He holds several Adrian single-game, season and career benchmarks.

More on Parsons: As a junior, he tossed 44-1/3 innings without issuing a walk (believed to be a Division III all-time record) and had 25 consecutive scoreless innings for the 18th-longest streak ever in Division III. Currently, he is the NCAA all-Divisions active career leader with 39 wins against only four losses, including a personal 22-game winning streak. Among current Division III all-time leaders Parsons is fourth with 282 strikeouts and second with seven shutouts.

Setting the Table with ZZ: Junior Zack Zschering leads Adrian with 49 runs scored and owns a slashline of .352/.470/.420 from the leadoff spot.

Tough Field: Adrian is playing in arguably the toughest field with six of the eight teams receiving votes in the national rankings by Top 25 and American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The Bulldogs re-enter D3Baseball at No. 25 and move up to No. 28 by ABCA.

Adrian's NCAA History: The 'Dogs are 18-23 all-time in the NCAAs and had their highest finish of fourth-place at the 2008 Division III World Series held in Appleton, Wis. Adrian also had NCAA appearances in 2005-06-08-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-17 for 12 total. No other MIAA school has more than four. The Bulldogs also hosted the Mideast Regional in 2009, when they went 1-2.

Otterbein in the NCAA:  The Cards, also making their 12th NCAA appearance in program history, recently hit 30 wins for the third-straight year en route to capturing the OAC regular-season crown. OU is 21-23 all-time with its best finish coming in 2006 as a regional runner-up.

About the Cardinals: Click on the link for GAME PREVIEW. The team had 10 All-OAC selections, headlined by shortstop Ben Beachy (Player of the Year) and a fellow first-team honoree in closer Collin Hoffmann.

Next Up: Adrian will be playing in Game 8 (with a win) or Game 6 (with a loss) on Friday, meeting Ithaca or La Roche.

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #BulldogProud

NCAA regional schedule:

*All times Eastern
Thursday, May 17  Day 1
10 a.m. Game 1 - Shenandoah (34-10) vs Marietta (27-16) || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score l MC Recap l SU Recap
1:15 p.m. Game 2 - Wabash (28-15) vs Wooster (36-8) || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score l WC Recap l CW Recap
4:30 p.m. Game 3 - Ithaca (28-15) vs La Roche (34-8-1) || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score l IC Recap l LC Recap
7:45 p.m. Game 4 - Adrian (33-10) vs Otterbein (30-14) || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score l AC Recap l OU Recap
  Designated "home" team listed second 
Friday, May 18  Day 2
10 a.m. Game 5 - Losers Game 1 and 2 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (elimination game)
1:15 p.m. Game 6 - Losers Game 3 and 4 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (elimination game)
4:30 p.m. Game 7 - Winners Game 1 and 2 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score
7:45 p.m. Game 8 - Winners Game 3 and 4 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score
Saturday, May 19  Day 3
10 a.m. Game 9 - Loser Game 7 vs Winner Game 6 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (elimination game)
1:15 p.m. Game 10 - Loser Game 8 vs Winner Game 5 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (elimination game)
 4:30 p.m.  Game 11 - Winners Game 7 and 8 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score
7:45 p.m. Game 12 - Winners Game 9 and 10 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (elimination game)
Sunday, May 20  Day 4
Noon Game 13 - Loser Game 11 vs Winner Game 12 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (elimination game)
3:30 p.m. Game 14 - Winners Game 11 and 13 || Live Video l LiveStats l Box Score (championship)
Monday, May 21  Day 5
Time TBA *Game 15 - Same teams as Game 14 || Box Score (championship; *If necessary)