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Championship Sunday Preview

Championship Sunday Preview

ROME, Ga. – It's Championship Sunday at the NCAA South Regional as No. 9/11 Shenandoah and No. 6/5 Emory meet to decide the regional champion.

The top-seeded Eagles (33-10) need one win to punch their ticket to Appleton, Wisconsin and the Division III World Series for the third straight year while Shenandoah (35-11) can make its third-ever trip to Appleton with a pair of wins today.

The Hornets, as they have all season long, will tie their fortunes to left-handers Michael Scimanico and Darrell Thompson.

Scimanico (8-1) and Thompson (6-2) both own wins in this regional already, with Scimanico going the distance in a 3-2 victory over Marietta on Wednesday and Thompson the initial 7 2/3 in a 6-2 win over Birmingham-Southern Thursday.

Friday's washout of games made it possible for both to earn the extra start Sunday.

Scimanico leads SU in wins, strikeouts and ERA this year as he was named All-ODAC for the third time in his career.

This will be his fourth lifetime start in a regional – he took the ball versus Bridgewater at the South Regional in 2014 and Heidelberg at the Mid-East Regional last season in addition to Wednesday's complete game versus Marietta.

Thompson is 3-0 in his regional starts, defeating Covenant in 2014, Adrian (Mich.) in 2015 and B-SC on Thursday.

The duo is a combined 47-9 in their career with 449 strikeouts. Thompson, with 231 strikeouts, is just 20 away from all-time leader Greg Van Sickler '11.

One significant change for Shenandoah in its starting lineup today is freshman Tyler Murray replacing sophomore Zach Herbaugh behind the plate. Herbaugh suffered a season-ending injury Saturday night in his second at-bat versus Birmingham-Southern.

If Emory holds true to its rotation, senior right-hander Paul Merolla will be the game one starter. Merolla is 3-1 this season with a 4.23 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings pitched.

Jackson Weeg (7-0, 2.42) and Hans Hansen (9-1, 1.15) pitched games one and two for the Eagles with Billy Dimlow (6-2, 3.47) starting Saturday's 14-7 win over Shenandoah.

Emory is hitting .289 as a team with Dylan Eisner leading the club at .371. The hottest hitter on the team, and possibly the country, is first baseman Bubby Terp. Terp is 9 for 13 (.692) in this regional with 11 runs batted in and three runs scored. He has had at least two hits and three RBI in each outing during this tournament.

Live stats and video for both games can be found here.

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